Senior Fellowship

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1. Introduction

1.1 Senior Fellowships are awarded to outstanding Indian Social Scientists for conducting full time research on themes and issues of national and social concern. These studies are expected to contribute to theoretical and conceptual advancement in different disciplines, help in generating field work based empirical data and contribute towards policy making.

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

  1. Economics/ Development Studies
  2. Management
  3. Commerce
  4. Sociology
  5. Social Work
  6. Social Anthropology
  7. Cultural Studies
  8. Sanskrit Studies
  9. Socio-Philosophical Studies
  10. Sociolinguistics
  11. Gender Studies
  12. Health Studies
  13. Political Science
  14. International Relations/Geopolitics
  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
  26. Language Studies

2 Eligibility

2.1 The scholar should not be less than 45 and more than 70 years of age as on the last date of application.

2.2 The scholar must possess Ph.D. Degree and have, in the opinion of the ICSSR, the necessary competence to conduct research in social sciences or allied disciplines in addition to having outstanding research publications at the time of application.

2.3 A fellow must affiliate himself/herself to an ICSSR Research Institute/Regional Centre, Institutes of national importance, approved by MoE/government research institute/public funded university including deemed university of his/her choice. Funds are disbursed through the affiliating/administering institution.

2.4 Faculties with regular service in public funded universities/colleges and research institutes getting UGC pay-scales may be considered for pay protection in exceptionally meritorious cases, which is to be decided by the Expert Committees of the ICSSR. The Expert Committee of the ICSSR also reserves the right to convert a fellowship proposal into a Project Proposal.

3. How to Apply

3.1 Applications will be invited through open advertisement on ICSSR website and its social media platforms and should be received before the deadline mentioned in the advertisement.

3.2 The candidates shall submit online application. All applicants are requested to take a print out of the application submitted online and send the same along with its attachments to the ICSSR to reach within 10 days from the last date of the submission of application.  Please send these documents through Speed Post to the “In charge, RFS Division, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi – 110067”. 

In case, the hard copy of application is not received within 10 days, the candidature of applicant may be treated as cancelled.

3.3 The Research Proposal should either be in Hindi or English (Use Unicode 8 (UTF-8) to fill the form in Hindi)

3.4 One applicant can submit only one application under Senior Fellowship scheme.  However, he/she can apply separately for another scheme.

4. Procedure for Award

4.1 Applications are scrutinized.

4.2 Thereafter Expert Committee(s) short-list the meritorious proposals from the eligible applications.

4.3 The short-listed applicants may then be invited for an interaction/presentation before an Expert Committee.

4.4 After interaction, the Expert Committee/s makes recommendation for the award by the ICSSR, which are finalised and approved by the competent authority.

5. Duration and Value

5.1 Senior Fellowship is a full time research work.

5.2 The duration of fellowship shall be for two years and no extension will be considered.

5.3 The value of the fellowship for unemployed and superannuated scholars is Rs.45,000/- per month and contingency grant is Rs.40,000/- per annum irrespective of the pensionary benefit.

5.4 Under Salary protection, a fellow is entitled to salary and allowances admissible as per rules and contingency grant of Rs.40,000/-p.a.  However, special allowances like children education allowance, medical reimbursement, LTC, etc. are not admissible from the ICSSR. The parent institution may, however, pay/reimburse the same as per its rule.

5.5 The ICSSR shall also pay the leave salary and pension contribution or contribution towards CPF and gratuity for the period for which he/she holds the ICSSR’s fellowship as per rules of the parent institution.

6. Joining & Release of Fellowship

6.1 The scholar has to join the fellowship within one month of the date of the award letter by submitting all required documents through the affiliating institution. This may be extended by the ICSSR in exceptional circumstances.

6.2 The fellowship will be sanctioned initially for a period of one year, effective from the date of joining of the Fellowship by the scholar. The renewal of the Fellowship for the subsequent year shall be subject to the receipt of satisfactory Annual Progress Report and Statement of Account for the fellowship released for first year.

6.3 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 satisfactory Six Monthly Progress report in the prescribed format along with the Statement of Account.

6.4 The second-year fellowship and contingency will be released in three instalments. The first instalment of six-month fellowship will be released on receipt of the Grant-in-Aid Bill (GIB). The second instalment of 03 months fellowship will be released on receipt of a satisfactory Progress Report of next six months in the prescribed format along with the Statement of Account. The final instalment of remaining fellowship along with contingency will be released after receiving the final report and its acceptance by the ICSSR and Statement of Accounts with Utilization Certificate in GFR-12A Form of the entire sanctioned amount of fellowship duly signed by the competent authority of the affiliating institution. However, in case of non-public funded institution, the final instalment of fellowship will be released on receipt of the Audited Statement of Accounts with Utilization Certificate in GFR-12A Form and verification of the documents by the ICSSR.

