Research Projects (Major and Minor)

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Guidelines for Research Projects (Major and Minor)

1. Introduction

1.1 Promotion of social science research is one of the major objectives of the ICSSR. Research grant is direct financial support to research projects undertaken by the Indian social scientists. ICSSR provides funding to Indian scholars to conduct cutting edge research in various fields of social sciences that have theoretical, conceptual, methodological and policy implications. The Research Projects may belong to any of the social science disciplines or may be multi-disciplinary in nature.

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

(i) Sociology and Social Anthropology;
(ii) Political Science / Public Administration;
(iii) Economics;
(iv) International Studies;
(v) Social Geography and Population Studies;
(vi) Commerce and Management;
(vii) Social Psychology;
(viii) Education;
(ix) Social Linguistics / Socio-Cultural Studies
(x) Law / International Law
(xi) National Security & Strategic Studies; 
(xii) Other allied Social Science disciplines (Library Science, Social Work, Media Studies, Modern Social History, Health Studies, Gender Studies and Environmental Studies, Diaspora Studies, Area Studies, Sanskrit-Society & Culture, etc.) to promote interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research.

1.2 Categories of Research Projects

The ICSSR awards two types of research projects on the basis of the scope, duration of the study and budget:
(a) Major Project – Duration from 12 months to 24 months with a budget of Rs.5-15 lakh.
(b) Minor Project – Duration from 6 months to 12 months with a budget of Rs.5 lakh.

2. Eligibility

2.1 ICSSR Research Institutes/institutes of national importance as defined by the Ministry of Education (MoE) / UGC recognized Indian universities / deemed universities under 12 B etc. are eligible to apply. However, other registered organisations with established research and academic standing may collaborate with any of the above mentioned institutions for implementation of the study and may form a joint team consisting of Project Director, Co-Project Director/s etc. Such collaborations have to be clearly stated in application itself.

2.2 Professional social scientists who are regularly employed or retired as faculty in a UGC(University Grants Commission) recognized Indian university/deemed university/colleges with requisite research infrastructure/institute of national importance and ICSSR Research Institutes, and possessing a Ph.D. and demonstrable research experience through publications of books/research papers/reports are eligible to apply. Both the Project Director and Co- Director must possess a Ph.D. degree and a proven track record of high quality research as evidenced by past studies, publications and their academic background. The condition of Ph.D. for a Co-Director can be relaxed if he/she has very credible research publications.

2.3 Senior government and defence officers (not less than 25 years of regular service) and persons with proven Social Science expertise possessing a Ph. D. degree or equivalent research work in any social science disciplines and demonstrable research experience through publications of books/research papers/reports can also apply, preferably in collaboration with a faculty in a social science discipline from institutions given in 2.1 above.

2.4 Individual scholars can apply maximum of two projects at a time. However, in case both projects are selected, the applicant can choose only one project. Institutes having good research infrastructure and resources may affiliate a number of Project Directors.

 

3. How to Apply

  1. The applications will be invited through an advertisement on ICSSR website and if required, in print media.
  2. The applicants shall submit an online application which includes the Research Proposal Format, given in the Application Form.  At this stage, the applicants need not submit any document other than those referred in application form. All scholars are required to keep the hard copies of their application and annexures ready, duly forwarded by the competent authorities of the university/college/institute so that they may submit the required hard copies, within one week after the completion of the process of screening. It is being done for the sake of convenience of the applicants so that they get more time for preparing the hard copies.
  3. In case, the hard copy of application is not received within 10 days of asking, the candidature of applicants shall be treated as withdrawn/cancelled.
  4. Research proposals and final reports should either be in English or Hindi. (Use Devanagari to fill Application form in Hindi).
  5. One applicant can apply only once under a particular Research Project scheme.  However, he / she can apply separately for another scheme.

 

4. Procedure for Awards

4.1 Applications are scrutinised by the ICSSR Secretariat/and or by a Screening Committee in respect of eligibility.  Eligible applications are then examined by the Expert Committee (s). Shortlisting of the programme is done for the purpose of interaction/presentation at ICSSR (in person or through technology).  The expert committee/s make(s) recommendation for award of studies and also suggest budget for the recommended studies.

