Post-doctoral Fellowships are awarded social science scholars with a high potential and promise for conducting research on specific themes and issues proposed by the applicants. These studies are expected to contribute to theoretical and conceptual advancement in different disciplines, generate field-work based empirical work and new data, and are policy relevant. The studies could be both, macro or micro in nature. The broad disciplines of study, within the domain of social sciences, are:
1. Economics/ Commerce/ Management
2. Sociology/ Social Work/Social Anthropology
3. Political Science/International Studies/Public Administration
6. Legal Studies
7. Gender/ Marginalized Groups/Human Rights
9. Media/ Mass Communication
10. Other Interdisciplinary areas in Social Sciences and areas of its interface with other disciplines of research.
Within the framework of social sciences, an effort is made to promote interdisciplinary studies. In regard to other major disciplines such as environment and agriculture science, etc., areas of interface between these disciplines and the social sciences are also covered under the Fellowships scheme.
Despite the fact that the award of Fellowships is — in general– application based and demand driven, the ICSSR may periodically indicate priority areas of research by announcing in its website and by advertising in major newspapers and journals.
The Post-Doctoral Fellowships are aimed at assisting young scholars who have the potential and competence for research to work full-time on their approved research themes.
Scholars who are in regular teaching/reseach faculty positions in publicly funded insttutions may apply under Salary Protection Scheme (condition outlined in 5.2)
Eligibility for Award of Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Post-Doctoral Fellowships are awarded to scholars, preferably below the age of 50 years, who have shown significant promise and potential for research. They should have been awarded their doctoral degree. They are required to be affiliated to an academic institution. The selected fellow has to work under the guidance of a senior social scientist (not below the level of an Associate Professor). The supervisor should not be superannuated and should be in employment at the affiliating institution or other academic Institution/University/Colleges. The research proposal of the fellow is subject to the approval of the Council.
The selected fellows are expected to do full time research in India. They could however undertake field trip outside India, if the Expert Committee finds it to be necessary for their research.
Priority consideration will be given to proposals forwarded by public-funded institutions.
Proposals from only those NGOs and private institutions shall be entertained and considered which have a declared mandate and established track record of engagement with Social Science Research, furthur subject to their fullfiling other eligibility criteria as laid down by the Council from time to time. All such applicants have to mandatorily fill up and submit Annexure V as enclosed with the application form.
While accepting any fellowships from the Council, a fellow should not accept fellowship from any other organization. A fellow would not be eligible for another fellowship from the Council for five years from the date of termination of fellowship.
Defaulters of any previous grant of ICSSR under any scheme will not be eligible for consideration until the applicant has obtained the clearance of the relevant administrative division of the ICSSR.
Separate allocation under this scheme shall be made for the SC/ST candidates as per allocations made in the ICSSR plan under SCP/TSP Grant.
There shall be a reservation of 3% for differently abled applicants who may be provided additional resources as per their special requirements
Besides, a conscious effort shall be made to favourably consider while sanctioning grants to women, minorities and persons belonging to educationally backward districts as declared by Govt of India.
How to apply
All applications for Post-Doctoral fellowship have to be made on the prescribed Application Form, as attached with these guidelines, along with all the following annexures and enclosures:-
Annexure-I Abstract of the Proposal on the Prescribed Format.
Annexure-II Brief Academic CV of applicant, along with two passport photos
Annexure-III Two copies of Summary of Research Proposal in about 750 words
Annexure-IV Two copies of Detailed Research Proposal in about 3000 words [Please use the Guidelines for Research Proposal provided in this document.]
Annexure-V Institutional Profile for Applications forwarded by non-public Institutions, as per prescribed format
Annexure-VI Salary certificate and no-objection from the employer, if applying under salary protection scheme
Annexure-VII Forwarding letter from the affiliating institution
Annexure VIII Consent letter from the supervisor and his/her brief bio-data
Annexure-IX Duly attested SC/ST certificate, if applicable.
