Research Associate Fellowship Programme
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Research Associate Fellowship Programme 2023 at Botanical Survey of India

Research Associate Fellowship Programme 2023 at Botanical Survey of India. Interested and eligible applicants can check out all of the details on this Government of India
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Botanical Survey of India Research Associate Fellowship Programme 2023 below

Are you looking for some help in the interview section? Then make sure you check out some sample questions and answers at the bottom of the page for the Research Associate Fellowship Programme 2023 at the Botanical Survey of India.

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Government of India
Ministry of Environment and Forests
BOTANICAL SURVEY OF INDIA
2023

Rationale

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) instituted a Fellowship Programme, to be administered by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI), known as the “AJC Bose Post Doctoral Fellowship Programme” for Indian researchers desirous of working on a forefront of Plant Systematics/Taxonomy with a focus on solving of contemporary taxonomic problem. The areas of research to be undertaken through this fellowship programme shall be decided by the recommendation of the Internal Committee of Botanical Survey of India or Research Advisory and Monitoring Committee (RAMC) based on the

requirement of the organization.

Ten (10) AJC Bose Post-Doctoral Fellowships (hence after Research Associate fellowship programme or RA) is proposed during the financial year 2023–24. The total number of fellowships in operation at any point of time will not exceed ten as per the sanction of Research Associate – I in the Institute. The Research Associate (RA – I) will form a community of Taxonomists with background in allied subjects willing to undertake taxonomic monographs/revisions, molecular taxonomy, conservation biology, phytogeography, and population studies, and field evaluation of contemporary floristic issues. By this programme the organization will be benefiting in finding solutions to the problem of taxonomic impediment in cataloguing life-forms in our country.

The details of the proposal are given in succeeding paragraphs:

Purpose

The aim of the Research Associate Fellowship Programme is to provide a platform to top quality researchers in the area of Plant Systematics/Taxonomy and Plant Conservation, to use and expand the resources available at the BSI or to collaborate with other scientific institutions in the country and to address the complex taxonomic problems, and survey and documentation of un-explored/under-explored areas/plant groups. The Fellows will work for a period of two to three years at of the regional centers of BSI located across the country and to also undertake research in the following thrust areas identified by the RAMC.

a. Revisionary studies and nomenclature of different plants groups (including cryptogams and phanerogams).
b. Molecular systematics and phylogeny of any plant group/family/genus.
c. Floristics and ecological studies in special reference to climate change.
d. Traditional knowledge and Ethno-botany.
e. Conservation biology and Botanic Garden.
f. Threat assessment and vulnerability of species.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. The programme is open to all researchers working in the field of Plant Taxonomy/Systematics of any plant groups (both cryptogams and phanerogams), floristic related study leading to recent issues of climate change, research associated with traditional knowledge of plants, documentation and understanding of plant resources of India.
  2. Indian citizens with Ph.D. in Botany from a recognized University in India with research experience in Plant taxonomy/floristics, and in any relevant fields are eligible to apply this fellowship programme. Candidates with published research work in peer-reviewed reputed journals with proven leadership qualities in the area of taxonomic/floristic research will be preferred.
  3. The applicant should have an appropriate background and experience of research in the area of Plant Taxonomy/Systematics, Conservation and associated traditional knowledge or other related areas that are directly or indirectly involved.
  4. The upper age limit for applicants is 35 years, with relaxation in age for SC/ST/OBC/Women candidates applicable as per Government of India Norms (OM SR/59/Z-05/2019 dated 10 July 2020 by DST, MS&T, GOI).

Selection Procedure

  1. Applications from talented researchers having proven record in the field of Plant Taxonomy/Systematics and allied disciplines of any plant groups will be invited through open advertisement in national dailies/websites of BSI. Candidates will be shortlisted based on their qualification and experience. Mere possession of qualification and experience may not ascertain the shortlisting of candidates for interview or selection.
  2. Shortlisted candidates will be informed through e-mail for appearing before an interview committee to be conducted physically through a short notice. The candidate needs to present the plan of work through PowerPoint presentation.
  3. The composition of the expert committee will be the Director, BSI as Chairman, two subject experts (preferably from other Organizations/Universities), Technical Section Incharge, BSI (HQ), one Scientist from MoEFCC, as member. The members will evaluate the research projects and conduct interviews to select Research Associate taking into account the guidelines and the prescribed procedures.
  4. Selected candidates will be liable to be posted anywhere in the country (irrespective of his/her project proposal), including field sites, regional centres and Headquarters of BSI. The Research Associate is also expected to travel extensively including the remote areas.
  5. The original certificates and other credentials will be verified at the time of joining and at the time of the verification of original documents (even after selection), if it is found that an attempt has been made by the applicant to willfully conceal, misrepresent or canvass the facts, such applicant will not be considered for selection and due action will be initiated.
  6. A certificate from the Head of the Regional Centre of BSI and Mentor under whom the research project is to be undertaken is required.
  7. The Director, BSI reserves the rights for selection of any number of candidates or not to select any RA or cancel of the advertisement without assigning any reason.

GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE
FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMME 2023

Financial Assistance

The tenure of the award is three years with no provision for further extension. The financial assistance available under the RA is as follows:

Fellowship

@ Rs. 47,000/- for First year
@ Rs. 49,000/- for Second year
@ Rs. 54,000/- for Third year

Contingency @ Rs. 1,00,000/- per annum

The stipend of Research Associate is exempt from the payment of income tax under 10(16)
of IT Act.

Monitoring of the Progress Work

  1. Research Associate (RA) will be paid a Fellowship of Rs. 47,000/- per month. Research Associate Fellowship will be tenable initially for a period of one year. It may be extended further at the discretion of Director, BSI. In such a case the progress of RA would be assessed each year by an Assessment Committee consisting of two external members not below the rank of Professor, Mentor of the candidate, Technical Incharge of the BSI as members and Director, BSI as the Chairman.
  2. The RA is expected to publish at least two research papers in SCI journals every year. In case the progress is not considered satisfactory and no publication of research articles to the credit of the RA, further extension may not be considered. The total tenure of RA is three years with a provision for no extension. If at any stage the research work is found unsatisfactory, the fellowship may be terminated. The decision of the Director, BSI in this regard will be final.
  3. Report: The RA shall submit monthly, half-yearly and annual reports on the progress of his/her work, through the supervisor/mentor and the Officer–in-Charge of Division/Section of BSI, HQ/Regional Centre, in the prescribed proforma.
  4. The RA shall not accept or hold any appointment, paid or otherwise, or receive any emoluments, salary, stipend, etc. from any other source during the tenure of the award. However, no extension is permissible beyond the total period of three years. Any claim/reference to this effect will be treated as illegal.
  5. If the RA is availing any other fellowship/project from any other organization at the time of selection, he/she shall be required to surrender one award.
  6. On completion of the award, he/she will submit the detailed comprehensive report as per the objective(s) of the study to the Director/Technical Incharge, BSI. The last 3 installments of the fellowship will be released only after submission of final satisfactory report and research work in the Repository.
  7. Termination of the fellowship: If the RA wishes to leave the fellowship before the end of the tenure, it should be with the prior approval of Director, BSI. The notice in this regard may be submitted at least 3 months before the resignation to the Director, BSI. The fellowship may also be terminated, if the Director, BSI is not satisfied with the progress or conduct of the Research Associate.
  8. Cancellation of Award: The fellowship is liable to cancellation, in case of Misconduct, Unsatisfactory progress of research work, Candidate is later found ineligible, Candidate is already availing scholarship/fellowship from any other sources, Candidate if found employed during the RA tenure, any false information furnished by the applicant or any fraudulent activity by the RA awardees.
  9. The acceptance of Fellowship should be communicated by the Candidate to the Director/Head of the Regional Centre of Botanical Survey of India under whom the Fellowship is assigned, within a month of the issue of the provisional letter of award of the fellowship. If, the joining report and the Surety Bond duly executed on the form attached to these rules are not received within the specified period without any valid reason, the offer of fellowship will be withdrawn. Any breach of the conditions of the Surety Bond will make both the RA and the Surety jointly and severally liable to refund the amount of fellowship paid. The fellowship will take effect from the date the RA joins the scheme.

House Rent Allowance (HRA)

  1. HRA is not permissible for those candidates who are staying in Government accommodation.
  2. In case of non-availability of Government accommodation, the RA may make his/her own arrangements of accommodation and he/she may be entitled to draw HRA as per the categorization of cities by the Govt. of India.

Medical

No separate/fixed medical assistance will be provided. However, the RA may avail the medical facilities available in the Institution.

Leave

  1. Maximum 10 days of leave in a year is allowed to a RA in addition to public holidays, however not entitled to any other vacations.
  2. Female candidates are eligible for maternity leave as per Government of India rules only once during the tenure of the award.

Publication/Patent

The results of research work will be encouraged to publish in peer-reviewed journals as well as other popular forms of scientific documentation at the discretion of the Director, BSI. Due authorship will be given to all researchers and other team members, who have contributed to research papers and patents. In case of any dispute, the decision of Director, BSI will be final and binding. In all the publications the copyright will be retained with Director, BSI. The right to commercial exploitation of the results and patent arising out of the investigation will, however, rest exclusively with BSI.

Utilization of Contingent Grant

Contingent grant can be utilized for the following purposes

  1. Towards meeting actual train fare and the Daily Allowance during tours of the Research Associate.
  2. For attending Seminars/Symposia, for presenting accepted papers.
  3. For purchase of chemicals/consumable items/Books/Software required for research work and equipment exclusively required for the research projects.
  4. For purchase of photographic materials and computation charges for the research work, stationary, postal charges related directly with the research project with prior permission of Director, BSI.
  5. For undertaking journey in connections with field data collections and or attending courses/training/seminar/symposium/workshop, etc. the Research Associates are entitled for Govt. operated Ship 2nd Class/Govt. Operated Express Bus/Express 3rd AC Class Train by shortest route.

