IISc-University of Manchester (UoM)

The University of Manchester (UoM) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) are pleased to announce a new seed-corn fund to support collaborative research projects and to build on the existing partnerships between the two institutions. The aim of the fund is to establish new collaborations, facilitate work on proof-of concept ideas, and in the longer term to build international teams who are well positioned to apply for external research funding.

1. Projects 

Proposals may include targeted research support such as joint workshops, researcher exchanges, and the formation or development of a collaborative network. To be eligible, a proposal must include a PI from UoM and IISc, and at least one other researcher on each team. We encourage early career researchers to apply. 

To complement mobility between institutions we would expect projects to make full use of the available technology for online workshops/meetings in order to maximize the benefit of the collaboration.  

The funding commitment comprises up to £20,000 from UoM and 20 Lakhs INR from IISc. It’s anticipated that between four and six projects will be funded via this call depending on the quality and value of applications received. 

The fund is open to proposals across all research areas. Projects will be funded for a period of up to 18 months starting from August 2023. There is flexibility on start dates, but we would expect all projects to be underway by October 2023 at the latest. 

Proposals with the potential for sustainability beyond the initial funding period are encouraged. 

2. Costs and proposal 

Proposals may include workshops (face-to-face and virtual), symposia, staff exchanges, research seminars/presentations and formation or development of a collaborative network. 

The funding provided is intended to support expenses, including but not limited to costs of travel between the institutions, and necessary related consumables. Details of eligible and ineligible costs are detailed in the table below. 

Eligible Costs  Ineligible costs 
  • Travel costs including flights, hotels and subsistence 
  • Research costs including consumables (University of Manchester budget only) 
  • Costs associated with networking events, workshops and meetings 
  • Replacement research/teaching costs 
  • Directly allocated costs including applicants’ time 
  • Indirect costs/estates costs 
  • Equipment 
  • Scholarships 
  • Conference attendance 
  • Tuition fees 
  • Honoraria 

 Each partner should pay its own costs and there can be no transfer of funds between institutions. For example, travel costs for Manchester staff should be in the Manchester budget, costs for a workshop taking place at IISc should be allocated in the IISc budget. 

 3. Eligibility 

 UoM: Academic staff members from all disciplines and at all levels are welcome to apply. The lead applicant must be a permanent member of staff. We encourage early career researchers to apply. Post-doctoral staff are eligible to apply on the condition that the end of their post- doctoral contract is after the end of the proposed project. Emeritus and honorary staff are not eligible to apply as PI but may be members of the project team. 

 IISc: Proposals can be submitted by all faculty members, and we encourage early career researchers to apply.  

 4. Funding 

 We expect to support up to six projects in this round for a funding period of 18 months. Recipients will be awarded: 

  • Up to 5k GBP from Manchester to support Manchester applicants and 
  • Up to 5 Lakhs from IISc to support IISc applicants. 

 Each institution will pay funds directly to its researchers. Approval of expenditure will be governed by each university for the portion of funding provided.

5. Timeline 

Call for proposals opens  Tuesday 2nd May 2023
Deadline for submission  Monday 3rd July 2023
Applicants notified  Friday 28th July 2023
Project start date  August 1st (Latest by October 2023) 

 6. How to Apply 

This is a joint call and a single application should be submitted online using the University of Manchester’s Qualtrics system. The form can be previewed here. Applicants from both institutions should agree the content for the submission before the University of Manchester/IISc academic applies using the online form. 

 The full proposal is comprised of the following elements: 

  1. Administrative Details – includes the lead faculty members and affiliations from each institution with contact details. 
  2. Project Proposal which includes the following information: 
  • Abstract that describes the project (150 words) 
  • Description of the planned activities including timeline (200 words). 
  • Collaborator complementarity (250 words) – a description of how the proposed activities combine mutual areas of interest and strength and the added value of these combined expertise. 
  • Impact (2x 250 words) 
  • Project Impact – Description of the expected academic gains for the project as a result of the proposed cooperation and mobility, and the identification of corresponding performance indicators e.g. a publication, blog, meeting report etc. 
  • Early career and graduate researcher involvement: Any opportunities for their engagement and anticipated benefits to the project and the early career and graduate researchers themselves, as applicable. 
  • Capacity for Future Collaboration (250 words) – A description of the potential future collaborations and outcomes that will be possible as a result of having undertaken the current collaboration. For example: joint publications, joint supervision of graduate researchers, joint teaching, joint policy documents, and joint funding applications. 
  • Budget – A breakdown of the cost of the activity e.g. flights, local travel, accommodation etc. 
  • Project Team Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae of the team members with a selected list of publications.

7. Evaluation Criteria 

 A joint review panel will assess each proposal according to the academic merit and the following criteria: 

  • Project design and rationale: How clearly presented and justified is the basis for, and design of, the Project? How do the proposed activities assist with establishing new and growing emerging research collaborations? What are the anticipated benefits of involving ECRs and/or graduate researchers? (20%) 
  • Collaborator complementarity: What is the added value of the new or emerging collaboration? How do the proposed activities combine mutual areas of interest and strength? (30%) 
  • Potential impact: What desired outcomes do the planned activities set out to achieve? What are the anticipated benefits of the activities to local or international communities? (20%) 
  • Capacity for future collaboration/funding: What is the potential for this project to foster ongoing collaboration, and through what mechanism(s)? How well does the proposed collaboration plan to access external funding? (30%) 

A fEC costing is not required. The budget section of the application is straightforward and should not require input from Research Services teams. However, if you feel you need support then please follow local School procedures for submitting grant applications. 

Reporting After Project Completion 

All awardees must, as a condition of receiving an award under this call, complete a narrative report that describes the outcomes, nature of collaboration, project impact, trainee involvement and opportunities for future collaboration that evolved from their project. 

Information about this Call  

The University of Manchester 

Alex Gaskill, International Research and Partnerships Development Manager, Faculty of Science & Engineering – alexander.gaskill@manchester.ac.uk   

Indian Institute of Science 

Amita Sneh, Consultant, Office of International Relations – iro.admin@iisc.ac.in