University College London (UCL) – Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Joint Call for Collaborative Projects and Exchange Activities 2023-2024


With the objective of enhancing interdisciplinary and collaborative research interest between UCL and IISc, a joint research seed has been established to invite joint project proposals from faculty members from both institutions.

This scheme essentially provides seed funds for research projects to galvanize research groups from both sides to work on proof-of-concept ideas, generate data and apply for larger grants to international funding agencies. It is expected that these interdisciplinary research groups will:

  • grow in size or merge with other allied research groups and in the process enhance the level of expertise and scope of research in a specific interdisciplinary theme.
  • catalyze the synergistic ‘cross-research activity’ between the two institutes, leading eventually to joint research publications and patents.
  • attract support from external funding agencies

The joint research seed fund is a one-off grant, and the success of these project will be determined by a number of parameters, including (i) how the project has contributed to joint research activity between the two institutions and (ii) what external grants the team is able to jointly bid for on completion of the project.

1. Projects

  • This call invites research proposals in areas of mutual interest and complementarity that strengthen partnership between UCL and IISc.
  • Proposals in all fields and thematic areas are welcome, and they must include participants from both institutions; be interdisciplinary in nature; demonstrate a pathway to impact and focus on Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Up to four joint projects will be selected for funding.
  • Proposals will be assessed by a committee composed of members from both institutions.

2. Eligibility for participants within the scope of this call

i) Applications are open to the following members within UCL and IISc:

Staff members with the following roles: The call is open to all the faculty members
• Professor / Professorial Teaching Fellow or equivalent.
• Reader or equivalent
• Senior Lecturer/ Principal Researcher/ Principal Research Associate/ Senior Teaching Fellow or equivalent.
• Lecturer/Senior Research/Associate/Teaching Fellow or equivalent
• Post Doc/ Researcher/ Post Doc Fellow/ Research Associate or equivalent are eligible provided their contract covers the spend and activity period
– Applicants are not required to have a doctorate to apply but do need to hold a role at one of the levels described above.
– PhD students are not eligible to apply, but PIs are encouraged to include PhD students in their project.

3. Collaboration Activities

Collaboration activities may be based on joint projects set up by faculty/staff members of both institutions, including:

  • Joint research projects.
  • Doctoral student mobility.
  • Any other form of partnerships, to be promoted and implemented jointly when both UCL and IISc find it mutually beneficial.

4. Funding Envelope & Value and Duration of Award

Funding Envelope

Funding will be jointly provided by UCL and IISc.

UCL and IISc have allocated £20,000 and Rs. 20 lakh respectively for this call for proposals.

Value of Award

Up to five successful proposals will receive an award.

Each successful proposal will receive up to £4,000 per year for UCL faculty and up to Rs. 4 lakh per year for IISc faculty.

Duration of Award

A maximum of 12 months.

For UCL funds allocated must be consumed before 31st July 2024.

Additional Points

  • One principal investigator (PI) should submit one joint-proposal.
  • The PI’s of both institutions will need to sign the joint application, or either PI will need to confirm in writing that their counterpart has agreed to the joint submission of the application.
  • The budget provided by IISc and UCL may be spent as per norms and regulations followed in each institution. No monies can be transferred between them.
  • UCL applicants do not need to undertake Work tribe costings.
  • The funds should be used within the current financial year. For example, for UCL this means that funds must be consumed before 31st July 2024.
  • All allocated funds will be subject to audit by UCL and IISc respectively. 

5. Timeline

Call for proposals Friday 15th September 2023
Deadline for submission of proposal  Friday 27th October 2023 by 7:00pm UK time, 11.30pm Indian Standard Time 
Communication of Results to applicants By end of the week commencing 1st Week of December 2023
Start date of Awards Friday, 15th December 2023 onwards or immediately thereafter

6. Identifying Academics at IISc and UCL

7. Submission of Proposals

  1. Proposals are to be prepared and submitted as a single joint application. It is therefore crucial that academics, in particular the lead Principal Investigator (PI), liaise closely with their counterpart when completing the attached form.
  2. Please ensure that all project costs are provided for the Panel’s consideration.
  3. It is vital that both the IISc and UCL counterparts are in full agreement on all aspects of the proposal prior to formal submission.
  4. The final proposal needs to be submitted by Friday 27th October 2023, 7pm UK time, 11.30pm Indian Standard time to UCL and IISc at the same time using the following emails:



Link UCL IISc Project Proposal Application Form

8. Adjudication

  • Proposals received by IISc Office of International Relations and UCL’s Global Engagement Office will be evaluated by a separate review at each institution. This will be followed by a joint meeting to finalise the successful proposals.
  • Selection Criteria: Both internal review committees will assess each proposal according to the following criteria:
    • Project design and rationale (how clearly presented and justified is the design and basis for the collaboration)
    • Pathway for Project impact (how clearly linked are the outcomes to the planned activities and performance indicators, such as joint papers, external funding applications, joint research with industry and proposal for policy recommendations.
    • Interdisciplinary nature of the project (the aim of the funding is to encourage academics to collaborate in a project that will require a range of disciplines for successful delivery of the project)
    • Impact of collaboration (is there a distinct advantage provided by this collaboration that is not possible by the two institutions working individually?)
    • Capacity for future collaboration (what is the extent to which future collaborations are possible as a result of the proposed activities.)
  • Please state which of the seventeen UN Sustainable Goals,, your project will fall under. The information sought here is for mapping purposes. It is not part of the selection criteria.
  • A joint committee will convene to select up to four final proposals.

8. Communication of Results

Final results will be announced by means of a communication to the successful faculty members or PI’s by each institution, during week commencing Monday 13th November 2023 or immediately thereafter.

9. Reporting After Project Completion

All awardees must, as a condition of receiving an award under this call, complete a narrative report of achievements (of between 1 and 2 pages), and how they intend to take the research forward beyond the funding period. This should be completed within 3 months of completion of the project. A review meeting will also be held where PI’s from UCL and IISc, including their students, will be invited to present on their joint project.

10. Contacts

For any clarification points or questions on the joint call, please do not hesitate colleagues listed below

Professor Monica Lakhanpaul
Global Senior Strategic Advisor (India)
Professor Abhishek K. Singh
Chair, Office of International Relations
Email: and
Dr Amit Khandelwal
Senior Global Engagement Manager (South Asia & South-East Asia)
Dr Amita Sneh
Chief International Officer