Exclusive Govt Fellowships For Women Scientists & Researchers
Exclusive Govt Fellowships For Women Scientists & Researchers. Despite the boundless gains and promising trends pointing towards gender equity, women representatives are very less in academia and R&D sectors, as qualified women have to leave their career owing to their family responsibilities. Increasing the women participation in diverse fields is a global goal, the participation of female candidates decreases inexplicably at each ascending branch of the academic tree.
Doctoral students have a burning desire to complete their studies at the earliest to get their degree. But on this journey, they encounter numerous challenges that may hinder their headway. To outline some of the challenges that doctoral students face include uncomfortable events in research life, lack of healthy student-supervisor relationships, isolating lab atmosphere and poor research and writing skills, raising a drop-in motivation within them that their research is delayed, and they do not make any progress. In certain cases, the challenges a PhD student face may differ depending on their gender. Women may have to face greater complications when compared to men, but they may have the ability to handle the challenges differently and efficiently than men.
So, let us have a close look into the life of a Women research scholar- the problems and its solution
Obstacles in the doctoral journey of a female student
There are numerous barriers stated more by women than men in succeeding at various stages in the doctoral journey. Accumulating pieces of evidence from surveys have pointed out financial constraints, time management, family management, self-expectations, frequent evaluation and workload as some of the common stress factors affecting female doctoral students. It has been reported that females have the highest stress level than male doctoral students. One reason cited for the increased stress among women was that these female students have an added role of a student to an already existing set of responsibilities including caretaking and family life. They have many concerns such as their aging parents, children, and partner relationship and so are impacted by both personal and societal responsibilities. These multifaceted responsibilities can affect female students physical and mental well-being and the possibility of completing their doctoral studies.
Due to the multiple roles, women must undertake in their daily life, balancing personal and professional life becomes a daring challenge, which in turn exposes them to face an internal conflict between their personal and professional life. This crosstalk between the different roles and a shortage of time and energy often leads to stress, which may lead to physical and mental health issues. Moreover, the added student role, besides the family role makes the doctoral study a difficult journey to many female students.
Furthermore, women are less likely to pursue the highest levels of education and seek degrees in high-status areas as they are more likely to exit their programmes before completion of their studies due to various constraints. Unfortunately, many women must interpose their careers for personal reasons. The most common and predominant reason for an anomaly leading to a gender gap in R&D is due to women quitting the PhD due to the relocation issue. As a PhD can take a longer duration, the female students getting married or, looking after old or ailing parents, or having other familial responsibilities mostly have to drop it in the midway as they must relocate. This unexpected break can spell a disaster on a woman’s long-term passion to be called “doctor”.
To address this issue Government of India have initiated exclusive fellowship schemes to ensure that women candidates can complete their PhD and can pursue a career in the research and development sector.
Exclusive Govt Fellowship For Women Scientists & Researchers are listed below:
- The University Grants Commission (UGC) has introduced quite a lot of measures to promote maximum enrolments of women in Ph.D. and M.Phil. courses. The measures embrace lying down provisions in the UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of M.Phil. / Ph.D. Degrees,2016) Regulations for relaxing the maximum time for completion of Ph.D. or MPhil by women candidates, the course duration has been relaxed by two years for PhD and one year for MPhil course. It also allows transfer of research data in case of relocation of an M.Phil./Ph.D. woman researcher; and permitting women candidates maternity leave/child-care leave once in the whole duration of M.Phil./Ph.D. for up to 240 days. These rules are also applicable to physically handicapped candidates (40% disability).
In case of relocation of an M.Phil./Ph.D. the woman scholar due to marriage or other personal needs, research data is permitted to be transferred to the new University to which the scholar intends to relocate provided the research work does not relate to a project secured by the parent institution/ supervisor from any external funding source. Moreover, the scholar should credit the parent guide and institution for the part of research already completed.
- The woman-centered umbrella known as KIRAN (Knowledge Involvement in Research programmes Advancement through Nurturing,2014) has introduced a landmark Govt Fellowship Scheme For Women Scientists, termed as, “Mobility Scheme” which will address relocation issue of women scientists working in a regular position in Government Organizations. The Mobility Scheme is intended to offer a chance to women scientists who are facing problems in their job as they must move due to marriage, transfer of husband to a new place within the country, attending ailing parents, and accompanying children studying in different places. The program aims to provide a harmonious atmosphere during early career phases of women scientists and enables them to stay active in research along with attending and fulfilling other domestic responsibilities.