4.2 The recommendations of the Expert Committee(s) are then placed before the requisite Committee(s) of the ICSSR for their approval.

 

5. Duration and Value

5.1 The duration of a Major Project is twelve to twenty four months and that of Minor Project is six to twelve months.

5.2 The budget for Major Project ranges from Rs.5-15 lakh and for Minor Projects it is up to Rs.5 lakh. The amount will be disbursed in number of instalments, depending on the phases and duration of the study, as indicated in the Sanction Letter. ICSSR reserves the right, based on Expert opinion, to convert a proposal for Major Research Project into Minor Research Project or vice versa.

5.3 The budget estimates for these proposals are to be prepared on the basis of the format given in the guidelines. The Institute/group of scholars will propose the budget subject to the following broad expenditure sub-heads. Those Project Director would like to work without Research Personnel, especially under Minor Research Project would apply separately. For that, the limits of expenditure, duly approved by the Expert Committee will be separately indicated in the sanction letter.

S.No.

Heads of Expenditure

Value

1

Research Staff :

Full time/Part-time/Hired Services

Not exceeding 45% of the total budget.

2

Fieldwork: Travel/Logistics/Boarding, Survey Preparation or Consultancy etc.              

Not exceeding  35%

3

Equipment and Study material: Computer, Printer, Source Material, Books, Journals, Software, Data Sets etc.

Not exceeding 12%

4

Contingency:

Not exceeding 5%

5

Publication of Report

App. 5-6%*

 

TOTAL

 ICSSR will finally make it  100%

6.

Institutional Overheads (over and above the total cost of the project)

Affiliating Institutional overheads @ 5% of the approved budget, subject to a maximum limit of Rs.1,00,000/-

*The allocation for publication amount will be retained by the ICSSR for publication of the final report if it is found to be high quality by the expert/experts appointed by the ICSSR.

5.4   Remuneration and Emoluments of Project Staff

  1. Project staff could be engaged by the Project Director on a full/ Part-time basis during the research work and the duration/consolidated monthly emoluments of their employment may be decided by the project director within the limits of the sanctioned financial allocation and as per the ICSSR rules.

  2.  Research Associate  @ Rs.20, 000/- p.m.
    (Qualification – Post graduate in social science discipline (55% minimum) with NET /M.Phil. / Ph.D.)
  3. Research Assistant @ Rs.16, 000/- p.m.
    (Qualification-Ph.D./M.Phil./ Post graduate in social science discipline with minimum 55%)
  4. Field Investigator @ Rs.15, 000/-p.m. (not exceeding 6 months)
    (Qualification- Post graduate in social science discipline with minimum 55%).
  5. Retrospective payment for work already done is not permissible.

5.5 The Institution may re-appropriate expenditure from one head to another (except publication of report) subject to a maximum of 5 to 7 % with the prior approval of ICSSR. Beyond that, detailed budget will have to be submitted with sufficient reasons for the approval of the ICSSR.

5.6 Selection of Research Staff should be done through an advertisement and a selection committee consisting of (1) Project Director; (2) One outside Expert (other than the institute where the project is located); (3) a nominee of the Vice Chancellor/Head of the Institution and (4) Dean of the faculty or Head of the Department of the Project Director duly approved by the competent authority.

5.7. For all field work related expenses of Project Director, Co-Project Directors and project personnel, rules of affiliating institutes/universities shall be followed.

5.8 All equipment and books purchased out of the project fund shall be the property of the affiliating institution. However, ICSSR may ask for books or/and equipment if it so requires. 

5.9 The scholar should acknowledge the support of ICSSR in all publications resulting from the programme output (Research Paper, Books, Articles, Reports, etc.) and should submit a copy of the same to the ICSSR during its course and even after completion.

 

6. Joining and Release of Grants

6.1 The Project Director has to join the project within one month of the award letter.  For this the scholar has to submit an ‘undertaking’ on an Rs.100 stamp paper, declaration on an Rs.100 stamp paper, date of commencement of the study and grant-in-aid bill towards the first instalment. This period can be extended only in exceptional circumstances up to a maximum of three months by the ICSSR.

