FAQs

Eligibility


You  can apply for an Early Career Fellowship in the Basic Biomedical Research scheme when you are in the last year of your PhD. It is not necessary to have finished your PhD viva or received your PhD degree at the time of application. However, it is essential that you receive your PhD degree before you activate your award. If you are recommended for an award, the Fellowship cannot be activated till the Office has received confirmation from your thesis supervisor that you have successfully defended your PhD viva or an equivalent examination.
 

There is no age restriction to apply for an India Alliance Fellowship. There are also no nationality restrictions on the India Alliance Fellowships. However, in keeping with our mandate, it is essential that a major part of the research should be conducted at the sponsoring host institution in India. Please see http://www.wellcomedbt.org/remit-and-eligibility to know more about eligibility of Host Institutions.

For Basic Biomedical Research Fellowships, the India Alliance considers the date of your successful PhD viva (final defense) to be the point at which your PhD studies are complete. Any research activity undertaken after this date is assumed to contribute to time calculated towards your eligibility for the respective Fellowship scheme. However, if you are looking to apply for the Clinical and Public Health Fellowships, the India Alliance will assess your eligibility based on the number of years of research experience since the successful completion of your highest post-graduate medical/ public health degree. Please visit the corresponding pages on our website for more information on each scheme.

Yes, the India Alliance takes into consideration any interruptions in your research career due to unavoidable personal circumstances (e.g maternity leave) or your involvement in non-research activities (e.g teaching, administrative jobs). All non-research career breaks have to be clearly mentioned in the relevant section of the application form to be considered during assessment. We may seek documentary evidence of your career breaks.

Any research activity (post-PhD/post-MD/post-MPH/equivalent) regardless of the type of organization where it was carried out, would be counted towards years spent on research. Research conducted in academia and in industry are considered at similar levels.

A sponsoring Indian host institution, that is willing to administer the Fellowship for its entire duration, is a prerequisite for all India Alliance Fellowships, but a contract of employment with the host institution is not required. Status of the applicant's employment at the respective institution does not affect their assessment by the Office.

As long as you satisfy the eligibility criteria for a particular scheme, your status of employment at the sponsoring host institution does not preclude you from applying to the India Alliance.

No, one may not apply to two or more Fellowship schemes simultaneously. Applicants are advised to peruse the mandate and provisions of the different schemes to find out what is most appropriate for them. Should clarification be required, please write to info@wellcomedbt.org with your updated CV and a 200-word abstract of the research project you intend to propose.

Resubmission after consideration of a full application is not permitted in any scheme. If the full application has been reviewed by the India Alliance’s Selection Committee, and it was unsuccessful at either the shortlisting or interview stage, the applicant may not re-apply to the same scheme even if they propose a different project.
 
 

You may not apply to a scheme that is junior to your first full application to the India Alliance. For example, if a full application for Senior Fellowship was considered in the past, irrespective of the decision at the shortlisting or interview stage, the Office will not consider a preliminary application for an Intermediate or Early Career Fellowship from
the same applicant. Likewise, if a full application for Intermediate Fellowship was considered in the past, irrespective of the decision at the shortlisting or interview stage, the Office will not consider a preliminary application for an Early Career Fellowship from the same applicant.

Funding


The duration of funding for all our Fellowships is 5 years.

Intermediate Fellowship applicants may request up to 02 support staff, while Senior Fellowship applicants may request up to 04 support staff. Early Career Fellowship under the ‘Basic Biomedical Research’ category have option to request for 01 technical support staff position, which can be requested from the second year of the Fellowship.

Both Intermediate and Senior Fellowship applicants can request funds to hire postdoctoral fellows or PhD students on their grant. A total of 02 support staff can be requested on an Intermediate application and 04 support staff on a Senior application. All staff requests should be justified within the context of the research proposed.

No. As indicated in our costing policies, the India Alliance will provide the host institution with 10% of the total award as India Alliance’s contribution towards the indirect costs incurred in administering the Fellowship. Therefore, any such request on the application would be disallowed.

Flexible Funding Allowance (FFA) are contingency funds provided to Fellowship holders to meet any unforeseen research expenses during the tenure of the Fellowship. This can be used, for example, to compensate in the variation in charges of (equipment, consumables etc.) due to annual inflation. FFA is fixed for each of the Fellowship schemes. Read more about FFA here.

No, there is no provision of funding major equipment under the Early Career Fellowship scheme.

No, salaries, goods, and services availed using India Alliance Fellowship funds are not tax-exempt.

Policy


If you are not invited to submit a full application upon evaluation of your preliminary application, you may apply to the same scheme in a future competition subject to meeting the eligibility criteria for the scheme.

However, resubmission after consideration of a full application is not permitted in any scheme. If the full application has been reviewed by the India Alliance’s Selection Committee, and it was unsuccessful at either the shortlisting or interview stage, the applicant may not re-apply to the same scheme. This implies that applicants would have only one opportunity to compete per scheme, once they are into the full application stage. Therefore, it is very important for applicants to carefully consider the timing of their application.

Please also note that one may not apply to a scheme that is junior to his/her first full application to the India Alliance.

 

Ethics approvals are not required at the time of application submission. However, if awarded, copies of all relevant approvals will have to be submitted to the India Alliance. Ethics clearances have to be procured for experiments involving one or more of the following: animals, animal tissue, human participants, human stem cells, human biological samples, and personal data relating to living or dead persons. The process is elaborated under Fellows’ corner for reference.

