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 concerns. 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:

Economics, Management, Commerce, Sociology, Social Work, Social Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Socio-Sanskrit Studies, Socio-Philosophical Studies, Social Linguistics, Gender Studies, Health Studies, Political Science, International Studies, Public Administration, Diaspora Studies, National Security and Strategic Studies, Education, Social Psychology, Legal Studies, Social Geography, Environmental Studies, Modern Social History, Media Studies, Library Science

2   Eligibility

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

2.2 The scholar must possess a Ph.D. degree in any of the social science disciplines with outstanding research publications at the time of application.

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 in any social science disciplines and demonstrable research experience through publications of books/research papers/reports can also apply.

2.4 A fellow is required to affiliate himself/ herself to an ICSSR Research Institute/ institutes of national importance as approved by MHRD/ government research institute/public funded university including deemed university of his/her choice. Funds are disbursed through the affiliating/administering institution. In case of need, a scholar may be affiliated to an ICSSR regional centre.

2.5 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 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 The applications will be invited through an advertisement on ICSSR website and if required, other media channels may also be used.

3.2 The online application should be submitted before the last date. A hard copy of the application along with all enclosures and forwarding letter will have to be submitted later

to: In-charge, RFS Division, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067 before a given period of time.

3.3 The Research proposal should be submitted either in English or Hindi (Use Unicode format to fill form in Hindi).

4. Procedure for Award

4.1 Applications are scrutinized and an initial screening is done for eligibility and other conditions of the fellowship. Subject Group(s)/Expert Committee(s) short-list the eligible proposals for the next stage of interaction/presentation.

4.2 The short-listed applicants are then invited for an interaction/presentation (in person or through technology) before an Expert Committee.

4.3 After interaction, the Expert Committee/s makes recommendation for the award by the ICSSR.

5. Duration and Value

5.1 Senior Fellowship is a full time research work.

5.2 The duration of the fellowship is strictly for a period of two years.

5.3 The value of the fellowship for unemployed and superannuated scholars is Rs.45,000 p.m. and contingency grant is Rs.40,000/-p.a. 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 under the scheme. 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/NPS 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 from the date of issue of the award letter by submitting all required documents through the affiliating/ administering institution. The period of joining may be extended by the ICSSR only in exceptional circumstances.

6.2 The sanction of the fellowship is initially issued 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 second year shall be subject to the receipt of satisfactory Annual Progress Report and Statement of Account for the entire amount released for the first year.

6.3 The fellowship is released in five instalments.

  • The first instalment of six months’ fellowship and contingency will be released after submission of necessary documents and Grant-in-aid-Bill (GIB) by the awardee.
  • The second instalment of next six months’ fellowship and contingency will be released after receiving a satisfactory Six Monthly Progress report in prescribed format along with Statement of Account in respect of the first instalment.
  • The third instalment of next six months’ fellowship and contingency will be released on receiving a satisfactory Annual Progress Report preferably along with a copy of one published research paper and Statement of Account in respect of the second instalment.
  • The fourth instalment of next 03 months fellowship along with contingency will be released on receipt of a satisfactory Progress Report of 18 months in prescribed format with a copy of published research paper along with Statement of Account in respect of the third instalment.
  • The fifth and final instalment of remaining fellowship of 03 months with contingency will be released after receipt and acceptance of (a) book length Final Report in soft and 3 hard copies (including revised report based on the Expert’s comments and finally, the expert’s recommendation for accepting the report)  (b) soft and 3 hard copies of Executive Summary of Final Report (c) two published research papers (d) statement of accounts with utilization certificate in GFR-12A Form for the entire fellowship amount duly signed by the Finance Officer/Registrar /Director of the affiliating Institution.

6.4 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. The overhead charges in pay protection cases will remain capped at normal fellowship rates of ICSSR.

6.5 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 by the competent authority of the affiliating institution as well as a certified chartered accountant.

6.6 In case of salary protection fellowship, the leave salary, contribution towards gratuity etc. 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. Other benefits such as employer’s contribution in CPF or NPS will be paid as per the practice of the parent institution.

7. Monitoring of Fellowship

7.1  Regular monitoring of Fellowship is done on the basis of Six Monthly and Annual Progress Reports submitted by the scholar.

