ResearchIndian Council of Social Science and Research (ICSSR), has invited applications under the ‘Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences’ (IMPRESS) scheme.

The Programme is being implemented by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

The broad objectives of the scheme are (i) To identify and fund research proposals in Social Sciences with maximum impact on the governance and society (ii) To focus research on 11 broad thematic areas – (i) State and Democracy (ii)  Urban transformation (iii) Media, Culture and Society (iv) Employment, Skills and Rural transformation (v) Governance, Innovation and Public Policy (vi) Growth, Macro-trade and Economic Policy (vii) Agriculture and Rural Development (viii) Health and Environment (ix) Science and Education (x) Social Media and Technology (xi) Politics, Law and Economics.

Under the IMPRESS Scheme, 1500 research projects will be awarded for 2 years to support Social Science research in the higher educational institutions and to enable research to guide policy making. The research carried out under IMPRESS scheme will be used to understand and solve problems facing the society.

There will be 4 calls for proposals, in October, 2018; February 2019; September 2019 and February 2020. The process of evaluation of the proposals and selection will be completed within 90 days from the date of call for proposals. The experts for evaluation of proposals will be persons of eminence and selected using objective criteria. There will be a regular monitoring of the progress of projects using the online portal, in which the progress can be directly updated by the Project Coordinator. There will be a third party evaluation of the projects in March 2021.

Eligibility: Social science researchers in any institution in the country, including all Universities (Central and State), private institutions with 12(B) status conferred by UGC come under the purview of the scheme. ICSSR funded/recognised research institutes will also be eligible to submit research proposals on the given themes and sub-themes.

Retired faculties with proven research interests can also apply under the scheme but they would be required to get themselves affiliated to any of the eligible research institutions mentioned.

Individual scholars can apply for maximum two projects at a time. However, in case both projects are selected, the applicant can choose only one project at level 3. Institutes having good research infrastructure and resources may apply for a number of proposals.

Applicants are required to submit an Abstract & a detailed Research Proposal in the given format including details of the Project Director and Co-Director(s) and the budget.

Selection process: Applications would be initially scrutinised by the ICSSR secretariat for their completeness. All the eligible applications will then be sent for blind peer review through a computer generated referral system. In case there are any suggestions for improvement, the same would be sent to the scholar(s) before presentation. All the short-listed scholars would then be invited for a Power Point Presentation before the Expert Committee at the ICSSR. The recommendations of the Expert Committee would then be placed before the Steering Committee for its final decision.

Duration: Research Projects shall have six months to two year duration, depending upon the requirement of the work.

Funding: The budget for Minor Projects would be up to Rs. 4.99 lakh and for Major Projects, up to Rs. 5-15 lakh. Large inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional studies involving a number of scholars could also be proposed with a budget from Rs 15-50 lakh or above. The amount will be disbursed in instalments, depending on the phases and duration of the study, as indicated in the Sanction Letter.

Applications: Proposals can be submitted at http://impress-icssr.res.in/ or at  https://icssr.org/

Last date for online submission of Project proposals for the first call is November 30, 2018.

After submitting the online application, a hard copy of the same, along with all enclosures, must be sent to ‘IMPRESS, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067’, duly signed and stamped by the affiliating institution, to reach within the last date of such submission.

More details on the scheme including Guidelines are available at http://impress-icssr.res.in/ and also at https://icssr.org/