Research Projects(Major and Minor)

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(Major and Minor)


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 up to 24 months with a budget of Rs.5-15 lakh.
(b) Minor Project – Duration up to 12 months with a budget upto 5 lakh.


2.1 Professional social scientists who are regularly employed or retired as faculty in a UGC recognized Indian university/deemed university/colleges with requisite research infrastructure/institute of national importance and ICSSR Research Institutes, and possessing a Ph.D. degree or equivalent research work in any of the social science discipline and demonstrable research experience through publications of books/research papers/reports are eligible to apply.

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. 


3.1 Applications will be invited through advertisements in leading Newspaper(s)/Association of Indian University (AIU) Newsletter and on ICSSR website and should be received before the deadline mentioned in the advertisement. 

3.2 Application in hard copy in prescribed format and duly forwarded by the affiliating institution must be sent to: In-charge, RP Division, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067 before the last date mentioned in the advertisement. An advance copy of the application can also be sent through email. 

3.3 Research proposals and final reports should either be in English or Hindi.


4.1 Applications are initially scrutinised by the ICSSR Secretariat. 

4.2 Thereafter Subject Group(s)/Expert Committee(s) will short-list the meritorious proposals.

4.3 Such applicants would then be invited for an interaction/presentation before an Expert Committee at ICSSR and will be paid TA as per its rules. Applicants of Minor Projects may be exempted from interaction/presentation.

4.4 The recommendations of the Expert Committee are then placed before the Research Committee/Council for its final approval. 


5.1 The duration of the 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. 

5.3 The budget estimates for Major research project is to be prepared on the basis of the guidelines given as under. Applicants for minor research project may make suitable changes in the budget heads as per the budget and actual requirement.


Broad Expenditure Heads

1. Research Staff :Full time/Part-time/Hired Services Not exceeding 45% of the total budget.
2. Fieldwork: Travel/Logistics/Boarding, etc. Not exceeding 30%
3. Equipment:computer, printer etc. Books/Journals/ Source Material/Software and Data Sets, etc. Not exceeding 15%
4. Contingency Not exceeding 5%
5. Publication of Report 5%
  Total 100%
6. 4 Institutional Overheads(over and above the total cost of the project to be paid to public funded institutes only) 7.5% (Major Project)
5% (Minor Project)

The five percent (5%) publication amount will be spent by the ICSSR Publication Division if the final report is found publishable by an Expert Committee constituted by the ICSSR.

5.4 Remuneration and Emoluments of Project Staff (applicable to Major Projects only)

Project staff could be engaged by the Project Director/Coordinator 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. 

Research Associate                            Rs.16,000/- p.m. (Qualification – MA with NET or MA with M.Phil./Ph.D.)
Research Assistant                             Rs.13,000/- p.m.
Field Investigator                                Rs.12,000/-p.m. (not exceeding 6 months).

(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 10 %.
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) Head of the Department of the Project Director duly approved by the competent authority. 


6.1 The scholar has to join the project within one month of the date of the award letter. For this the scholar has to submit an agreement on the stamp paper, date of commencement and grant-in-aid bill towards the first instalment. This may, however, be extended up to a maximum period of six months in exceptional circumstances with the prior approval of the ICSSR. 

Major Project

6.2 The Sanctioned grant for major project is released in four equal instalments.
6.3 The first instalment is released after completing necessary formalities of joining by the Project Director.
6.4 The second instalment is released after receiving a satisfactory Six Monthly/Annual Progress Report along with the simple statement of account of first instalment (depending upon the duration of the Project).
6.5 The third instalment will be released after receiving the final report along with research papers and the statement of account of second instalment.
6.6 The fourth and final instalment will be released on receipt of – (a) satisfactory book length final report in publishable form; (b) statement of accounts with utilization certificate in GFR-19A Form for the entire project amount duly signed by the Finance Officer/Registrar/Principal/Director of the affiliating Institution; and (c) a certificate of settlement of assets and books purchased out of the project funds issued by the Affiliating Institution. 

6.7 The 7.5% overhead charges to the affiliating institution will be released only after verification of the documents by the ICSSR. 

6.8 The accounts and utilization certificate will be signed by the Finance Officer/Registrar/Principal/Director in case the accounts of the Institution are audited by the CAG/AG. Otherwise, they need to be signed both by the Finance Officer and the chartered accountant.
Minor Project
6.9 The Sanctioned grant for Minor Project is released in three instalments of 20%, 40% and 40%.
6.10 The first instalment is released after completing necessary formalities for joining by the Project Director. 
6.11 The second instalment will be released after receiving a satisfactory Progress Report along with the simple statement of account of first instalment.
6.12 The third and final instalment will be released on receipt of – (a) satisfactory final report along with research paper in a publishable form; (b) statement of accounts with utilization certificate in GFR-19A Form for entire project amount duly signed by the Finance Officer/Registrar/Principal/Director of the affiliating Institution; and (c) an undertaking of settlement of assets and books purchased out of the project funds. 

6.13 The 5% overhead charges to the affiliating institution will be released only after verification of the documents by the ICSSR. 

6.14 The accounts and utilization certificate will be signed by the Finance Officer/Registrar/Principal/Director in case the accounts of the Institution are audited by the CAG/AG. Otherwise, they need to be signed both by the Finance Officer and the chartered accountant.