6.5 The 7.5% overhead charges to the public funded affiliating institution will be released only after the submission of the Audited Statement of Accounts with Utilization Certificate in GFR-12A Form and verification of the documents by the ICSSR.

6.6 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 a chartered accountant.

6.7 In case of salary protection fellowship, the leave salary and pension contribution or contribution towards CPF and gratuity, will be released only after the completion of fellowship in all respects and on receipt of due & drawn statement from the parent organization and verification by the ICSSR. In case the employee comes under the New Pension Scheme (NPS), the employer’s contribution will be released along with the salary.

7. Monitoring of Fellowship

7.1 Regular monitoring of Fellowship is done on the basis of Six Monthly and Annual Progress Reports in the prescribed format submitted by the scholar. In cases of delayed Progress Reports, the scholar may be asked to give the justification of the delay on which the final decision shall be taken by the ICSSR. The scholar may be asked to furnish an Undertaking specifying the date of final report submission to the ICSSR.

7.2 The fellowship may be discontinued if research undertaken by the fellow is found unsatisfactory or any ICSSR rules are violated.

7.3 The ICSSR may ask for annual presentation/mid-term appraisal of the research work.

7.4 During the course of the fellowship, the scholar are required to publish at least two research papers preferably in Scopus Indexed or UGC Care listed research journals or edited books on the theme of the research undertaken.

7.5 The scholars should give due acknowledgement to ICSSR while getting their research paper published.

8. Completion of Fellowship

8.1 If a fellow leaves the fellowship within one year, he/she has to submit a detailed progress report of the work done during that period ensuring the final settlement of account by the affiliating institution up to the period of the fellowship.  However, if a fellow leaves the fellowship after one year, he/she may be asked to submit the final report on completion of the duration of fellowship without claiming fellowship of the remaining period. If a candidate leaves the fellowship without completion, he/she will have to apply to ICSSR for permission and the ICSSR will take the final decision in this regard.

The scholar is expected to submit the final report within three months after completion of the duration of the fellowship.  However, extension for submission of final report may be granted on justified reasons without any additional financial commitment of the ICSSR.

In case the fellow submits the final report late directly after missing submission of periodic progress reports, the ICSSR will decide for accepting the final report and releasing the balance amount of fellowship.

8.2 On completion of the fellowship tenure, the scholar should submit the following:

a. A book-length final report along-with a Summary of the report (3000-4000 words) and two published research papers preferably in Scopus Indexed or UGC Care listed research journals or edited books on the theme of the research undertaken

b. These documents are be submitted in hard copy (two copies of final report and two copies each of the Summary and research articles) and a soft copy.

8.3 ICSSR gets every report checked for plagiarism and the Similarity Report is also generated. As a policy, ICSSR does not accept contents beyond 10 percent 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.

9. Expectations of the Affiliating Institution

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 public funded 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 fellowship.

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 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 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.

9.6 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.

9.7 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 and Utilization Certificate.

10. Conditions

10.1 The applicants under salary protection should have been in regular service for two years in an academic institution. The institution shall certify that it will maintain their lien on the post during the period of fellowship and allow them to return after the fellowship period.

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

10.3 The Copyright © of the manuscript will rest with the ICSSR.  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.

10.4 The scholar shall acknowledge ICSSR’s support in all publications resulting from the research output of the fellowship.

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

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 A fellow is not entitled for the same fellowship or pay protection more than once.

10.8 The research proposal/final report of the fellowship cannot be submitted for the award of any University degree/diploma or funding by any institution. The ICSSR however, will have no objection if the scholar utilizes the research data for this purpose.

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) Satisfactory 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 gap of minimum 03 years is required from submission of Final Report of Post-Doctoral Fellowship and application of Senior Fellowship and submission of the Project Report (Major/Research Programme/Sponsored Project).

10.11 While accepting senior fellowship from the ICSSR, a fellow should not accept any other fellowship or research project from any other institution 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 institution in all matters including drawals of TA/DA, holidays/leave and contingency grant, etc.  However, the duration and amount of fellowship will not exceed twenty four months.

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 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 The final report submitted by the scholar will be considered satisfactory, only after its evaluation by the ICSSR.

10.16 Books/periodicals/equipment purchased by the scholar out of the contingency grant should be deposited with the affiliating institution.

10.17 Application submitted against one Call will not be considered for the subsequent Calls.

10.18 The Council reserves the right to reject any application. It is also not responsible for any postal loss/delays in communication.

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

10.20 Research proposal/final report submitted for fellowship should not be under consideration for funding/ award of the degree by any University/ Institution.

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

10.22 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).