6.2 The grant for research project (Major and Minor) will be released in instalments as indicated in the Sanction Letter.

a) The first instalment (25%) is released after completing necessary formalities of joining by the Project Director.

b) The second instalment (25%) is released after receiving a satisfactory three/six/nine/ twelve months Progress Report (depending on the duration of the project), simple statement of account of first instalment, published peer reviewed journal (for Major Project) along with grant-in-aid bill towards the second instalment.

c) The third instalment (20%) will be released after receiving second Progress Report (depending on the duration of the project), simple statement of accounts of the second instalment along with grant-in-aid bill towards the third instalment.

d) The fourth instalment (15%) will be released after receiving book length Final Report in soft copy (both word and PDF format), Executive Summary of Final Report in soft copy (both word and PDF format), 500 words abstract of the Final Report in soft copy, research papers published in peer reviewed journals duly acknowledging ICSSR, similarity index score sheet, simple statement of accounts of third instalment along with grant-in-aid bill towards the fourth instalment. Project Director is required to submit hard copies of the Final Report only after the confirmation from the ICSSR after incorporating the suggested changes.

e) The publication grant (5- 6 %) will be retained by the ICSSR & will be spent by the ICSSR Publication Division if the Final report is found publishable by an Expert Committee constituted by the ICSSR.

f) Final instalment (10%) will be issued after receipt of recommendation of the expert for acceptance of the Final Report, Audited statement of accounts (AC) in prescribed format with utilization certificate (UC) in GFR-12A form for the entire approved project amount duly signed by the Finance Officer/Registrar/Director of the affiliating Institution, verification of all documents and decision on retaining of equipment and books etc. The institutions of which the accounts are not audited by CAG/AG, their utilisation certificate will be signed by the Finance Officer and a chartered accountant.

6.3 The Overhead Charges to the affiliating institution will be released after the Final Report has been accepted and documents verified by the ICSSR. The ICSSR reserves the right to change the affiliation if it is found that the affiliating institute is not co-operating with the scholar and it is not facilitating timely completion of the study.

6.4 The Project Director will ensure that the expenditure incurred by him conforms to the approved budget heads and relevant rules.  Audited Statement of accounts with Utilization Certificate in GFR of 12A form is for the entire project amount approved for the project.

 

7. Monitoring of Research Projects

7.1 Research undertaken by a Project Director will be reviewed through the submission of periodic progress reports in the prescribed format and the project may be discontinued/terminated if research progress is found unsatisfactory or any ICSSR rules are violated.

7.2 During the course of the project, the scholars are required to publish at least two research papers ( one paper in the case of Minor) in peer reviewed high quality journals (such as Scopus, UGC Care list etc.) related to the theme of the research project while duly acknowledging ICSSR’s support for the research and publication. ICSSR expects the Project Director to submit a final report of very high quality which is worth publishing by a reputed publisher. Depending upon the recommendation for publication of Final Report as a book/monograph, with suggested modifications or improvements, the ICSSR will have first right to publish under its rules and policy.

7.3 Acknowledgement – The scholars should acknowledge ICSSR while getting their research paper published.  The acknowledgement should mention “The scholar namely _____ is the awardee of ICSSR Research Projects (Research Programme or Major/Minor Project as the case may be).  This book/paper is largely an outcome of the Research Project sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).  However, the responsibility for the facts stated, opinions expressed, and the conclusions drawn is entirely that of the author”.  If there is a different policy at the end of the publishers, pre-publication acknowledgement may be sent to ICSSR for approval. 

7.4 All project related queries will be addressed to the Project Director/ Affiliating Institution for their timely reply. 

7.5 The ICSSR may, at any time ask for verification of accounts and other relevant documents related to the Project. 

7.6 Mid Term Appraisal of Research Programme: The ICSSR may hold a mid-term or an annual review of a research project through a team of experts. 

7.7 Final report submitted by the Project Director is mandatorily evaluated by an Expert appointed by the ICSSR before considering the release of the final instalment.