7.2 The fellowship may be discontinued if progress of the research work is found to be unsatisfactory or if the fellow indulges in violation of ICSSR rules.

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 scholars are required to publish at least two research papers in highly reputed Scopus or UGC Care list journals on the theme of the research under fellowship.

8. Other Conditions

8.1 The applicants under salary protection should have been in regular service for five years in a public funded institution. The institution shall certify that it will maintain their lien on the post during the period of fellowship and allow them to join their job after the fellowship period.

8.2 The duration of Senior Fellowship shall be strictly for two years. In no case the fellowship beyond two years will be considered. However, extension for submission of final report may be granted in exceptional circumstances without any additional financial implication.

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

8.4 The ICSSR reserves all rights to publish the fellowship report 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 after seeking permission from ICSSR.

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

8.6 ICSSR follows Government of India Rules & Directives with regard to SC & ST categories and persons with benchmark disability.

8.7 Defaulters of any previous fellowship/project/grant of the ICSSR will not be eligible for consideration until they are cleared by ICSSR.

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

8.9 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 further research or publication while acknowledging ICSSR’s contribution.

8.10  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.

However, no transfer of affiliating institution should be requested in the last six months of the study. Overhead charges will be apportioned between affiliating and administering institutions on the basis of time (in months) of such affiliation. ICSSR’s decision in this regard will be final. 

8.11 A gap of minimum 03 years is required from submission of Final Report of Post-Doctoral Fellowship and application of Senior Fellowship. In case of submission of Project Report (Research Programme/Major or Minor Project), the required gap period will be two years. However, in exceptionally meritorious cases, the expert committee may recommend for fellowship.

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

8.13 During the tenure of fellowship, the fellow will be governed by the rules of the affiliating/administering institution in all matters such as TA/DA, leaves etc

8.14 The selected fellows are expected to do full time research in India. For undertaking data collection abroad, ICSSR has a separate scheme. So, under no circumstances data collection abroad can be done from the funds allocated under the fellowship. Rejection of grant to collect data abroad cannot form an excuse for delay in completion and submission of fellowship study.

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

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

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

8.18 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.

8.19 Application submitted against one Call (advertisement) will not be considered for the subsequent Calls.

8.20 The Council reserves the right to reject any application without assigning any reasons. It is also not responsible for any postal loss/delays in communications.

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

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

8.23 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). 

8.24 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.

9. Completion of Fellowship

9.1 If a fellow leaves the fellowship within one year, he/she has to submit a detailed progress report of the work done with one publication, duly forwarded by the affiliating institution ensuring the final settlement of account by the affiliating institution. However, if a fellow leaves the fellowship after one year, he/she has to submit a detailed progress report along with an undertaking to complete the study and submit the final report on completion of the duration of fellowship along with two published research papers, duly forwarded by the affiliating institution within the duration of fellowship of two years 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. Under pay protection, no awardee will be allowed to leave without submission and acceptance of final report.

9.2 If, as a special case, a scholar remains on leave due to maternity/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.

9.3 On completion of the fellowship, the scholar should submit the following:

  • A book-length final Report in a publishable form along-with an Executive Summary of the report (up to 5000 words) and two published research papers.
  • These documents should be submitted in hard copy (three copies of final report and five copies each of the Executive Summary and research papers) and a soft copy of all these documents to be sent at ICSSR suggested mail ID.
  • A certificate of having received books, software, equipment etc. purchased out of the contingency grant to be issued by the affiliating Institution.
  • Statement of Account

9.4 A maximum of three months period can be granted by ICSSR for submission of the final report after completion of the fellowship term without any additional financial implication.

9.5 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.

9.6 Any post-award change in research design or methodology will require ICSSR’s approval.

10. Obligation of the Affiliating Institution

10.1 The affiliating institution is required to provide the requisite research infrastructure to the scholar and maintain proper accounts. For this, ICSSR 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 under normal case). The overhead charges in salary protection cases will also be capped at normal fellowship (without salary protection) rates.

10.2 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.

10.3 The affiliating institution shall open and maintain, without any delay, a dedicated bank account for ICSSR grant (Scheme Code-0877) which is duly registered at PFMS portal for release of the fellowship grant.

10.4 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.

10.5 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.

10.6 The ICSSR reserves the right to demand raw data or such part of it as may be specified to be transferred at ICSSR’s instructions.

10.7 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.