All application forms have to be submitted in soft copy either through e-mail <email@example.com> or online as the case may be. Subsequently, a hard copy of the application along with two hard copies of the proposal, duly forwarded on the prescribed format with signatures and seal of the Head of the Institution where the fellowship is to be financially administered, should be sent to: RFS Division, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067.
Incomplete applications and those not duly forwarded shall not be considered for fellowship.
Procedure for Award of Post-Doctoral Fellowship
All applications are initially short-listed by the ICSSR. The applications are thereafter evaluated by a committee of experts, set up by the ICSSR, for each social science discipline. The Committee and ICSSR may invite the scholars for interaction, if necessary. The recommendations of the Expert Committee are placed before the Research Committee/Council for approval.
Conditions of the Fellowship
The amount of Fellowship is Rs. 28,000/- p.m. (consolidated) for those not currently employed.
Salary protection may be availed in the case of employed scholars. A fellow is entitled to salary and allowances admissible at the parent institution. Also, the leave salary and pension contribution/ employer’s share of CPF contribution will be borne by the Council. The allowances and salary protected would not be more than the equivalent UGC scales/allowances. Salary protection will be applicable to the scholar employed in the publically funded institution.
In addition, a contingency grant of Rs. 20,000/- p.a. is admissible during the entire period of fellowship to a fellow, irrespective of whether a Fellow is employed or not.
The duration of fellowship is 2 years. It may be extended for up to six months to one year in special circumstances only for SC/ST/Differently Abled/women scholars and will depend on availability of funds.
The sanction of the fellowship is issued initially for one year effective from the date of joining. Each year’s grant is released in three installments in proportation of 40%, 40% and 20%. The third installment is released only on receipt of the annual progress report and the Statement of Accounts. The same procedure is followed for the second year.
The last installment is released on receipt of the final report, a Summary of the report (2000 to 5000 words), and Audited Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate in the prescribed GFR-19A format.
Monitoring of Fellowships
The research undertaken by fellow would be reviewed periodically/time to time and the fellowship being granted by the Council may be discontinued if research undertaken by any fellow is found unsatisfactory. Fellowship amount already released to a fellow may be recovered if the research undertaken by him/her is not found to be satisfactory.
All fellows are required to submit a six-monthly progress report and simple statement of accounts duly signed by the Registrar/Director/Principal of the affiliating Institution.
Post-Doctoral fellows are expected to submit the following within six months of the completion of their fellowship:
The Summary of the report (2000-5000 words).
The final report and summary must be in triplicate ( a soft copy and two hard copies)
The final report must be in form and content acceptable to the ICSSR. Fellows who do not submit their final reports would not be eligible for any funding from the ICSSR in future.
The Council will have the final report evaluated by an expert and the comments would be sent to the scholar for incorporation into / revision of/ the report.
Obligation of the Affiliating Institution
Post-Doctoral Fellows are required to affiliate themselves to a reputed academic institution, university and college of his/her choice for disbursement and administration of fellowship funds.
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 at seven and a half percent (7.5%) of the total Fellowship (fellowship amount plus contingency).
The affiliating institution where the proposed fellowship research is to be undertaken is required to give an undertaking in the prescribed format contained in the Application Form to administer and manage the ICSSR grant and provide logistical support for conducting the study.
Every six months the affiliating institution is required to submit a simple statement of accounts to the Council so that the next instalment of funds may be released.
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 19-A) duly certified by the Director/Competent authorities. The report must be in form and content acceptable to the ICSSR. The overhead charges shall be paid only after the completion of the fellowship and on receipt of the final Statement of Accounts.
Guideline for Research Proposals
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 in about 750 words giving in brief: i) Statement of the problem and context of the study; ii) Its aims; iii) research questions / hypotheses; iv)proposed methodology; v) time frame; vi) Relevance of the study and proposed outputs
B) A detailed research proposal in about 3000 words in the case of responsive research projects and Fellowships or about 5000 words in the case of large research projects or sponsored research programmes.
An indicative outline for the detailed research proposal is given below:
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.
Overview 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.