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 in case of Minor Project) in peer reviewed journal(s) on the theme of the research undertaken. 
7.3 All project related queries will be addressed to the Project Director/ Affiliating Institution for their timely reply. 
7.4 The ICSSR may, at any time ask for verification of accounts and other relevant documents related to the Project. 


8.1 The duration of the project shall be maximum for two years for Major Projects and one year for Minor Projects. The Final Report may be submitted within three months after completion of the duration of Project. However, extension for submission of final report may be granted in exceptional circumstances without any additional financial commitment of the ICSSR.

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

8.3 Retired teachers and government/defence officers can also apply under the scheme but they are required to affiliate to a UGC recognized Indian university including deemed university/college having University approved Ph.D. programme/institute of national importance and ICSSR Research Institutes of his/her choice with the prior approval of the ICSSR.

8.4 The scholar shall acknowledge support of ICSSR in all publications resulting from the project output and should submit a copy of the same to the ICSSR.

8.5 ICSSR follows Government of India Rules & Directives with regard to SC & ST categories. 

8.6 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 administration division. 

8.7 The Project Director will be allowed to take up only one research project/programme at one point of time. 

8.8 There will be a gap of minimum three years between two ICSSR research projects. However, it will not apply to ICSSR Minor Research Project.

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

8.10 Foreign trip is not permissible within the Scheme of Major/Minor Research Projects. 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.

8.11 No request for additional grant in excess of the sanction budget will be considered. 

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

8.13 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.

8.14 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.
8.15 The project director shall report to the ICSSR in case he /she makes any changes in the research design. No major change can be made therein without the prior approval of the ICSSR.

8.16 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;
(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, all possible efforts must be made to complete by the Project Director if the transfer is taking place in the last six months of the tenure of the Project. 

d) Overhead charges will be portioned in proportionally divided in both the institute as per the grant released.
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 a prior approval of the ICSSR. The credit of Project shall go to the submitting Project Director.
8.17 Application submitted against one Call will not be considered in the subsequent Calls.

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

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

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


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

(A) For Major Project, a Book-length final Report in a publishable form along with an Executive Summary of the report (3000-4000 words).
(B) For Minor Project, a Final Report (about 100 page) along with a brief summary.
(C) Both documents should be submitted in hard format (two copies of final report and ten copies of summary) and a soft copy (in pen drive).
(D) Copies of research papers on the theme of research, published in reputed research journals during the period of study.


10.1 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.

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

10.3 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 19-A) duly certified by the Competent authority of the institution. 

10.4 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.

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

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


Other than the mandatory information accompanying each application, candidates should submit their research proposal in two parts:

A) A concise summary of the research proposal (about 1000 words). 

B) A detailed research proposal (about 5000 words for Major Project and 3000 words for Minor Project).

An indicative outline for the detailed research proposal is given below: 

1. Title: The research proposal should have a clear, meaningful and concise title reflecting the scope of the investigation. 

2. Introduction and / or Statement of the Problem
The research proposal should begin by clearly stating the research problem to be investigated in the light of its theoretical and/or empirical context in the relevant area.

3. Aims and/or Objectives of the Study
The general aim of the study as well as well as its specific objectives should be clearly stated in the proposal. 

4. Conceptual Framework 
Given the problem and the theoretical perspective for investigation of the problem, the proposal should clearly bring out the concepts to be used and demonstrate their relevance for the study. Besides, the dimension of empirical reality that needs to be explored for investigating the problem should also be specified.

5. Research Question or Hypotheses
Given the conceptual framework and the specification of dimension, the specific questions to be answered through the proposed research should be sharply formulated. In the case of an explanatory research design, specification of variables and positing of relationship among them through specific hypotheses must form a part of the research proposal.

6. Review of Literature
The proposal should summarize the current status of research in the area and major findings, including the researcher’s own work in the area. Existing empirical findings may also be discussed. The overview should clearly demonstrate the relevance as well as inadequacy of existing findings or approaches and provide a rationale for the proposed study. 

7. Scope and Methodology
The researcher must describe in detail (a) the scope and coverage of her/his study; and (b) approach and methodology with adequate justification. Emphasis should be given to bringing out innovativeness in approaches proposed to be followed. The detailing of the methodology may include research design, data to be collected and empirical and analytical methods to be used. The description of the methodology must be clearly linked to the aims of the research and the research questions/hypotheses of the study.

8. Relevance, Anticipated Outcomes and Proposed Outputs from the Research
The proposal should include a statement on the relevance of the study and the anticipated outcomes. It should bring out the significance of the research problem, the contribution which the proposed study is expected to make to theory and to methodology as well as its practical importance to society and policy making. It should also describe the proposed outputs from the study (Books, research papers, occasional papers with themes etc.)

9. Tentative Chapterisation
Details chapterisation should be clearly spelt out in the research proposal

10. Time Frame
The research proposal should include a phased time frame for different components of the study.

11. Estimated Budget
The budget for the study should be formulated within the guidelines and parameters as given at 5.3 & 5.4 above. It should be clearly linked to other elements of the proposal and must include a detailed justification of each item that is proposed.

12. Bibliography: Bibliography should be prepared in Chicago Manual Style.