Newton-Bhabha PhD Placement Programme
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Newton-Bhabha PhD Placement Programme 2020-21 – Applications Invited

Newton-Bhabha PhD Placement Programme 2020-21 – Applications Invited. Interested and eligible applicants can check out all of the details on the same below:

This Call Expires In :

-1320Days -3Hours -52Minutes -9Seconds



Call opens: June 15, 2020
Call closes: August 16, 2020 Extended up to 2nd Sep 2020; 1600 hrs UK time; 20:30 hrs India time


Newton Bhabha Fund aims to develop individual capacity of PhD scholars by offering short-term (two to four months) placements at both, UK and Indian higher education or research institutions. This year’s Call for 2020, is jointly funded by the UK Government Newton-Fund and Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).

PhD placements will be focused on research areas, which have been identified bilaterally between India and the UK. These are important for fulfilling the Newton-Bhabha Fund goals. For details, please refer to section 6. Priority Sectors.

The approach of the programme will be scholar-centred to ensure that the best possible
development experience is provided. International exchanges should add value by enabling scholars to:

  • learn valuable new skills or techniques for research
  • access facilities or resources not readily available in their home country
  • build relationships with potential new collaborators, including industry partners where
  • advance complementary collaborative research.

DST, in collaboration with the British Council, will support up to 35 PhD scholars from India and UK in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) from the pool of INSPIRE Fellows.

DBT in collaboration with British Council will support up to 35 PhD scholars from India and UK in Life Sciences (other than INSPIRE Fellows).

ICSSR in collaboration with British Council will support up to 30 PhD Scholars from India and UK in Social Sciences.

First tranche of grant funding is expected to be disbursed by the end of February 2021 and
placements can take place between April 2021 to December 2021. Grants are paid in two
installments and are made to institutions and not directly to scholars.
British Council and partners reserve the right to not fill all positions depending on the
quality of applications and assessment results.


Newton-Bhabha Fund programme outcomes are to:

  • develop individual capacity of students through international training and development
  • create a cadre of highly trained researchers in the UK and India with international experience, able to contribute to the absorptive capacity for research and innovation and thus bring about economic and social benefits.
  • enable participation of UK and Indian PhD scholars in international intellectual networks,
    building cultural understanding, and fostering long-term sustainable research collaborations.
  • create awareness of the research strengths of the UK and India.


UK and India have identified the following six priority areas for the Newton-Bhabha Fund:

  1. Sustainable cities and urbanisation
  2. Public health and wellbeing
  3. Energy-water-food nexus
  4. Understanding oceans
  5. High value manufacturing
  6. Big data

Accordingly, applications are invited in STEM, Life Science and Social Science, that can include the following subject areas:

  • Biological and Medical sciences including Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Bioengineering,
    Bioprocesses, Bioinformatics, Systems Biology, Bio-mechanics, Neuro-biology, Planetary
    Health, Ecosystems and sustainability, Botany, Zoology, Microbiology, Biochemistry,
    Medicine, Pharma and Veterinary Sciences
  • Engineering and Physical sciences including Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Physical
    Mathematics, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Big Data and Manufacturing
  • Environment, Ecology, Food and Agriculture Sciences Public Health and Well-being
  • Applications in any Social Sciences disciplines like Economics, Sociology, Political Science,
    History, Anthropology, Geography, Education, Development & Policy studies, Statistics/Big
    Data Studies, Health Studies, Environmental Studies in line with the above priority areas.


For UK national applicants: The scheme is open only for UK scholars pursuing their PhD at a UK home institution in the area of STEM, Life Sciences and Social sciences Scholars from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also eligible to apply. Applications will be considered from scholars from all institutions which are strong in research in the priority sectors described in the previous section. Please refer to the list of Eligible UK Organisations as part of the call announcement.

For Indian national applicants: The scheme is open only for Indian scholars enrolled at Indian HEIs with the following criteria:

  1. Those applying for DST funding: eligible applicants need to be INSPIRE PhD Senior Research Fellows (SRFs) of Batch 2017
  2. Those applying for DBT funding: PhD Scholars (other than INSPIRE Fellows) who are
    pursuing a PhD in the mid-second or third year of Life Sciences are eligible to apply.
  3. Those applying for ICSSR funding: ICSSR Doctoral Fellows or registered Ph. D scholars (fulltime) pursuing PhD in the second or third year of Social Sciences are eligible to apply. PhD scholar can be registered in any of the above mentioned social science disciplines or subjects(mentioned in priority area section), however their PhD research theme must be aligned to any of the 6 Newton Bhabha priority areas, to be eligible for this grant.

For both Indian and UK scholars:

  • Applicants should have a valid passport before applying.
  • Applicants are required to submit their PhD thesis only after completion of the placement.

Please refer to the detailed eligibility criteria in Annex 1.



8.1. Application guidelines

Applications should be accompanied with endorsement letters or a formal email (pdf
format) from both the sending and receiving institutes, signed by Head of Department
(or equivalent). The letter from the host institution must confirm that they will host the
PhD scholar and provide details of all academic and country-level support, the duration
of the stay and the level of bench fees, they will charge. The endorsement letter should
explicitly state that the support under Newton-Bhabha PhD Placement Programme will be
acknowledged in publications (in any form) arising from the work undertaken during the

Endorsement letters from the UK universities should outline bench fees if any, that will be
charged, and brief note on how and where it will be used. In addition, if any registration or other fees are charged, these should be disclosed to the applicant in advance.

Please note applications without the endorsement letters or formal email will not be considered for funding.

8.2. Application process

  • Indian applicants should submit the form online by clicking here.
  • UK applicants should submit the form online by clicking here.

The deadline for receipt of applications is 16 August 2020 Extended up to 2nd Sep 2020. Results are expected to be announced in November 2020.

8.3. Funding arrangements for UK scholars

The British Council will fund the travel grant with a maximum of up to GBP 900 to cover the following expense as part of Newton-Bhabha Fund:

  • UK scholars’ travel – international return airfare (economy class)
  • visa fees to India
  • travel insurance (if required)

DST / DBT / ICSSR will cover the following expense:

  • UK scholars’ one-time arrival allowance in India – INR 10,000
  • UK scholars’ stipend in India – INR 31,000 per month
  • For their own convenience, UK scholars need to arrange their accommodation either in the host institution or off-site before departing to India. DST/DBT/ICSSR will release
    accommodation allowance @ 8 % or 16 % or 24 % of the stipend amount of INR 31,000, based on the class of city, as per Government of India norms.
  • UK scholars will be exempt from tuition fees, experiment fees and basic teaching material costs. Costs beyond the above arrangements will be borne by the scholars themselves.

Funding arrangements for Indian scholars

The British Council will cover the following expense:

  • Indian scholars’ bench fees in the UK: Maximum GBP 5,000 for STEM and Life Sciences
    Subjects and GBP 3,000 for Social Sciences, where the UK host university cannot waive the bench fees (or consumables costs). The UK host supervisor can apply for this bench fees by stating the amount in the endorsement letter or formal email. In addition, the applicant has to enter this amount in his/her application form. Amount stated in the application form will be considered for funding.
  • Indian scholars’ stipend in the UK – GBP 1300 per month to cover meals, accommodation, domestic travel, etc.

DST / DBT / ICSSR will fund the travel grant with a maximum of up to INR 1,00,000 per scholar to cover the following expense as part of Newton-Bhabha Fund

  • Indian scholars’ visa fees
  • Indian scholars’ international return airfares (economy class) as per Government of India (GOI) norms
  • Indian scholars’ travel and comprehensive medical insurance as per the Government of India

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