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

Introduction

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 five 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 UCL staff members with the following roles:

  • Professor / Professorial Research Fellow/ Professor (Teaching) or equivalent
  • Associate Professor / Principal Research Fellow / Associate Professor (Teaching) or equivalent
  • Lecturer / Senior Research Fellow / Lecturer (Teaching) or equivalent
  • Research Fellow / Associate Lecturer (Teaching) or equivalent
  • Research Assistant or equivalent are eligible to apply provided their contract covers the spend and activity period
  • PhD students are not eligible to apply, but PIs are encouraged to include PhD students in their project.

ii) For IISc the call is open to all the faculty members.

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. Value and Duration of Award

Up to five successful proposals will receive up to £8,000 i.e., 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, for 1 year.

Funding will be jointly provided by UCL and IISc, with 50% going to the academic at each respective institution.

One principal investigator (PI) should submit only one joint-proposal. IISc will take the lead on this, as submission will be via their on-line portal. The PI’s will need to sign the joint application, or the IISc PI will need to confirm that his UCL 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 institute.

5. Timeline

Call for proposals Wednesday 3rd November 2021
Deadline for submission of proposal Wednesday 1st December 2021 by 4pm UK time, 21.30 hrs Indian Standard Time 
Communication of Results to applicants By end of the week commencing 13th December 2021
Start date of Awards 20th December 2021 onwards

6. Identifying Academics at IISc and UCL

  • In order to identify the academics at either institution, please refer to the institutional websites in the first instance. These are http://www.ucl.ac.uk and https://iisc.ac.in/.
  • If further help is required, then UCL applicants should contact Dr Amita Sneh at iro.admin@iisc.ac.in whilst IISc applicants should touch base with Dr Amit Khandelwal at amit.khandelwal@ucl.ac.uk to seek help. We will help, where practicable and possible.

7. Submission of Proposals

  • Proposals are to be prepared and submitted jointly, and please ensure that all project costs are provided for the Panel’s consideration.
  • Compilation of the proposal will be handled by IISc. It is therefore crucial that UCL academics, in particular the lead Principal Investigator, liaise closely with their IISc counterparts who will be responsible for filling the attached form.

Link UCL IISc Project Proposal Application Form

  • The IISc counterpart will be responsible for submitting the final proposal by Wednesday 1st December 2021 by 4pm UK time, 21.30 hrs Indian Standard time. It is vital that both the IISc and UCL counterparts are in full agreement on all aspects of the proposal prior to formal submission.
  • IISc International Relations Office will forward all the proposal received after the deadline to UCL’s Global Engagement Office for adjudication.
  • So, kindly submit your complete application to iro.admin@iisc.ac.in

8. Adjudication

  • Proposals received by IISc and UCL’s Global Engagement Office will be evaluated by a separate review at each institution.
  • 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, https://sdgs.un.org/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 five 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 13th December 2021 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

UCL IISc
Professor Monica Lakhanpaul Pro-Vice-Provost (South Asia) Email: m.lakhanpaul@ucl.ac.uk Professor Praveen Kumar Chair, International Relations Office Email: praveenk@iisc.ac.in and Chair.oir@iisc.ac.in
Dr Amit Khandelwal Senior Partnership Manager (South Asia) Email: amit.khandelwal@ucl.ac.uk Dr Amita Sneh International Relations Officer Email: iro.admin@iisc.ac.in