The Research & Development office of IISER Bhopal has been established to provide specialized administrative and managerial support for the operation of sponsored research, consultancy and other R&D related activities of the Institute. The research viewpoint has now progressed from an individual laboratory work to a collaborative one that occurs not just at national but at international level. The office provides support for the interaction of an IISER faculty with external agency around the globe. The office also provides support for the Institute-Industry interaction and takes care of the filing and management of patents.
The research in this Institute aims toward exploring new fields and generating innovative ideas using young and bright minds in order to contribute to the development of the society and the growth of the industry. The Institute benefits tremendously from such research activities that not only address the current problems in the society but also aim toward the development of new technologies. To achieve these objectives, the faculty members are supported by state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure.
Sponsored Research Projects
Sponsored project refers to one in which the PI is involved in basic research. Amount may be used by the PI as approved in the respective budget head by the funding agency. It can be funded by the government or any Industry.
1) Individual projects
The Institute encourages investigation of basic and applied areas of science and technology, high end technology development in the form of sponsored projects. Research grants for such projects are given by government agencies and industries (both national and international). These projects are usually of 2-5 years duration with periodic appraisals, while research objectives and goals may be refined along the way.
2) Collaborative projects
Faculty may also participate in collaborative projects with other domestic or foreign partners. In such projects, even though there may be an overall project, there must be a separate budget and scope of work statement to be done by the Institute Representative. The summary statement provided to the Institute should be based primarily on the portion to be done by the Institute. The Institute soon after receiving a sanction letter from the Sponsoring Agency allows the Project Investigators to initiate the project work by hiring the personnel, spending on consumables, using the infrastructure and resources of the Institute, in anticipation of the release of the Funds.
The Institute representative shall obtain a forwarding note from the DORD, with a clear bifurcation of funds to be granted in favour of the Institute including the Institute’s portion of Overheads. The forwarding note along with the complete proposal and the respective forwarding note from the Institute of the collaborator have to be sent to the funding agency. The Institute shall issue a utilization certificate for the portion of the grants received by the Institute, if it is a partial grant. In case of full funding, the Institute from time to time shall arrange to release the portion of funds meant for the collaborating Institute on receipt of a stamped advance pre-receipt or a utilization certificate as the case may be. Finally, at the end of each Financial Year and at the end of the project an integrated utilization certificate and the project completion report needs to be sent through the PI/DORD office to the funding agency.
The money received through Grants is parked in the Current Account held by the Institute and the Institute does not earn any interest on the Grants received. Neither the Institute charges any interest from the Funding agencies in case of delay in reimbursement of expenditure or transfer of the Funds pledged by the agency towards the execution of the Projects by the PIs of IISER Bhopal.
- While making an estimate of the funds required for a project, the following budget heads should be taken into account:
- Salary of project staff including PhD scholars
- Travel (domestic, international)
- Audit fee, Taxes, Insurance, Bank charges, AMCs
- Overheads (@20% of project cost)
- Any other costs specific to the project
- Overheads: Overheads are presently calculated @20% of the total project cost.
- Endorsement is printed on the institute letterhead, and is signed by the PI and is forwarded to the R&D office for the counter signature of Dean, R&D.
- A proposal that satisfies all the conditions, particularly of the overheads, will be signed by the Dean, R&D. Any deviation from the norms (e.g. reduction of overhead) should be discussed and explicitly approved. The approving authority for any relaxation is the Dean, R&D.
- The proposal should be sent by the PI and copy has to be archived in Research & Development Office.
- The hard/softcopy of the proposal will be sent to the MoU Cell of R&D Office for archiving.
- IPR issue: All IPR related issues are agreed between the Institute and the funding agency. Preferably, IPR will be jointly shared by IISER Bhopal and the funding agency. For IPR policy of the Institute, please refer http://www.iiserb.ac.in/IP_policy.pdf.
- MoU/Agreement preparation: The Institute has Board approved guidelines for drafting MoU/Agreement. For preparation of MoU/agreement, please refer to the relevant section under “Function of the office of R&D”.
- After completion of the project, final report should be submitted to the funding agency. The responsibility of this lies on the PI. The PI may collect a consolidated copy of the Statement of Accounts cum Utilization certificate and send it along with the project completion report to the respective funding agency with a copy of it submitted to the R&D office.
- A completion certificate should be obtained from the funding agency on successful completion of the project and the same should be submitted to the R&D office based on which project account will be closed.
The Institute may provide funds/grants from ` 5.00 lakhs to ` 25.00 lakhs to new faculty for initiating research. The request should include a brief description of the research and the requirements for the research that he/she wishes to conduct over the next 2 years. It is a platform meant to help new faculty to prepare for subsequent proposal submissions. The unutilized money will be surrendered at the end of second year.
