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Water for Health
Cooperation in Research between India and The Netherlands
Call for proposals

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) jointly open a call for proposals. The topic of this call is ‘Water for Health’. This call will be implemented by the Department of Biotechnology and by Technology Foundation STW of NWO. The call offers funding opportunities for research co-operation between Dutch and Indian research groups.
This call for proposals sets out information about the possibilities for submitting applications, the conditions that applications must meet and the procedure for assessing the applications.

Call for multidisciplinary research programmes

This joint funding instrument is targeted at research programmes that are characterised by the development of new technology for improved wastewater management via a multidisciplinary approach and by collaboration with and co-financing by users (See Appendix I for Notes on Users). The proposed wastewater management solutions are to be demonstrated in an experimental testing site along the Barapullah drain in the state of Delhi that will be set-up to meet the programmes’ objectives. Expected launch of the specific testing site will take place in the week of 5-9 September 2016.

Available budget


call budget covers funding for one research programme, jointly funded by DBT and STW. The Dutch part of the programme grants are subject to a maximum of €1.470.000. Each programme should consists of at least three synergistic research projects. The maximum STW contribution is €490.000 euro per project (exclusive of Dutch VAT). A research programme allows for the application of a minimum of ten PhD/postdoc positions: five in India (duration and fellowship amount as per terms and conditions of DBT) and five in the Netherlands (duration and fellowship amount as per terms and conditions of STW, including terms contained in this brochure). The research programme has a maximum duration of six years.

The joint call of Department for Biotechnology and Technology Foundation STW supports high quality research and development programmes aiming at ‘new’ wastewater management to ensure good quality fresh water free of risk-causing contaminants and promote productive, safe reuse of water, thereby enhancing human and environmental health conditions. DBT identified the Barapullah drain in the state of Delhi as a demonstration sites for the proposed interdisciplinary technological solutions.


Recent advances in technology and engineering process design in wastewater management, including sanitation, have significantly improved the efficiency and sustainability of these processes. Consequently, wastewater treatment and reuse may contribute to better human and environmental health conditions as well as an increase in available water resources for agriculture, industrial and domestic use. The DBT-STW joint call invites research proposals focused on sustainable, costeffective, decentralised, adaptable and flexible wastewater management solutions for India. The proposed solutions must contribute to improving health conditions through technologies for treatment of wastewater streams with a focus on recovery and reuse of water, nutrients and energy. The proposed technologies should include a pilot-scale demonstration stage involving different end users and other stakeholders.

Guidelines for applicants

Who can apply : Indian principal investigators acting as (co)-applicants should be affiliated with a public funded academic or research organisation in India besides meeting other criteria that may be set by DBT. Industry can only act as partners, and are not eligible for DBT or STW funding. With regard to Dutch (co)-applicants the following criteria must be met:

Main and co-applicants : On approval of the programme, the main applicant becomes the project leader and bears ultimate responsibility for the realisation of the research including the utilisation plan. Co-applicants must play an active role (associate supervisor and/or daily supervision of researchers appointed to the project) in the realisation of the project and may be designated as sub-project leaders in the event of several participating research institutes.

Who can act as main and co-applicants?

Assistant, associate and full professors with a tenured position at:

Dutch universities (or with comparable positions at the university medical centres) o KNAW and NWO-institutes o the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI)

  • the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen
  • Dubble beamline at the ESFR in Grenoble
  • NCB Naturalis
  • Advanced Research Centre for NanoLithography (ARCNL)
  • UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
  • Wetsus European centre of excellence for sustainable water technology

Researchers with a tenure track appointment. STW defines a tenure track appointment as an appointment for experienced scientific researchers with prospects of permanent employment and a professorship in due course. The tenure track appointment must be confirmed in writing and funded from structural resources. STW will verify that the appointment meets these conditions and that it is guaranteed for the term of the project.

Main and co-applicants with a part-time appointment

  • Main applicants and co-applicants employed on a part-time basis should in any case have access to sufficient university facilities and budget to carry out the project properly.
  • Main applicants and co-applicants should carry out STW research while they are working for the research institute. If this is not the case, the other employer should sign a waiver so as to guarantee knowledge ownership by STW and the research institute(s).

Who cannot apply?

  • Personnel with a zero-hour appointment
  • Personnel with a temporary employment contract (e.g. postdocs)
  • Emeritus professors
  • Personnel of institutes with an applied or technological objective, such as TNO, the Large Technological Institutes (GTIs) and the non-university part of the Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR)
  • Personnel of a research institute funded by a public-private targeted grant
  • Personnel of foreign research institutes

Submitting an application

Research teams submit one single joint Indian-Dutch research proposal to STW before the deadline. Besides, they submit a soft copy (the electronic version) of their joint application to DBT, using the following email address: [email protected]). In addition, 4 hard copies printed on paper have to be sent to DBT through proper channel to the following address:

Dr. Shailja V. Gupta Director
International Collaboration Department of Biotechnology Block-2, 6-8th Floors, CGO Complex Lodi Road, New Delhi – 110 003

View More details here before Applying


  • Deadline expression of interest: 3 May 2016, 14.00h CET
  • Deadline for the submission of proposals: 24 May 2016, 14.00h CET
  • Eligibility check: 24-31 May 2016
  • Assessment by (international) referees: June 2016
  • Primary applicants’ rebuttal: 4-15 July 2016
  • Prioritisation by the assessment committee: August 2016
  • Board decision: 19 August 2016
  • Announcement of the decision to the main applicants: 22 August 2016

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