7.8 As per the directions of the Ministry of Education (MoE) the amount of grant sanctioned is to be utilized within the duration of the project. Any amount of the grant remaining unspent shall be refunded to the ICSSR immediately after the expiry of the duration of the project. If the grantee fails to utilize the grant for the purpose for which the same has been sanctioned/or fails to submit the audited statement of expenditure within the stipulated period, the grantee will be required to refund the amount of the grant with interest thereon @ 10% per annum.

 

8.  Completion of the Study 

8.1 On completion of the study, the scholar should submit the following:

  1. Soft copy (s) of the final report in a publishable form (in both PDF and word format), abstract in 500 words (in both PDF and word format), Executive Summary of the final report in 5000 words (in both PDF and word format) along with plagiarism report check carried out by the Project Director.
  2. Project Director is required to submit hard copies of the Final Report only after the confirmation from the ICSSR post incorporating the suggested changes.
  3. After acceptance of the report by the ICSSR, the Project Director would be required to submit: a) two hard copies of modified final report free from plagiarism; b) ten copies of executive summary, c) final soft copy (in both PDF and word format) in pen drive and d) published research papers on the approved theme of research duly acknowledging ICSSR (minimum one for Minor Project and two for Major Project).

8.2 ICSSR gets every report checked for plagiarism and the similarity report is also generated.  As a policy ICSSR does 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’s NASSDOC (National Social Science Documentation Centre) about the software being used by it at a point of time.

8.3 The scholar should acknowledge support of ICSSR that the project has been sponsored by the ICSSR, in all publications resulting from the project output (Research Paper, Books, Articles, Reports, etc.) and should submit a copy of the same to the ICSSR during the course of the study or even after its completion.

8.4 The final report submitted by the scholar will be considered as satisfactory only after final recommendation of acceptance by the expert appointed by the ICSSR.

 

9. Obligations of the Affiliating Institution

9.1 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.

9.2 It is also required to provide the requisite research infrastructure to the scholar and maintain proper accounts.

9.3 The affiliating institution shall open / maintain a dedicated bank account for ICSSR grant (Scheme Code-0877) that is duly registered at PFMS portal for release of the Project Grant without any delay.

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 Proforma GFR 12-A) duly certified by the Competent authority of the institution including the refund of any unspent balance.

9.4 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. The ICSSR reserves the right to demand raw data, or such parts of the study as it deems fit.

9.5 In case a scholar leaves /discontinues/dies during project before completion tenure, the affiliating institution shall immediately inform ICSSR, settle the accounts including the refund of any unspent balance within a year of submission.

9.6 The overhead charges shall be paid only after the completion of the project and on receipt of the final audited Statement of Accounts and Utilisation Certificate in prescribed formats.

 

10.  Other Conditions

10.1 The duration of the project shall be a maximum period of two years for Major Projects and one year for Minor Projects which includes the time for Final Report writing. In case of exceptional circumstances, an extension of three to four months can be granted by the ICSSR without any additional financial burden on being satisfied about the progress of the work including quality publication. Project Director is required to send a request at least three months prior to the completion for no-cost extension with a copy of the progress made, reason for the delay by justifying the extension. Retrospective extension will not be permitted.

10.2 The contingency grant may be utilized for stationery, computer typing related costs, specialised assistance such as data analysis, consultation for field trip etc. related to the research work.

10.3 Retired teachers and government/defence officers can also apply under the scheme but they are required to affiliate to ICSSR Research Institutes/institute of national importance/ UGC recognized Indian university/deemed university of his/her choice with the prior approval of the ICSSR.

10.4 The scholar should acknowledge the support of ICSSR in all publications resulting from the programme output (Research Paper, Books, Articles, Reports, etc.) and should submit a copy of the same to the ICSSR during its course and even after completion.

10.5 ICSSR follows Government of India Rules & Directives with regard to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) categories. 

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

10.7 An applicant may submit more than one proposal against the call. However, The Project Director will be allowed to take up only one research programme/project at one point of time even if both the proposals recommended for award.