- The initiation grant is to procure research equipments, PC, printer, UPS, books, furniture, miscellaneous items and domestic travel for the purpose of initiating projects. Generally it does not include the following, unless it is specially approval by the competent authority..
- appointing staff,
- conference travel (for which other sources are available).
- A brief proposal may be presented by the new faculty before an Institute level committee constituted by the Director.
Institute supported projects
It is anticipated that sustained long-term support to research and coherent research groups will deliver immense overall advantage. Against this background, The Institute has proposed for creation of a plan budget for research.
- Based on the yearly approvals, a total yearly budget of Rs 3 – 4 crores may be available, with the budget likely to grow (significantly) in the future.
- A total of 4-5 projects would be approved every year, each project being proposed for a period of three or four years.
- Projects would be selected from detailed proposals submitted to the Institute. The proposals would necessarily be in extremely important and attractive areas. They would be reviewed by a panel of experts, including some from outside the Institute, if necessary. The quality of the proposal would be the primary factor guiding its selection for financial support.
- Proposals would ideally be inter-disciplinary. They would be developed by a team of faculty and staff from within the Institute. However, we do not plan to restrict proposal development in any manner, at this point of time.
- The investigators would have considerable flexibility in using the money, subject to initial approval by the expert committee.
- Projects funded by the Institute would be carefully monitored. Publications, PhD students, and patents would be used as indicators of success.
- It is hoped that stable financial support from within the Institute will enable our faculty to forge new directions, accept grand challenges, and make a dent in the international scene.
In view of the Institute decision to financially support research of faculty and staff using internal resources, the following strategy for selection and monitoring of projects, including implementation details and deadlines will be adopted.
- Call for proposals: Office of Dean: R&D will announce the call for proposals from the academic staff of the Institute. The call will include the Institute position on thrust areas, though proposals would be welcome from all domains of science and technology. Interesting proposals involving social sciences will also be considered. Proposals can be developed by individuals though it is likely that high quality proposals would be inter-disciplinary and hence originate from a group. Proposals will have to be in the DST format. Financial support will be provided for up to a period of three to four years. The quantum of funding is clearly substantial.
- Review process: Proposals will be reviewed by a Board-constituted standing committee. The committee may seek the opinion of international experts to evaluate the proposal. Such experts may be suggested by the investigator in the proposal itself. Quality, originality and the likelihood of high impact would be the guiding principles during the evaluation. Presentations may be arranged to gauge the originality and importance of the proposed research. The committee will make decisions with respect to the suitability of the proposal for financial support as well as other aspects such as time-frame requested, cost of equipment, consumables, staff, expenses towards travel, and workshops-conferences that the investigator may wish to organize. The recommendation of the committee, forwarded by Dean: R&D will be submitted to Director for final approval.
- Administrative issues: The standing committee for evaluating sponsoring projects from Institute resources would be composed of the faculty of the Institute. The committee will have a membership of four with Dean: R&D as the Chairman. In addition, each proposal will be independently reviewed by 2-3 subject experts. Members of the Departmental Advisory Committee may be drawn in for the review process as well as discussions. The standing committee will advise the Board of Governors on areas of research that the Institute should undertake and identify areas of collaboration with leading groups around the world.
- Identifying areas of research: This step is understandably the most important. Science and technology evolve at galloping speeds – an aspect that requires flexibility in the choice of research disciplines, investment, as well as faculty recruitment. Research directions could be driven by pure excitement and curiosity. More importantly, certain breakthroughs create new opportunities and avenues of research. The possibility of commercializing ideas, products, devices, and processes will call for sustained funding in specific areas. Ideas may flow from the industry or the Government. Research may be driven by crisis situations or concerns related to national security. The research community periodically announces grand challenges with suitable financial rewards. As an Institute, we may propose to take on leadership positions in subjects that we have traditionally excelled in. The emphasis will vary from one year to the next and will require continuous discussion. Departments, Centers, and IRDC will have to provide continuous advice to the Institute on the choice of focus areas.
- Evaluation: Progress would be closely monitored, using external experts, if necessary. High impact publications would be the first step in this evaluation. Institute support will also be viewed as an investment for bringing in major projects and awards. Contribution to national goals in missions such as health, communications, energy, environment, and water will be suitably recognized.
The Institute has expertise in various research areas to provide knowledge and intellectual inputs which are of interest to the industry. It encourages its faculty members to undertake consultancy work which is an important tool in industrial growth of the Country. Guiding notes:
- A consultancy project/task/work is one, where faculty and research staff provides knowledge and intellectual knowledge to industry (within India/outside India), primarily for their purposes. This is effectively a contract work in which all outputs belong to the sponsor.
