D. S. Kothari Post-Doc Fellowships to increase R&D in India

By TwoCircles.net staff reporter

New Delhi: To help increase the availability of high quality research personnel and opportunities for hi-tech research in India, University Grants Commission (UGC) is launching a new scheme for Post-Doctoral Fellowships (PDFs).

Support TwoCircles

Named after Prof. D. S. Kothari, eminent educationist, scientist and former Chairman of UGC, this new scheme is launched for the academic session 2007-08 to commemorate his birth centenary.

Pune University has been nodal university for this scheme. An MOU to this effect was signed between the UGC and Pune University recently.

Open to students who have received a Ph. D. degress or have submitted Ph. D. thesis are eligible to apply. Number of awards can go up to 500 every year and can increase to 1000 at its peak according to information received from the UGC.

The selection process under the scheme would be open all the year round and not restricted by any specified deadlines as thesis submission and award of Ph.D degree are open ended processes. There would be a rolling advertisement on the UGC website; other institutions and UGC affiliates would be encouraged to replicate it on theirs. Applications would be submitted electronically on forms that can be downloaded from the web and the entire process would be carried out on-line.

A standing peer group would evaluate the applications. Since this is a promotional scheme to inculcate post-doctoral research culture, emphasis during the review process/selection would be on an appropriate mix of the candidate’s accomplishment at Ph. D level and the professional standing of mentor and institution where the post- doctoral research is to be carried out.

When selected, those holding the Ph. D degree will be directly awarded the named PDF. Those who have submitted their Ph. D thesis may be awarded a ‘bridging fellowship’ (with marginally reduced stipend) until they are formally awarded the Ph. D degree.

The fellowship will be awarded on a yearly basis with renewal/termination clause on the basis of PDF mentor/peer group appraisal. However, the maximum duration of the PDF award would be 3 yrs. Candidates should give an undertaking while availing the award, along with the endorsement of the research mentor, that they would stay in place for a minimum of six months.

He stipend for these awards would be Rs.18,000-22,000 per month with annual increase of Rs.1000 per month. The ‘bridging fellowship’ stipend would be Rs.16,000 per month.

The PDFs award would carry a contingency grant of Rs.50,000 per annum.

UGC’s initiative to launch a prestigious PDF scheme, named after an illustrious scientist, is one of the important and timely steps which fill a widely felt void in availability of high quality research personnel in the country.