Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance Grants 2019
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Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance Grants 2019

Team Science Grants will finance team of researchers who bring together complementary skills, knowledge, and resources to address a significant health challenge for India. These grants will also fund high-risk, high-reward research work.

This call expires in :

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About the Scheme

Applicants have to demonstrate their complementarity, the extra value that this collaboration would lead and bring to improvements which would otherwise be impossible with individual Principal Investigators (PIs) working independently. The project ought to be multi-institutional and inter-disciplinary in its approach, with a suitable research management plan and structure.

Though not compulsory, the scheme promotes global collaboration. The projects would require external evaluation at regular intervals, and so the proposal must have in-built milestones for reporting and evaluation. India Alliance would also reserve the right to occasionally review the financed program, which could consist of site visits.

Eligibility and Provisions:

Composition of the Group

A minimum of 3 PIs should participate, such as one as Lead PI who’d manage and lead the team. The applying team must bring different experience or disciplines to address the research problem within the remit of India Alliance. No more than two PIs could be from 1 institution, and a minimum of two institutions should be included. At a given round, no more than 1 application would be entertained from one as Lead PI or PI (visit rules under ).

The Lead PI and all PIs should

  • Have PhD/MD/MBBS-MS/MPH or equivalent, together with at least 5 years of experience in conducting an independent research group or laboratory.
  • Demonstrate a record of accomplishments appropriate for their career stage.
  • Have obtained competitive grant/fellowship(s).
  • Have tenure at their respective host institutions for the whole duration of this grant.
  • There wouldn’t be any age or nationality bar.

Lead Principal Investigator (LPI)

  • Would lead and manage the team of PIs.
  • Ought to be working at / willing to relocate to an Indian non-profit and financially qualified host institution for the whole length of this grant. India Alliance wouldn’t negotiate a contract on behalf of this applicant. Notice: no relocation fees can be requested on the grant.
  • Should hold an academic or research post and have a wage, or the guarantee of wages, for the duration of the award period. If he/she retains an academic or research position at an eligible Indian sponsor institution but must generate a part of their wages from extramural funds, the host institution must officially confirm this. Additionally, the host institution has to state that it wouldn’t guarantee that the LPI’s salary/part of wages when the researcher is unsuccessful in generating it from extramural sources.
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Principal investigator (PI)

The qualification criteria exactly the same as that for the lead PI. A PI could be located at an international non-profit institution. But, contributions towards the wages of an overseas PI can’t be requested.

All investigators should carefully look at the percentage of time they’d give to these grants and has to say their time commitments towards additional research and non-research responsibilities. This could be especially required of investigators now holding India Alliance fellowships, which have characterized percentage time responsibilities.

A proper research management plan ought to be set up in the coordinating institution, and preferably at all participating institutions.

The proposal can seek support for hiring research staff/researchers, purchasing equipment and research supplies, etc.. Funds may also be asked for strengthening the research management structure at the institution(s). All budgetary requests (including manpower) ought to be commensurate with the proposed project and have to be supported with strong scientific justifications. The application needs to outline a resource-sharing plan and demonstrate sustainability when the funding is over. Commitment from the hosting institutions to co-support will be highly desirable.

Application Process:

India Alliance would invite applications for the said scheme in the prescribed format which would be made available on its site from 16 May to 17 June 2019, 2:00 PM IST.

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Screening: The India Alliance Office would screen the received applications against the eligibility criteria (as mentioned in the scheme). A Screening Committee (SC) would carry out a hard triage of eligible applications so that only selected applications to go for a peer review and interview. This Committee would be external to, but facilitated by India Alliance and would have basic, clinical, public health and interdisciplinary researchers. The SC is not expected to provide elaborate feedback on research merit of the project and would evaluate it based on the aforementioned eligibility and competition in the cohort of applications received. India Alliance would not be able to provide reviews to applicants at this stage.

Peer Review: Selected applications will be reviewed by external and international experts.

Funding: The peer-reviewed applications would be evaluated by a Funding Committee (FC), which would be external to, but facilitated by India Alliance. The FC would have members from the existing SIF and CPH committees of India Alliance. Based on need in a specific round, it may also co-opt other experts. All peer-reviewed applications would normally be brought to an interview, unless recommended otherwise by the FC, for example, based on an unsatisfactory external review. The FC would interview the LPI and, if desired, up to 2 more PIs on each application. The recommendations made by the FC and the decision of India Alliance would be based on performance at the interview with the Committee and competition within the cohort. These decisions would be final.

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The scheme is expected to be very competitive at each step. All applications would be assessed in competition with others in that cohort.

Important Note:

The India Alliance’s Committees comprise of independent scientists from the international research community with appropriate expertise and research experience. They are asked to express their own views on research proposals and to adjudicate on opinions received from external experts.

Members of the India Alliance’s Committees are required to abide by a code of conduct, which is designed to protect and preserve the integrity of the India Alliance’s advisers and processes. This code of conduct dictates that the Committee Members may not discuss any aspect of the deliberations or recommendations of the Committee with applicants and that they must refuse any requests for information as to how a particular decision was reached.

Applicants or their colleagues must never attempt to contact a Committee Member to discuss any aspect of an application or the decision reached on it. All such requests must be referred to the Office.

Important Date:

If the application is selected for peer review, the interviews would be held in the month of November 2019.

  • Applications open: 16 May 2019 (Forms would be made available on India Alliance site)
  • Applications close: 17 June 2019 (2:00 PM, IST)


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