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Senior and Intermediate Fellowships in Biomedical Research 2016

Deadline: Deadline: Always Open07-Mar-2016
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AwardStipend, funds for research, funds to develop international collaborations
EligibilityA PhD in science discipline and 4-15 years of post-PhD research experience
RegionAll India
Scholarship provider contact details

Hyderabad Office
The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance
H. No. 8-2-684/3/K/19, 1st Floor, Kaushik Society
Road No. 12, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034
Telephone No : +91 40 4018 9445 / 6 / 7
Fax : +91 40 4018 9449
Working Hours : Monday – Friday: 9.00 – 18.00 hrs

What is Senior and Intermediate Fellowships in Biomedical Research 2016?

The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance (India Alliance) is an initiative funded equally by The Wellcome Trust, UK and Department of Biotechnology, India.

We offer Fellowships across the full spectrum of biomedical science: from fundamental biology through to clinical and public health research.

Senior Fellowship:  For researchers who have been successful in building a track record of pursuing a cutting edge research and wish to establish their own independent research program in India. Suitable for applicants with 7-15 years of post-PhD research experience.

Intermediate Fellowship: For postdoctoral researchers who have demonstrated their potential to lead an independent research program and want to expand it further to undertake pioneering research. Suitable for applicants with 4-7 years of post-PhD research experience

Who can apply for this scholarship ?

  1. No age or nationality restrictions
  2. A PhD in any discipline of science The candidates need not be resident in India while applying but should be willing to relocate to and work in India
  3. A salaried position or commitment towards a salaried position at the Host Institution is not required.
  4.  This competition is open for basic science/veterinary researchers between 4 -15 years of post-PhD research experience.
  5. The Applicants are advised to choose the most appropriate scheme suitable for them based on their qualification, research experience, career trajectory and track record. Please refer to the guidance notes, provisions and mandate of the scheme for deciding on the scheme you wish to compete for. The Office reserves the right to advice on the suitability of the scheme accordingly.

How can you apply ?

Application can be done online only.



I am still pursuing a PhD. Will I be eligible to apply for the Early Career Fellowship?
Applicants are advised to apply for an Early Career Fellowship when they are in the last year of their PhD. It is not necessary to have finished your PhD viva or received you PhD degree at the time of application. However, it is essential that you determine that you will indeed finish within a year's time from the time of application. If you are recommended for an award, the grant will not start till the Office has received confirmation from your thesis supervisor that you have successfully defended your PhD viva or an equivalent exam.

Are these Fellowships restricted to Indian Nationals?
These fellowships are open to all nationals. However, in keeping with our mandate, it is essential that a major part of the research should be conducted at the sponsoring host institution in India.

How can I assess my eligibility before applying for the Fellowship scheme?
The India Alliance considers the date of your successful PhD viva (final defense) to be the point at which your PhD studies are complete. Any research activity undertaken after this date is assumed to contribute to time calculated towards your eligibility for the respective Fellowship scheme.

Do you consider interruptions in the research career when you calculate eligibility for a Fellowship?
Yes, the India Alliance takes into consideration any interruptions in your research career due to unavoidable personal circumstances or your involvement in non-research activities e.g., maternity leave. Further clarifications can be sought by writing to

Will experience in the industry be accounted as research experience?
 Any research activity regardless of the type of organization where it was carried out would be counted towards years spent on research post-PhD. Research conducted in academia and in industry are considered at similar levels.

Do I need a contract of employment with the sponsoring host institute before applying to the India Alliance?
A sponsoring host institute in India is a prerequisite for all India Alliance Fellowships, regardless of whether you are employed there or not. Status of the applicant's employment at the respective institute does not affect their assessment by the office although it is encouraged that applicants find an appropriate sponsor at the time of their application.

Am I eligible to apply if I have a permanent position at my sponsoring host institute?
As long as you satisfy the eligibility criteria for a particular scheme, your status of employment at the sponsoring host institute does not preclude you from applying to the India Alliance.


What is the duration of funding?
No cost extension.

What costs are covered by the Alliance?
The India Alliance provides personal support of the Fellow and directly incurred research costs associated with the Fellowship project; these may include staff salaries, equipment, materials and consumables, animals etc. If the applicant is moving from an overseas lab to their Indian host institution, they may request for relocation charges (one-time expense of maximum INR 1 Lakh), provided their total budget does not exceed the cap of the fellowship they have applied for. There is no provision of funding equipment and staff salaries under the Early Career Fellowship scheme. For detailed information on our costing policies, click here.

