National Fellowship

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1.1 National Fellowships are awarded to eminent Indian Social Scientists in recognition to their scholarly contributions and providing opportunities to engage themselves in full-time research that have the potential to contribute in advancement of knowledge in social sciences.

1.2 The broad disciplines of study, within the domain of social sciences are:

1. Economics

2. Management

3. Commerce

4. Sociology

5. Social Work

6. Social Anthropology

7. Cultural Studies

8. Socio-Sanskrit Studies

9. Socio-Philosophical Studies

10. Social Linguistics

11. Gender Studies

12. Health Studies

13. Political Science

14. International Studies

15. Public Administration

16. Diaspora Studies

17. National Security and Strategic Studies

18. Education

19. Social Psychology

20. Legal Studies

21. Social Geography

22. Environmental Studies

23. Modern Social History

24. Media Studies

25. Library Science


2.1 National Fellowships fall into two broad categories:

  • Specific
  • Non-Specific

2.2 Specific Category:

Under the specific category, theme based fellowships are offered to scholars who have made outstanding contribution to the broad area mentioned under each of the Fellowships and are expected to work on the ideas of the person in whose name the fellowship is based:

  • Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship for studies on Peace Building, Social Reforms, Empowerment and Environment; 
  • Jawaharlal Nehru National Fellowship for studies on State, Democracy, Governance, Public Policy, Leadership, and Foreign Policy; 
  • B.R. Ambedkar National Fellowship for studies on Constitutionalism and Social Justice;
  • J.P. Naik National Fellowship for Education and Culture;
  • Maulana Azad National Fellowship for studies on Religion and Society;
  • Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan National Fellowship for studies on Education and Philosophy; 
  • APJ Abdul Kalam National Fellowship for studies on Science and Public Policy; 
  • Sarojini Naidu National Fellowship for Women Studies;
  • Swami Vivekananda National Fellowship on Nationalism, Society and Religion;.
  • Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose National Fellowship in international relations and/or security studies.

2.3 Non-Specific Category:

In this category, fellowships are open for all Social Science disciplines including inter-disciplinary studies.


3.1 Renowned retired Indian social scientists who have not availed of ICSSR National Fellowship earlier, are eligible to be nominated as described in 4.1 below.

3.2 The nominees should have outstanding academic work and a significant amount of high quality research publications to their credit.

3.3 Senior Government and defence officers of not less than 25 years of regular service in any of social science disciplines and demonstrable research experience through publications of books/research papers/reports can also be nominated.

3.4 A fellow is required to affiliate himself/herself to a UGC recognized Indian university/institutes of national importance and ICSSR Research Institutes, of his/her choice. Funds are disbursed through the affiliating/administering institution.


4.1 Nominations are invited by the ICSSR from Vice-Chancellors of public funded central and state Universities, Directors of the ICSSR Research Institutes/Regional Centres, present and former Council Members and National Fellows of the ICSSR.

4.2 Nominating individuals should not forward more than two nominations against a Call. All nominations are to be accompanied by curriculum vitae of the scholar along with abstracts of 10 best publications and a 1000 words research proposal. The nominations should reach the In-charge, RFS Division, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067 before the last date given in the Call.

4.3 Direct applications for National Fellowships will not be considered.


5.1 Nominations are initially scrutinized and short listed by the ICSSR with the help of an Expert Committee.

5.2 The short-listed scholars will then be requested to submit a detailed proposal for consideration by the Selection Committee constituted by the ICSSR.

5.3 The Selection Committee considers the detailed proposals and make recommendation for award by the ICSSR. The Expert Committee of the ICSSR also reserves the right to convert a fellowship proposal into a Project Proposal.


6.1 National Fellowship is a full time research work.

6.2 The duration of the fellowship is for two years only.

6.3 The value of the fellowship is Rs.60, 000 p.m. and contingency grant is Rs.60, 000/-p.a. irrespective of the pensionary benefit.


7.1 National Fellows are expected to join within a period of three months from the date of the offer of the fellowship by submitting the required documents through the affiliating/administering institution. A request for extension of joining period may be considered on reasonable grounds.
7.2 The first year fellowship and contingency will be released in two equal instalments. The first instalment will be released after receiving the Grant-in-aid-Bill (GIB) and the second after receiving a Six Monthly Progress report along with the statement of expenditure.
7.3 The second year fellowship will be released in three instalments. The first instalment of six month fellowship along with contingency will be released on receiving the Annual Progress Report along with at least two published research papers and statement of expenditure. The second instalment of 03 months fellowship along with contingency will be released on receipt of a progress report along with statement of expenditure. The final instalment of remaining fellowship along with contingency will be released after receiving the final report along with research papers and statement of accounts with utilization certificate in GFR-19A Form of the entire fellowship duly signed by the Finance Officer/Registrar/Director of the affiliating Institution.
7.4 The 7.5% overhead charges to the public funded affiliating institution will be released only after verification of the documents by the ICSSR.
7.5 The accounts and utilization certificate will be signed by the Finance Officer/Registrar/Director in case the accounts of the Institution are audited by the CAG/AG. Otherwise, they need to be signed both by the competent authority of the affiliating institution along with the chartered accountant.


8.1 If a fellow leaves the fellowship before its tenure, he/she has to give an undertaking to submit the final report within a reasonable period without claiming the fellowship from the date of leaving. In such cases, the ICSSR may consider to pay contingency grant for that period.

