The format of the India Alliance Margdarshi Fellowship scheme has recently undergone a major revision. Significant changes have been made to broaden its scope and to enable the scheme to attract candidates of the highest caliber. A summary of the changes is provided here.
Time Commitment: flexibility to maintain dual appointment (new provision)
It is not mandatory for the Applicant to commit 100% of his/her time towards the Margdarshi programme at the host institution. Applicants will be expected to make a sensible commitment that satisfies the scientific, administrative, mentoring and team building requirements of the programme.
This flexibility on time commitment has been introduced to allow highly successful scientists to continue with their other position/commitments at the parent institution, in parallel.
Flexibility to choose the budget cap (new provision)
The old cap of INR 10 crores (~ USD 1.6 million; GBP 1.0 million) over the 5-year Margdarshi Programme has now been removed. The new format provides flexibility to the Applicant to decide the total budget of his/her programme from the pool of funds that will be earmarked by India Alliance for the Margdarshi Fellowship scheme in a particular year. For the year 2015-16, India Alliance has allocated INR 22 Crores (~ USD 3.5 million; GBP 2.3 million).
The Margdarshi Fellowship Committee will decide the number of Fellowships to be awarded in a given year and the final budget for each programme based on the quality of the cohort and individual applications.
Relocation requirement removed
Relocation from the current institution to a new Host Institution is no longer required to apply for the Margdarshi Fellowship. However, candidates who are currently located outside India must propose a Host Institution within India where the Margdarshi Programme will be based. This change was implemented in the year 2014-15. Applicants must however outline their engagement plans with the wider scientific community, and an outreach beyond the scope of their proposed research.
The Fellowship is for five years, and provides:
• Generous personal support for the Fellow
• Salary support for personnel, which may include Assistant Professors
• Equipment and supplies (including animals, if required)
• Funds to attend scientific meetings, support collaborative visits and organize meetings
• Overheads for the Host Institution
India Alliance has not set a cap for the Margdarshi Fellowship scheme. Instead, applicants are requested to share an estimate of their budgetary requirements from the pool of funds, which India Alliance will earmark exclusively for the Margdarshi Fellowship and which may vary from one year to the other. For 2015-16, INR 22 Crore (~ USD 3.5 million; GBP 2.3 million) has been allocated for the Margdarshi programme.
This option provides flexibility to request funds as per the requirements of the proposed programme, within the total ceiling in a given year. The Margdarshi Fellowship Committee will decide the number of Fellowships to be awarded in a given year and the final budget for each programme based on the quality of the cohort and individual applications.
Applicants would be expected to decide their requirement of funds on their own and the office will not be able to make any suggestions in this regard. Costs requested by the Applicant should be commensurate with their proposed programme and should be fully justified in the application. Inadequate justifications are likely to result in poor review of the application and/or costs being revised.
The budget includes the costs requested by the Applicant and the Host Institution, as well as India Alliance’s contributions towards the Fellow’s personal support and institutional overhead charges.
Applicants are required to submit a detailed budget with suitable justifications, which is prepared in consultation with the Host Institution.