Is there any limit on the number of staff one can ask for?
Applicants may request up to 2 posts if applying for the Intermediate Fellowship, while the applicants applying for the Senior Fellowships can ask up to 4 posts. However, The Early Career Fellowships do not provide any support for the support staff.

Can I request a postdoctoral fellow on my application?
Both Intermediate and Senior Fellowship applicants can request funds to hire postdoctoral fellows on their grant. A total of 2 staff positions can be requested on an Intermediate application and 4 staff positions on Senior application. All staff requests should be scientifically justified.

Can I request overhead charges as applicable in my host Institution?
No, as mentioned in the section for costing policies, the India Alliance will provide the host institution with 10 percent of the total award as our contribution towards the indirect costs incurred in administering the grant. Therefore any such request would not be taken into consideration.

Can I request contingency on my grant application?
Flexible Funding Allowance (FFA) are contingency funds provided to grant holders to compensate in the variation in charges of (equipment, consumables etc.) due to annual inflation. FFA is fixed for each of the Fellowship schemes. This can also be used to meet any unforeseen expenses during the tenure of the grant. Read more about FFA here.

Do you have resubmission policy?
As of October 2011, the India Alliance has revised its resubmission policy. Applicants who are unsuccessful at the preliminary application stage, may re-apply to the same scheme, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria for the scheme. Applicants who are unsuccessful at the full application stage, may NOT apply to the same scheme. This implies that once into the full application stage, applicants have only one opportunity to compete in that scheme. There is no restriction in terms of applying to various schemes. However, you may not apply to two schemes simultaneously, and you may not apply to a scheme that is junior to your first full application to the India Alliance.

Do I have to get ethical approval for conducting human studies? If yes, when should I apply for this?
Yes, the India Alliance requires ethical approval from the necessary authorities if your study will use human patient samples or your research is human patient-oriented. The India Alliance does not require ethical approvals at the time of submission of full application. However, to ensure that all ethical approvals have been obtained, activation of the award is subject to the condition of submitting the approvals to the India Alliance.

Is study involving human cells or a cell line considered as human subject research?
 Any research that involves the use of human cell lines available from a cell line repository is not considered human subject research. As long as information on a cell is publicly available the India Alliance does not require ethical clearance for its usage.

What is the open access policy?
All India Alliance funded research work accepted in peer reviewed journals would have to open access i.e., the complete article should be available free of cost.

How will open-access costs be met?
Open access charges for enabling a publication permanently accessible to everyone are paid by the author to the journal (Publisher). The Alliance would provide open access charges to the grant holders, where these costs fall within the period of the grant.
What if an application similar to the one submitted to the India Alliance is submitted to another funding agency while it is being considered by the India Alliance?
If you are successful in obtaining an India Alliance Fellowship for a similar application submitted to another agency we would expect that you would withdraw the application from the other funding agency.

Can I hold another Fellowship along with the one from India Alliance?
The India Alliance does not permit its Fellows to hold two Fellowships concurrently. Early Career Fellows are not allowed to hold other grants for the duration of their India Alliance Fellowship. The Fellows are allowed to apply or hold Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award (IYBA) or National Bioscience Award for Career Development (NBACD). The Dual Fellowship policy is not applicable to these Awards. For more details, kindly refer to India Alliance Award Conditions
Can my application include an industrial collaborator?
Being a non-profit charitable organization, the India Alliance will not fund application where a for-profit collaborator is one of the partners of the research.

How many hours do I have to spend on India Alliance funded research?
The India Alliance expects its Fellows to spend 100% (Early Career) and at least 80% (Intermediate), 70% (Senior), and 50% (Senior Renewals) of their research time on IA-funded research. Teaching and other administrative duties are expected not to exceed more than 2 hours per week for Early Career Fellows and no more than 8 hours a week for Intermediate/ Senior Fellows.
Where do I fill in the preliminary application?
Preliminary applications must be filled in and submitted using IASys, India Alliance Online Application System. Please ensure that the application is submitted by the specified deadline.