8.2 If, as a special case, a scholar remains on leave due to medical/extra ordinary circumstances (not to exceed six months) duly approved by the ICSSR, the tenure of fellowship will be extended by that period but the total amount of fellowship will not exceed 24 months.

8.3 On completion of the duration of fellowship, the scholar should submit the following:

  • A book-length final Report in a publishable form along-with an Executive Summary of the report (4000-5000 words) and five research papers published.
  • These documents should be submitted in hard copy (two copies of final report and three copies of the Executive Summary and five research papers) and a soft copy in a pen-drive.

8.4 Plagiarism -- ICSSR gets every report checked for plagiarism and the similarity report is also generated.  As a policy we do not accept contents beyond 15 per cent on similarity index.  Scholars are required to get their final report checked on their own for similarity index and attach a report of the same at the time of submission.  Scholars may enquire from ICSSR about the software being used by it at any point of time to have greater efficiency.

8.5 A maximum of three months period can be granted for submission of the final report after completion of the fellowship term.


9.1 The affiliating institution is required to provide the requisite research infrastructure to the scholar and maintain proper accounts. For this, the Council shall pay to the institution, overhead charges of seven and a half percent (7.5%) of the total Fellowship (fellowship amount plus contingency).

9.2 The affiliating institution is required to give an undertaking in the prescribed format contained in the Application Form to administer and manage the ICSSR grant.

9.3 The affiliating institution shall maintain a dedicated bank account for ICSSR grant (Scheme Code-0877) that is duly registered at PFMS portal for release of the National Fellowship Grant.

9.4 The affiliating institution will be under obligation to ensure submission of the final report and an Audited Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate, (in the prescribed Performa GFR 12- A) duly certified by the Competent authority of the institution.

9.5 The affiliating institution shall make suitable arrangements for preservation of data such as filled in schedules, tabulation sheets, manuscripts, reports, etc. relating to the study.

9.6 In case a scholar leaves /discontinues his fellowship/dies before completion of fellowship tenure, the affiliating institution shall immediately inform ICSSR, settle the accounts including the refund of any unspent balance within three months of submission.

9.7 The ICSSR reserves the right to demand raw data, or such part of it as may be specified, to be transferred to the ICSSR.

9.8 The overhead charges shall be paid only after the completion of the fellowship and on receipt of the final audited Statement of Accounts.


10.1 During the tenure of fellowship, National Fellows are expected to deliver lectures on areas of their research in an institution/university identified by the ICSSR.

10.2 The duration of full time regular fellowship shall be for two years only. In no case the fellowship beyond two years will be considered. However, extension for submission of final report may be granted on exceptional circumstances without any additional financial commitment by the ICSSR.

10.3 The contingency grant may be utilized for research and office assistance, books, stationery, computer related costs, research assistance and the field work expenses connected with the research work.

10.4 The ICSSR reserves the right to publish the fellowship report funded by it.

10.5 The scholar shall acknowledge ICSSR’s support in all publications resulting from the research output of the fellowship and should submit a copy of the same to the ICSSR.

10.6 The ICSSR reserves all rights to publish the fellowship report funded by it, provided the work is recommended for publication by Expert/Experts.  The scholars can get it published themselves only after seeking permission from ICSSR.

10.7 All fellowships are subject to income tax deductions as per the Government of India rules at the level of the affiliating/ administering institution.

10.8 Defaulters of any previous fellowship/project/grant of the ICSSR will not be eligible for consideration until the nominee obtains the clearance from the concerned administrative division.

10.9 The fellowship may be transferred from one affiliating institution to another on the request of the scholar under special circumstance with ICSSR approval, subject to submission of the following documents:

(1) A progress report;
(2) No objection certificate from both previous and the proposed university/institute;
(3) Audited statement of account and utilization certificate along with unspent balance, if any.

10.10 A fellow is not entitled for the same fellowship more than once.

10.11 While accepting any fellowships from the ICSSR, a fellow should not accept any other fellowship or research project or regular financial benefit/assignment from any other institution.

10.12 During the tenure of fellowship, the fellow will be governed by the rules of the affiliating/administering institution in all matters including drawls of TA/DA, holidays/leave and contingency grant, etc.

10.13 The selected fellows are expected to do full time research in India. They could, however, undertake data collection outside India in exceptional cases and if warranted by the needs of the proposal. For this they are required to apply separately for consideration under the Data Collection Scheme of the ICSSR International Collaboration Division.

10.14 The scholar should not have been subjected to any disciplinary/legal action/proceedings/financial penalties in his/her career/ research career.

10.15 Books/periodicals/equipment purchased by the scholar out of the contingency grant should be deposited with the affiliating/administering institution and a certificate to this effect may be submitted along with the final report.

10.16 Nominations, submitted against a Call will not be considered to the subsequent Calls on their own. Fresh nomination will have to be filed against a new Call.

10.17 The Council reserves the right to reject any nomination without assigning any reason. It is also not responsible for any postal loss/delays.

10.18 Incomplete applications in any respect shall not be considered for fellowship.

10.19 The final authority related to the interpretation of the guidelines or any issue left is vested with the ICSSR.

10.20  Those who have completed their duration of fellowship and if continue to write it with their name, they should prefix ‘Former’ and suffix ‘the duration’ with the name of the fellowship e.g. Former National/Senior/Post-Doctoral Fellow ICSSR (2016-18).