- To address the career break issue Department of Science and Technology (DST) had introduced “Women Scientists Scheme (WOS)” in the year 2002-03. This initiative primarily focused on giving research opportunities to women scientists between the age group of 27-57 years who had career breaks but desired to return to the research community. This endeavor created a strong niche for women participation in the scientific profession, and provide a launching rack for their innovations in the field of science and technology.
Under this scheme, women scientists are being inspired to pursue research in areas of science and engineering, on socially relevant problems and to take up science and technology-based internship for self-employment.
Various Govt Fellowships For Women Scientists & researchers available under Women Scientists Scheme “WOS” are:
Women Scientist Scheme-A(WOS-A): To pursue research in basic or applied sciences
This scheme initially gives an exposure to work as bench-level researchers and further open new avenues to bag a permanent position in the R&D sector. The programme will allot grants for project proposals that covers 5 disciplines namely, i) Physical & Mathematical Sciences (PMS), ii) Chemical Sciences (CS), iii) Life Sciences (LS), iv) Earth & Atmospheric Sciences (EAS), and v) Engineering Technology (ET). This grant will provide fellowship for the applicant and cost of small equipment, contingencies, travel, consumables, etc. The scheme is open round the year and so have no deadline.
Women Scientist Scheme-B (WOS-B): To research the Science & Technology interventions for benefit of the society
This fellowship scheme will allot grant for research proposals discussing a crucial social challenge and its possible solutions. The proposal must precisely outline the societal benefits and its manifestations in the development of technology. Like WOS-A the grant will include the cost of small equipment, contingencies, travel, and consumables.
The online application for Women Scientists Scheme-B (WOS-B) generally opens around the month of October each year.
Women Scientist Scheme-C (WOS-C): To pursue Internship in Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)
This programme is being devised by the Patent Facilitating Centre of Technology Information Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC), to train women candidates for a period of one year in the field of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and their management.T his scheme aims to develop a pool of women scientists who are having qualifications in the field of science/engineering/medicine or allied areas to create, protect and manage intellectual property rights in India. The major attraction of the scheme is the opportunity for gaining hands-on training on multiple aspects of IPRs including. patent search, drafting, filing, trademarks, copyright and trade secrets.
Fellowship & Eligibility Criteria Under Women Scientists Scheme “WOS”
|Scheme||Eligibility & Amount of Fellowship per month (Consolidated)|
|Ph.D. in Basic or Applied Sciences or equivalent degree (Rs.55,000/-)|
|M.Phil/M.Tech/M.Pharm/M.VSc or equivalent degree (Rs.40,000/-)|
|M.Sc in Basic or Applied Sciences/B.Tech/MBBS or equivalent degree (R.30,000/-)|
|WOS-C||Ph.D. in Basic or Applied Sciences or equivalent degree (Rs.30,000/-)|
|M.Phil/M.Tech/M.Pharm/M.VSc or equivalent degree ( Rs.25,000/-)|
|M.Sc in Basic or Applied Sciences/B.Tech/MBBS or equivalent degree (Rs.20,000/-)|
These decisions are welcoming as it gives relaxation to women candidates for completing their research work of M.Phil. and Ph.D. and also to reserve a strong research career. These initiatives will help them to complete the degree and increase the participation of women candidates in registering for M.Phil. and Ph.D. Majority of women candidates hesitate to apply for Ph.D. due to the long duration demanded.
However, these provisions allow women scholars to complete their Ph.D. degree and fulfill their passion of being called as a “doctor”. The scheme also ensures that the facilities in the university they are migrating to too have the facilities within the area they are working on. These rules will inspire more women to enroll in doctoral programs by letting them get married and build a family while pursuing their passion with greater flexibility. Moreover, schemes like WOS and KIRAN ensures enhanced participation of women scientists in the R&D sector. It welcomes back well-qualified women who have left out from S&T activities due to family responsibilities to the mainstream of research and development.
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