Do I need to send the hard copies of preliminary application form and letter of support to the IA office?
No, hard copies are not required by the office. Preliminary application and the letters must be submitted online using IASys.

Is it possible for the secondary applicants to submit their letter of recommendation confidentially?
Secondary applicants (Sponsor, External sponsor, Fellowship supervisor) must participate in the application process through our new online application system IASys. Once nominated by the applicant, they receive a system generated email with their log-in details to enable them to fill in their basic information and confirm their participation. In case of tertiary applicants (Collaborators, Mentors and others willing to provide recommendation), they are sent an automated email with your request once nominated and they can send their letters by simply replying to the email. Alternately, any individual wishing to submit a letter to the India Alliance under cover may do so by sending the letter via email Please ensure that the letter is clearly marked in the applicant's name.

How do I submit my full application?
Full application can be submitted using IASys, India Alliance online application system. Applicants should refer to the general guidance for application (user guide, available once registered on IASys). Note: Full applications can be submitted by invitation only.

Can I create my own application instead of using the online submission system?
 No, only applications that use the IASys online application form will be accepted. For more information on IASys, please visit:

The deadline for submitting an application has passed. Can I still apply?
The India Alliance will not accept a late submission unless there are clearly exceptional mitigating circumstances that prevented the applicant from submitting a completed form by the due date. Please note that for the Full application, a concerted effort is required by the applicant, host institution and the sponsor. It is expected that the applicant work with their partners to ensure that all material is submitted to the India Alliance on time since all deadlines are announced significantly in advance.

Is it mandatory to have a Sponsor at the Preliminary Application Stage?
It is not mandatory to have a sponsor at the preliminary application stage, but if invited to make a full application you will have to provide information from and about your Sponsor.

Sponsoring Institute
What is the sponsoring host institute expected to provide?
The sponsoring host institute is expected to provide the following: 1. agree to administer the award for the full tenure of the Fellowship 2. assure that its space and resources will be available to the applicant 3. ensure that if awarded, the Fellow would be provided status and benefits similar to others employed in equivalent/similar position at the institution

How do you determine if the sponsoring host institution is eligible to receive India Alliance funding?
Typical requirements for an institution to be eligible to receive funds from the India Alliance are it should be a non-profit organization, willing to agree to India Alliance's grant conditions and its mission is broadly in line with that of the India Alliance. Please contact if you require specific information regarding your organization.

How do you assess if an organization is non-profit?
A nonprofit organization does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders, but instead uses them to help pursue its goals. It includes charitable organizations. Most government-funded institutions, government agencies and deemed Universities in India meet this definition. Please note that we do not provide support to other charities where the sole intention is for that charity to redistribute the funds.

Is funding available to pursue a PhD?
India Alliance Fellowships are intended to support the researchers at key stages of their career after their doctoral studies (newly qualified postdoctoral researchers, postdoctoral scientists and senior scientists). Therefore, we don't have any provision to provide fellowships for supporting any kind of doctoral studies. However, graduate students can aim for the Early Career Fellowship as a launching pad of their scientific career immediately after finishing their PhD.

Is there any provision of partial support?
We do not provide supplementary funds for any work supported by other funding agencies.

What is the remit of research funded by the Alliance?
Our mission is to advance biomedical research related to human and veterinary medicine through support of basic, clinical and population based research. Any scientific investigation required to understand the underlying life processes which affect human and animal well-being can be funded by the Alliance

Do you provide Travel assistance to attend conferences?
The India Alliance does not currently provide funds specifically to attend meetings. However, you may wish to consider travel assistance provided by other national funding agencies such as DST, CSIR , INSA , Indo-US Science and Technology Forum and DBT

Terms and Conditions

Remit: Full spectrum of biomedical science from fundamental molecular and cellular studies through clinical and public health research. Interdisciplinary projects are welcome.

Provisions: The 5 year Fellowship support provides

  • Competitive personal salary support
  • Generous and flexible funds for research
  • Funds to develop international collaborations

Requirements: The following are essential for the application.

  • A research proposal that is based on a hypothesis and seeks to answer an original biomedical research question
  •  A not-for-profit Host Institution in India that will administer the Fellowship for the full duration of the award
  • A sponsor at the Host Institution, who can guarantee space and resources for the duration of the award

Preliminary applications due by 7 March, 2016

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