Deliverables/Outcomes of the Programme

  1. A top quality trained manpower will be available to undertake need based research in emerging fields of Plant Taxonomy/Systematics/Climate Change
  2. Interaction among the Scientists working in different institutions of the country would be promoted and enhanced. This would enable multi- and interdisciplinary approach to address complex issues in Plant taxonomy/Systematics.
  3. Innovative and critical accounts of plant monographs/revisions, accounts for Flora of India and field explorations, species recovery and multiplication of threatened plants for conservation in the country would be developed based on knowledge/data emerging from the research work under the programme.

How to Apply 

General instructions:

  1. Please read the terms and conditions carefully before filling up the proforma.
  2. All shortlisted candidates need to make a PowerPoint presentation (.ppt) during the interview before the selection committee regarding their achievements and proposed plan of work.
  3. All financial grants under the Research Associate Programme shall be governed by the guidelines prescribed by the Government of India for the release of grants to Institutions including the furnishing of Utilization Certificates, Audited Statement Expenditure, Periodic Progress Reports, etc.
  4. The selected candidate has to sign the Terms and Conditions at the time of acceptance of the award.
  5. The date of submission of the application will be started from the date of publication of the advertisement in the Employment News. The filled-in application form in all aspects should reach to the Scientist In-charge, Technical Section, Botanical Survey of India, CGO Complex, 3rd MSO Building 5th Floor, Salt Lake City, Sector I, Kolkata – 700064, within 30 (Thirty) days from its publication in the Employment News. The envelope should be superscribed as ‘Application for Research Associate Fellowship Programme-2023 in Botanical Survey of India’.

Corrigendum

Download the application proforma below

Check the notification below

Are you looking for some help in the interview section? Then make sure you check out some sample questions and answers below for the Research Associate Fellowship Programme 2023 at the Botanical Survey of India.
  1. What inspired you to pursue research in the field of Plant Taxonomy/Systematics, and what particular research question or problem are you most interested in addressing during your fellowship?

Sample Answer: I’ve always been fascinated by the diversity of plant life in India and the challenges of cataloguing and classifying it. I’m particularly interested in studying the evolution and distribution of plant species in response to environmental and climatic factors, and how this knowledge can inform conservation efforts. During my fellowship, I hope to contribute to the revisionary studies and nomenclature of different plant groups, with a focus on phanerogams, and to develop molecular phylogenies to help better understand the relationships between different species.

  1. How would you describe your research methodology and approach, and how do you plan to apply it to the specific research question or problem you’re addressing during your fellowship?

Sample Answer: My research methodology is grounded in both fieldwork and laboratory analysis, and is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on concepts and techniques from botany, ecology, genetics, and other fields. For example, when studying plant taxonomy and systematics, I often start by conducting extensive field surveys to identify and collect plant specimens from different locations, and then use morphological, anatomical, and molecular methods to classify and compare them. I’m also interested in using traditional ecological knowledge to supplement my research, and in exploring the potential of citizen science and other crowdsourcing methods to expand the scope and reach of my work.

  1. What are some of the major challenges and limitations facing the field of Plant Taxonomy/Systematics in India, and how do you plan to address them during your fellowship?

Sample Answer: One of the major challenges facing the field of Plant Taxonomy/Systematics in India is the lack of taxonomic expertise and infrastructure, which can hinder efforts to identify and classify plant species accurately and efficiently. Additionally, there is a need to balance the demands of conservation and development, and to ensure that the needs and perspectives of local communities are taken into account when making decisions about plant resources. To address these challenges, I plan to work closely with other taxonomists and botanists, both within and outside of BSI, to build networks of expertise and knowledge sharing. I’m also committed to engaging with local communities and stakeholders to ensure that my research is socially relevant and responsive to their needs.

  1. How have you engaged with and contributed to the scientific community in the past, and how do you plan to continue to do so during your fellowship?

Sample Answer: In the past, I’ve been actively involved in various scientific conferences, workshops, and seminars, both as a presenter and as a participant. I’ve also published several research papers in peer-reviewed journals and collaborated with other researchers and institutions on a range of interdisciplinary projects. During my fellowship, I plan to continue to engage with the scientific community through similar channels, and to explore new avenues for sharing and disseminating my research findings. For example, I’m interested in using social media, blogs, and other online platforms to reach wider audiences and to promote dialogue and exchange among researchers and practitioners.

  1. How do you envision the impact and significance of your research on the field of Plant Taxonomy/Systematics and on broader issues related to conservation and sustainable development?

Sample Answer: I believe that my research has the potential to make a significant contribution to the field of Plant Taxonomy/Systematics, by improving our understanding of the evolutionary history, diversity, and distribution of plant species in India. This knowledge can in turn inform conservation efforts, by identifying key areas and species that require protection and management.

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