Imperial-Indian Institute of Science Innovative Research and Education Fund


1. Purpose

The Imperial-IISc Innovative Research and Education Fund aims to help kick-start early-stage, risky and ‘blue skies’ research ideas and education collaboration that might not otherwise be pursued. The Fund promotes and supports early-stage collaboration among academics, researchers and students at IISc and Imperial by facilitating exchange between participating research groups through provision of grants to cover travel, workshops, meetings, hackathons, networks and other activities to explore research and education directions. 

2. Imperial-IISc Innovative Research and Education Fund

To support collaborative endeavours, Imperial and IISc have agreed to provide seed funding to build research and education collaboration between both universities.

A total sum of £30-40K from Imperial and INR 30-40 Lakhs from IISc will be awarded to successful Imperial and IISc teams, to develop and reinforce lasting contacts with the very best researchers and educators in their field.

Funds can be requested to support one or more of the following activities:

  • Exploratory research, travel costs and other activities that often do not receive financial support at the earliest stages. Imperial funds can also be used to support small-scale experiments 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;
  • ‘Hackathon’ or other collaborative day or week-long events involving staff and students from both institutions to explore new risky and ‘blue skies’ research directions and ideas;
  • 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.
  • Facilitation fees for online workshops (to encourage innovative ways of online interaction)
  • Payment for student assistance (to encourage student engagement in projects)

The goal is for these collaborations to support both Imperial and IISc academics to initiate and pursue collaborations that ideally lead to new science and to future applications for external funding or new innovations in education. 

3. Funding and Project Duration

This call has an indicative budget of £30-40K and INR 40 Lakhs to be awarded to 5 to 6 successful Imperial and IISc collaborating teams respectively.

Budget requests should not exceed £5K from Imperial 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.  

The maximum project duration is 1 year, with all expenditure completed by 31 July 2023.

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

Fundable (Y/N) Imperial IISc
Student support costs (e.g student bursaries) Y Y
Limited Research Consumables Y N
Travel Y Y
Accommodation Y Y
Subsistence Y Y
Networking events such as e-workshops and e-seminars Y Y
Project related equipment (for education collaboration only) Y N
Bench fees N N
Indirect and estate costs N N
Salary N N

4. How to Apply

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

At Imperial, the fund is open to permanent members of staff only. 

Proposals must be submitted to both and; with cc: Only applications submitted to these two 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 Imperial 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 Imperial-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’).
  • Applicable only to Imperial Applicants: An InfoEd / Worktribe statement is not needed.

Researchers from other institutions may also participate as a Co-Investigators and at their own expense.

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

Imperial-IISc seed fund Application form(Click here)

5. Application Deadline and Project Milestones

  • Deadline for the submission of applications: 2 September 2022
  • Release date of the results: 19 September 2022
  • Start date of the awarded projects: 20 September 2022
  • All awarded projects must end by: 31 July 2023

6. Review and Selection of Applications

At Imperial, all eligible applications will be considered for funding by the Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise) with assistance of the Cross-College Research Proposals Review Group and the International Relations Office. The Group will rank the proposals based on excellence of research/education collaboration, fit to call, value for money, potential strategic value of the partnership and the impact the award would bring to the applicant, based on their career stage and any existing networks or support. 

At IISc, all the applications will be reviewed by an internal committee of the Office of International Relations, who will rank the proposals based on the overall design and rationale, interdisciplinary and complementary nature, impact and capacity for future collaboration.

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

7. Accessing Funds

At Imperial, Faculty Finance Officers will be informed of decisions and will arrange the set-up of an award account code, where all project 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.

8. 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 and; cc:, 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 award code.

Imperial is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring, promotion and research funding decisions we will evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the impact factor of the journal where it is published. More information is available at

9. Contacts

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

Imperial College London
International Relations Office
Imperial College London
Faculty Building Level 2                
London, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7594 2868  
Indian Institute of Science; cc:
Office of international Relations
Indian Institute of Science
CV Raman Avenue
Bangalore 560012,
+91 80 2293 2560 or +91 80 2360 2567