Rs. 6 lakh research start-up grant for young faculty: UGC

In order to boost research development among young faculty in India, HRD Ministry and UGC have launched a scheme to give start-up grant for newly-hired faculty. A grant of Rs 6 lakh will be given by UGC under this initiative.

“The MHRD/UGC empowered committee, spearheading to strengthen basic scientific research in universities and colleges, has found it desirable to launch a scheme on research start-up grant for newly-recruited faculty at the assistant professor level,” reads the notification issued by the UGC.

The eligibility criterion includes a PhD degree and at least two published research papers in approved/cited journals. The scheme applies to all teachers hired at the level of assistant professor against the permanent post, in basic science, engineering and technology departments.

“The grant has to be utilised within two years of approval. The assistant professor will send the utilisation certificate along with statement of expenditure through the university/college,” reads the notification.

The assistant professor will have to apply within a period of six months from the date of joining.The proposal must include details of origin of the research problem, its significance and potential to contribute in the field of social relevance or national importance, year-wise plan and targets to be achieved. The empowered committee of the MHRD/UGC will select the candidates on the basis of ‘expert appraisal’.

“This is an important step to boost research. There’s an urgent need in our country to identify young talent and encourage them and this financial incentive for research work is a step in that direction. However, while grants are necessary, it is equally important to create a culture of curiosity and research across educational institutes. We should also allow exchange of ideas and equipment between institutions to enable maximum utilisation of resources,” said Snehalata Deshmukh, eminent academician and former vice chancellor of Mumbai University.

[Source: Indian Express]

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20 thoughts on “Rs. 6 lakh research start-up grant for young faculty: UGC”

  1. I must say it’s a great way to motivate fresh faculty to continue their research work especially at college level. The funding schemes not only make it possible to develop a research laboratory in the college but also create an ambiance that is motivating for the students to further continue with science.

  2. This is no doubt a nice step by UGC. However, the criterion , a PhD degree and at least two published research papers in approved/cited journals is not enough. The publications should not be more than two authored and must be after the year in which Ph. D degree was awarded to the candidate. This is because of the fact that many times a Ph. D supervisor contributes maximally in publishing the research paper from the thesis work. Obviously the post doctoral publications reflects the suitability of a possible independent researcher. Therefore emphasis should be given on publications after Ph.D , that too not as obligatory author.
    Prof. Anand Kar,Life Science,DAUniv.,Indore

  3. I joined in 2005 waiting for some ‘seed’ grant to start with – its difficult for a newly recruited faculty to start funded research, there was also some announcement in 2006 for a similar grant, but it takes UGC 7 years from the announcement to finally approve it, that too Rs. 6 lacs. If India wants to excel in basic science, then such small measure will not do anything…we need more funding and more such initiatives to motivate and retain young faculty in academics and research…when you join as a young faculty in Universities, UGC should set you free for one year with starting grant and to develop your course curriculum and research interests, after one year you should be allowed to take classes and then actively pursue research…the first grant should be 10 lacs, and the faculty should be free to experiment, currently there is lot of pursuing and buttering one has to do with so many officials before you can actually start doing science – it kills the spirit..and there is no incentive to get funding…!

  4. However, it is one of the positive steps by the MHRD/UGC to promote the research and development at the University/ College level, but the time limit of 6 months (of joining) debars many faculty members. In order to exploit the potential of the faculty at the lower level fully, the scheme should be extended to all at assistant professors. The input as well as output is always more at this level.

  5. First of all I congratulate the UGC for lunching the scheme of providing Rs.6 lakh grant for research, but conditions stipulates that only those faculty members who have joined within 6 months are eligible to apply is not desirable. In my opinion it should be within five years from the date of joining and scheme is only meant for science background faculty. The arts and social sciences should be added into the scheme. As only providing grants to sciences and denying to other branches would result in despair in other faculty members