10.8 There will be a gap of minimum two years between two ICSSR research programmes. However, in highly relevant and good proposals, this condition may be exempted by the relevant Committee(s).

10.9 No scholar will be allowed to take up a research project along with any ICSSR fellowship.

10.10 Foreign trip is not permissible within the Research Programme.  However, the Project Director may undertake data collection outside India in exceptional cases and if warranted by the needs of the proposal. For this he/she is required to apply separately for consideration under the Data Collection Scheme of the ICSSR International Collaboration Division but any rejection there should not have any bearing on the study and cannot be taken as an excuse.

10.11 No request for additional grant in excess of the sanctioned budget will be considered. 

10.12 The Project Director shall be personally responsible for timely completion of the Project.

10.13 The Project proposal/final report cannot be submitted for the award of any University degree/diploma or funding by any Institution by any member of the project staff, including the project director. The ICSSR however, will have no objection if any member of the project staff utilizes the project data for this purpose.

10.14 Purchase of equipment/ assets for the research Project is permissible only if it is originally proposed and approved by the ICSSR and does not exceed the permissible amount and follows the rules of the affiliating institution.

 10.15 The project director shall report to the ICSSR in case he /she makes any changes in the research design at any stage. No major change can be made therein without the prior approval of the ICSSR.

10.16 Regarding Transfer of a Project/Appointment of substitute Project Director:

a) On the request from a university/institute, the ICSSR may permit the appointment of a Substitute Project Director in exceptional circumstances.

b) The ICSSR may also appoint a Substitute Project Director if it is convinced that the original awardee of the Project will not be in a position to carry out the study successfully.

c) The ICSSR may transfer the place of the Project from one affiliating institution to another subject to submission of the following:

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

           However, no transfer of programme/ Project director should be requested in the last six months of the study.

d) Overhead charges will be apportioned proportionally among the institutes as per the grant released or as may be finally decided by the ICSSR.

e) In case of superannuation of Project Director and if the rules of the institution so require the transfer of the project to a serving faculty member may be done with prior approval of the ICSSR.  The credit of Project shall belong to the original submitting Project Director.

10.17 Consideration under another call(s) would require a fresh proposal.

10.18 The Council reserves the right to reject any application without assigning any reason. It will not be responsible for any postal delays/loss.

10.19 Incomplete applications in any respect will not be considered.

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

10.21 No queries will be entertained by the ICSSR Secretariat until the final declaration of results against a call. Any lobbying for award will lead to disqualification.

10.22 While accepting Research Project from the ICSSR, an awardee should not accept any other fellowship or research project or regular financial benefit/assignment from any other institution.

10.23 ICSSR makes positive efforts to encourage less represented sections such as women, people belonging to Educationally Backward Areas/Districts, Minorities, etc.

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

10.25 The final report submitted by the scholar will be considered as satisfactory only after final recommendation of acceptance by the expert/experts appointed by the ICSSR.

10.26 The ICSSR reserves all rights to publish the project funded by it, provided the work is recommended for publication by ICSSR appointed expert/experts. The scholars can get it published on their own only if ICSSR decides to & after seeking permission (NOC) from ICSSR.

10.27 Research project may be discontinued/terminated if research progress is found unsatisfactory or any ICSSR rules are violated.

10.28 Organising seminars/workshops from the project grant approved is not permissible. However, the Project Director is required to apply separately for consideration under our Seminar/Workshops/Conferences scheme of ICSSR National and International Seminar Division, but any rejection there will not have any bearing on the study and cannot be taken as an excuse.

10.29 The ICSSR reserves the right to change the affiliation if it is found that the affiliating institute is not co-operating with the scholar and it is not facilitating timely completion of the study.

10.30 As per the directions of the Ministry of Education (MoE), the amount of grant sanctioned is to be utilized within the duration of the project. Any amount of the grant remaining unspent shall be refunded to the ICSSR immediately after the expiry of the duration of the project. If the grantee fails to utilize the grant for the purpose for which the same has been sanctioned/or fails to submit the audited statement of expenditure within the stipulated period, the grantee will be required to refund.