- It is desirable that payments for consultancy be routed through the Institute. This means, that whenever payments are done, they should come in the name of the Institute, which will then do the needful for complying with statutory laws and then give the honorarium to the faculty/staff as the case may be.
- The requirement originates from the industry concerned. The faculty is expected to estimate the time and cost required to accomplish the task.
- Preparation and Submission of the proposal: In case of a consultancy project, normally based on the requirement, proposal is prepared by the PI. It should specifically mention breakage of funds, normally consultancy fee as the primary component. It may also have budget for supporting manpower, equipment, travel contingency and other such costs to execute the consultancy project. Overheads & service tax must be mentioned in every consultancy Project.
- Overheads and service tax: Please refer to the relevant section under “Functions of the Office of R&D”.
At the stage of proposal submission, the budget will reflect project costs (X), 25% overheads (0.25X) and service tax (10.3% of 1.25X).
Service tax is subject to periodic revision by the Government of India.
Service tax is not deducted on projects, if the funds are received in foreign currency.
Service tax on equipment is not chargeable, in case equipment is to be returned to the funding agency/organization after completion of the project. This should be clearly spelt out in the MoU/proposal itself.
- In international project:
- Funds are received in foreign currency;
- service tax is not applicable;
- The research collaboration of IISERB with the other party/funding agency should be in conformity with the laws of both the Countries and/or International laws as the case may be.
- A MoU/agreement that satisfies all the conditions, particularly of the overheads, service tax will be approved by the Institute. Any deviation from the norms (e.g. reduction of overhead) will have to be discussed and explicitly approved. The approving authority for any relaxation is the Director, IISERB.
- The softcopy of the proposal will be sent to the Office for records.
- IPR issue: All IPR related issues are agreed between the Institute and the funding agency. Preferably, IPR will be jointly shared by IISER Bhopal and the funding agency. For Board approved IPR policy of the Institute, please refer Guideline
- MoU/agreement preparation: Institute has Board approved guidelines for drafting MoU/Agreement
- For preparation of MoU/agreement, please refer to the relevant section under “Function of the Office of R&D”.
- Some template/model MoUs of different types are available at:
When MoU is clear from all angles and acceptable to both the parties, it is sent to the Director, IISERB for approval along with the Note File (summary of MoU). Upon approval, PI/HOD/DORD/DD/Director as the case may be along with witness, sign the MoU.
- Project responsibility: These projects are headed by a Principal Investigator (PI), and may have Co-Principal Investigators (co-PIs)/administrative PI (to operate the project, in case PI is out of station) and the deliverables are the responsibility of the PIs. The Institute provides the PI necessary support.
- After the project is sanctioned, for registration, operation of the Project, please refer functions of the Office of R&D in Section C.
- After completion of the project, final report should be submitted to the funding agency.
- A completion certificate should be obtained from the funding agency for successful completion of the project based on which project account will be closed.
- Function of the Office of R&D: The Office acts as a liaison between the Institute and industry / government bodies to undertake consultancy projects with specific problem, which are generally of short duration.
The word refers to examining a component or a product against a standard. Examples could be testing the strength of concrete in a construction, compaction strength of soil, calibration of pressure gages, and chemical identification of unknown species. Testing is commonly accomplished in general-purpose laboratories and does not require elaborate preparation or data analysis. Guiding notes:
- The procedure for overall operation of the project is similar like that of consultancy project.
- The MoU/agreement should be submitted to the Dean: Research & Development (after getting it forwarded by the HOD/Head of the Center) for signature. Forwarding is required to ensure that sufficient resources are available, and the project can be executed.
- A MoU/agreement that satisfies all the conditions, the service tax will be approved immediately. Any deviation from the norms will have to be discussed and explicitly approved. The approving authority for any relaxation is the Dean.
- The Office will make a suitable record of the proposal, and then courier the project proposal to the concerned agency along with the Institute’s cover letter. Alternatively, it may be given to the PI for forwarding it to the agency.
- The softcopy of the proposal will be sent to the Office for records. The Dean R&D is the competent authority for approving all project proposals.
- Overheads and service tax: Overheads are not deducted on testing projects. Service tax at applicable rates is deducted. Service tax is not deducted on projects funded by agencies outside India and funds are received in foreign currency. Please refer to the relevant section under “Function of the Office of R&D”. http://www.iiserb.ac.in/DORD/Guidelines_overheads.pdf
- After deduction of service tax, the balance receipt of testing is distributed as: 34% Institute, 33% DPA, 33% distribution (among participating employees).
- After the project is sanctioned, for registration, operation of the Project, please refer function of the Office of R&D in Section III.