IISc-Rice University Collaboration Fund

  1. Purpose

The IISc-Rice Strategic Collaboration Fund aims to promote and support innovativeresearch collaborations between the two institutions. 

The objective is to support the development of early-stage projects that, either through establishing new links or strengthening existing ones, are likely to lead to collaborations that are innovative, sustainable and mutually beneficial.   

Proposals include exchange of academics and students, workshops, pilot studies, data generation and other activities. The goal is for these collaborations to support IISc and Rice academics to initiate and pursue collaborations that may lead to new science and future applications for external funding. 

  1. Collaborative Activities

One or more of the following example activities could be supported via the fund: 

  • Travel costs and other activities that often do not receive financial support at the earliest stages. 
  • Rice funds can be used to support small-scale experiments, pilot studies or the development of prototypes; 
  • ‘Outward/inward visits for academics, research staff and students to investigate the potential for, initiate, follow-up, or work on a collaborative project or training opportunity, and for other stakeholder engagement; 
  • Longer stays for students or research staff (up to maximum 2 months) to learn new techniques, analyse results or undertake other activities; 
  • Set up of new networks to promote the exchange of ideas, best practice, and other research goals; 
  • Networking events such as workshops and seminars to bring together researchers to foster new links or strengthen existing collaborations. 
  • Payment for student assistance to encourage student engagement in project. 
  1. Funding and Project Duration

This call has an indicative budget of $125K and INR 25 Lakhs to be awarded to 5 successful Rice and IISc collaborating teams respectively. 

Budget requests should not exceed $25K from Rice and INR 5.0 Lakhs from IISc per project. Funds can only be spent on activities that fit the purpose of this call.  Applicants should itemise their budget using the tables in the application form.   

For IISc seed fund holders, the maximum project duration is 1 year and expenditure must be completed by 31 March 2025. 

For Rice seed fund holders, the maximum project duration is 1 year and expenditure must be completed by 30 April 2025. 


Please refer to the list of fundable/non-fundable items below: 

Fundable (Y/N)  Rice  IISc 
Student support costs (e.g student travel/ bursaries)  Y  Y 
Limited Research Consumables  Y  N 
Travel  Y  Y 
Accommodation  Y  Y 
Subsistence  Y  N 
Project related equipment (for education collaboration only)  Y  N 
Bench fees  N  N 
Indirect and estate costs  N  N 
Salary  N  N 


  1. How to Apply

At IISc, the fund is open to all faculty members. 

At Rice, the fund is open to all faculty members.  

Proposals must be submitted to both global@rice.edu and iro.admin@iisc.ac.in; with cc: chair.oir@iisc.ac.in. Only applications submitted to these email addresses, and before the deadline, will be considered. 

One proposal per Principal Applicant per call is permitted. 

Each application should have one Principal Applicant based at Rice and one Principal Applicant based at IISc and should contain: 

  • A written case for support (maximum 2 pages) to include: 
  • A description of the relevant research/training conducted by the Rice-based individual/group in recent years; 
  • A description of the activities and collaboration proposed; 
  • Explanation of how the activities proposed will generate demonstrable added value to the PI / Research Group / Department / Faculty / College 
  • A description of the opportunities available for leveraging funding 
  • A financial summary: Each application should provide information on the requested costs using the budget section of the application template (see ‘Funding Requested’). 

Applications must be completed on the template provided and within the page limit stated. 

Rice-IISc seed fund Application form(Click here) 

  1. Application Deadline and Project Milestones
  • Deadline for the submission of applications: 31st March 2024 
  • Release date of the results: 19th April 2024 
  • Start date of the awarded projects: 4th week of April 2024 
  • All awarded projects must end by: 31st March 2025 
  1. Review and Selection of Applications

At Rice, all eligible applications will be considered for funding by a committee appointed by the Rice Global Office.  

At IISc, all the applications will be reviewed by an internal committee of the Office of International Relations. 

IISc and Rice will then jointly review applications to make a final decision on which applications will receive funding. 

Applications will be ranked on: 

  • Overall design and rationale – how feasible is the proposal? 
  • Excellence of the research – what is the quality of the proposed project? 
  • Value for money 
  • Impact the award would bring to the applicants based on their career stage and existing networks 
  • Potential strategic value of the partnership – to what extent will the proposal lead to future, sustainable collaboration? 
  1. Accessing Funds

At Rice, Rice Global staff will arrange and communicate the set-up of the iO projects where related expenditure should be charged. 

At IISc, Dean of the Finance and Administration will be informed of decisions and to arrange the allotment of funds to awardees. 


  1. Reporting

Principal Applicants who are successful in receiving an award are required to provide a report within 2 weeks of the end of the award period, to both global@rice.edu and iro.admin@iisc.ac.in; cc: chair.oir@iisc.ac.in, using a template provided.  The narrative element of the report should provide details of the relevant activities supported and how these have addressed the objectives of the call. The financial element of the report serves as a Final Expenditure Statement and should detail the award amount and the award spent.  Responsibility remains with the PI to ensure all spend has been charged to the correct budget code. 

  1. Contacts

Please contact your respective institution’s coordinator if you have any queries about this grant: 

Rice University
Rice Global
Rice University
6100 Main Street MS- 664
Houston, TX 77005 
Indian Institute of Science
iro.admin@iisc.ac.in; cc: chair.oir@iisc.ac.in
Office of international Relations
Indian Institute of Science
CV Raman Avenue, Bangalore, KA 560012. +91 80 2293 2560 or +91 80 2360 2567   

Announcement of Successful IISc-Rice University Joint seed fund projects:

List of Sucessful IISc-Rice University joint seed fund projects 2024.xlsx