 Any research that involves the use of human cell lines available from a cell line repository is not considered human subject research. As long as information on a cell line is publicly available, the India Alliance does not require ethics clearance for its usage.

All India Alliance funded research work accepted in peer-reviewed journals must be made openly accessible as soon as possible and, in any event within six months of publication. Our open access policy is applicable to all original, peer-reviewed, research publications that have been supported, in whole or in part, by the India Alliance.

When publishing India Alliance supported research, the Fellows are required to select one of the following access routes: (i) the publisher deposits the article in PMC on the author’s behalf within a time frame in line with our open access policy, (ii) If the publisher does not have an open access option agreeable to our policy, the Fellow may self-archive their article on Europe PMC, (iii) pay open-access charges to the publisher in order to make the article openly accessible immediately. In such cases, the India Alliance would provide financial support to its Fellows over and above the budget of the Fellowship. The Fellows would be eligible to claim open access charges towards their publications arising of India Alliance work, even after the successful completion of Fellowship tenure.

If you are successful in obtaining an India Alliance Fellowship for a similar application submitted to another agency, you would be required to withdraw the other application before activating the India Alliance Fellowship.

According to our Dual Fellowship policy, the India Alliance does not permit its Fellows to hold two Fellowships concurrently. Except Early Career Fellows, our Fellows are allowed to hold Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award (IYBA) or National Bioscience Award for Career Development (NBACD). This policy is not applicable to these two Awards. For more details, kindly refer to India Alliance Award Conditions.

The India Alliance expects its Fellows to spend 90-100% (Early Career – see Award Condition 12 (iii)) and at least, 80% (Intermediate), 70% (Senior), and 50% (Senior Renewals) of their research time on India Alliance-funded research. Justified exceptions for clinicians will have to be presented to the Selection Committee for approval.

 

Application


Preliminary applications must be filled in and submitted using IASys, India Alliance Online Application System. Please ensure that the application is submitted by the stipulated deadline.

No, hard copies are not required by the office. Preliminary application and the letters must be submitted online using IASys.

You would have to be invited to submit a full application. Full applications are submitted through IASys, India Alliance’s online application system. Applicants will find general guidance for application like the user guide upon registration on( IASys).

No. The India Alliance only accepts applications that are submitted on the online application system, IASys. For more information, please visit http://www.wellcomedbt.org/about-iasys

 

The India Alliance will not accept an incomplete or late submission. Please note that for the full application, a concerted effort is required by the applicant, Sponsor, and other participants. It is expected that the applicant works with their partners to ensure that all material is submitted to the India Alliance on time since all deadlines are announced significantly in advance.

It is not mandatory for you to have decided on the Sponsor at the preliminary application stage; however, in order to complete the preliminary application process, you are required to provide the details of the most probable Sponsor in the preliminary application. Please note that the relevant questions in the form with reference to the choice of the Host Institution should be given careful thought both at the preliminary and full application stage.

In case you are invited to make a full application, you will be required to provide details about your chosen Sponsor in the application form and also request the Sponsor to provide a signed letter of support through our online system.

Support/recommendation letters are required to be submitted through our online application system IASys. Participants on the application, other than the Lead applicant, like the Sponsor, Fellowship Supervisor, Mentors and/or the External Sponsors,Collaborators are required to participate in the application process through our online application system IASys. Once nominated by the applicant, they receive a system-generated email with their log-in details to enable them to fill in their basic information, confirm their participation, and upload a letter of support/recommendation in PDF format. Letters provided in support of the application must be duly attested, dated and on the official letterhead of the person providing the letter.

Sponsoring Institution


If the applicant is awarded,the sponsoring host institution is expected to: 1. agree to administer the award for the full tenure of the Fellowship, 2. assure that its space and resources will be available to the applicant, 3. ensure that if awarded, the Fellow would be provided status and benefits similar to others employed in equivalent/similar position at the institution.

For an institution to be eligible to receive funds from the India Alliance, it should be a non-profit organization (whose mission is broadly in line with that of the India Alliance) willing to agree to India Alliance's Award Conditions and policies. The not-for-profit status of an organisation can be ascertained if it is registered as a Trust/ Society/ Section 25 company/ or is formed under any other statute.

A nonprofit organization does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders, but instead uses them to help pursue its goals. It includes charitable organizations. Most government-funded institutions, government agencies and deemed Universities in India meet this definition. Please note that we do not provide support to other charities where the sole intention is for that charity to redistribute the funds.

Miscellaneous


The India Alliance Fellowships are intended to support the researchers at key stages of their career after their doctoral studies (newly qualified postdoctoral researchers, postdoctoral scientists and senior scientists). Therefore, we don't have any provision to provide fellowships for supporting any kind of doctoral studies.

The India Alliance only provides Fellowships for 60 months durations. The cap for the Fellowship amounts are available under costing policies.

Our mission is to advance biomedical research related to human or animal welfare through support of basic, clinical and population-based research. Any scientific investigation required to understand the underlying life processes which affect human and animal well-being can be funded by the India Alliance.

The India Alliance does not provide travel grants. You may wish to consider travel assistance provided by other national funding agencies such as DST, CSIR , INSA , Indo-US Science and Technology Forum and DBT

However, the India Alliance Fellows receive a generous travel allowance as part of their Fellowship funds (see costing policies).