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Research Projects

Promotion of Research in Social Sciences is one of the major activities of Emperor Research Foundation. Research grants are direct financial support to research projects taken up by social scientists in addition to their normal duties in an honorary capacity.  Emperor Research Foundation provides grants to scholars to conduct research in various fields of social sciences with a theoretical, conceptual, and methodological or policy orientation on the subject of their choice. The research projects may belong to any of the prescribed social science disciplines or may be interdisciplinary in nature.

The specific objectives of the programme are:

To provide opportunities for the training of future researchers;

To maintain and sustain various disciplinary research activities

To foster and promote collaborative, multidisciplinary research activities among researchers in the social sciences;

To facilitate communication of research outputs within and beyond the academic community and to provide inputs to administrators and policymakers.

Categories of Research projects:

Minor Research Project, formerly known as Research Projects Responsive and Research Projects Sponsored respectively. Per the guidelines, proposals are invited, scrutinized, processed and awarded annually.

Guidelines for Research Projects

The promotion of social science research is one of the major objectives of the Emperor Research Foundation. Research grant is financial support to research projects undertaken by the Indian Social Scientists. Emperor Research Foundation provides funding to Indian scholars to conduct cutting-edge research in various fields of social sciences that have theoretical, conceptual, methodological and policy implications. The Research Projects may belong to any of the social science disciplines or may be multi-disciplinary in nature.

The broad disciplines of study, within the domain of social sciences, are:

1. Development Studies
2. Management
3. Commerce
4. Economics
5. Social Work
6. Cultural Studies
7. Socio-Philosophical Studies
8. Sociolinguistics
9. Gender Studies
10. Health Studies
11. Political Science
12. International Studies
13. Public Administration
14. Diaspora Studies
15. National Security and Strategic Studies
16. Education
17. Legal Studies
18. Environmental Studies
19. Social History
20. Language Studies

Note: Support may also be provided to researchers/scholars belonging to disciplines other than the ones mentioned above provided he/she is interested in and has in the opinion of the Emperor Research Foundation. the necessary competence to conduct research in social sciences or social aspects of other sciences. Projects that span across disciplinary boundaries also fall within the areas of the Emperor Research Foundation. interests.

The Emperor Research Foundation awards research projects based on the scope, duration of the study and budget:

Minor Projects will be awarded for a duration of 12 months with a budget of up to Rs.2.00 lakhs.


UGC Recognized Indian Universities/Deemed Universities/ Affiliated Colleges/Institutions under (2)F / 12(B) etc., are eligible to apply. However, other registered organisations with established research and academic standing may collaborate with any of the above-mentioned institutions for the implementation of the study and may form a joint team consisting of the Project Director, Co-Project Director(s) etc. Such collaborations have to be clearly stated in the application itself.

Professional social scientists who are permanently employed or retired as faculty in a UGC (University Grants Commission) recognized Indian university/ deemed University / College with requisite research infrastructure/institute of national importance / ICSSR Regional Centres, ICSSR Research Institutes, ICSSR Recognised Institutes and possessing a Ph.D. and demonstrable research experience through publications of books/research papers/reports are eligible to apply. Both the Project Director and Co-Director must possess a Ph.D. degree and a proven track record of high-quality research as evidenced by past studies, publications and their academic background.

Senior government and defence officers (not less than 25 years of regular service) and persons with proven Social Science expertise possessing a Ph. D. degree or equivalent research work in any social science discipline and demonstrable research experience through publications of books/research papers/reports can also apply, preferably in collaboration with a faculty in a social science discipline from institutions given in 2.1 above.

Retired faculty/teachers and government/defence officers are required to affiliate with ICSSR Regional Centers / ICSSR Research Institutes /  ICSSR Recognised Institutes / Institute of national importance / UGC recognized Indian University / Deemed University of his / her choice with the prior approval of the ICSSR.

How to Apply

The applications will be invited through an advertisement on the Emperor Research Foundation website, social media platforms of Emperor Research Foundation and if required, in print media

The applicants shall submit an online application which includes the research proposal in the given prescribed format. They are to submit the hard copies of their application and annexures, duly forwarded by the Competent Authorities of the affiliating university/college/institute, within 10 days of the prescribed last date of online submission.

In case, the hard copy of the application is not received within 10 days of asking, the candidature of applicants shall be treated as withdrawn/cancelled.

Research proposals and final reports should be in English 

Scholars can only apply for one project at a time. In case of any ongoing or completed project with the Emperor Research Foundation, the cooling-off period for applying to another project will be one year, with the duration calculated from the date of acceptance of the final report.

Procedure for Awards

Applications are scrutinised by the Emperor Research Foundation Secretariat/ and or by a Screening Committee in respect of eligibility.  Eligible applications are then examined and evaluated by the Expert Committee(s). Shortlisted candidates are then called for presentation and interaction at ICSSR (in person or online) before another expert committee. The expert committee(s) make(s) recommendations for the award of studies and also suggest(s) a budget for the recommended studies.

The number of candidates called for presentations/interaction will be twice the number of projects to be awarded.

Completion of the Study 

On completion of the study, the Project Director should submit:

  1. Final report in a publishable form (Softcopies in both PDF and Word format);

  2. Abstract in 500 words (Softcopies in both PDF and Word format);

  3. Executive Summary of the final report in 5000 words (Softcopies in both PDF and Word format);

  4. Similarity index sheet (Plagiarism check) for the final report. After acceptance of the report by the Emperor Research Foundation upon incorporating the suggested changes if any, the Project Director should submit:

  5. Soft copy of the modified final report (in both PDF and Word format) along with two hard copies;

  6. Five copies of the executive summary;

  7. Softcopies of (if any) Data Sets, along with well-defined definitions of data and other important information for documentation.

  8. Emperor Research Foundation gets every report checked for plagiarism and the similarity report is also generated.  As a policy, Emperor Research Foundation does not accept content beyond 10 per cent on the similarity index.  Scholars are required to get their final as well as modified report checked on their own for similarity index and attach a report of the same at the time of submission.  The final report submitted by the scholar will be considered as satisfactory only after final recommendation of acceptance by the expert appointed by the Emperor Research Foundation 

Obligations of the Affiliating Institution

The affiliating institution is required to give an undertaking in the prescribed format contained in the Application Form to administer and manage the Emperor Research Foundation grant.

It is also required to provide the requisite research infrastructure to the scholar and maintain proper accounts.

The affiliating institution shall open/maintain a dedicated bank account for the Emperor Research Foundation grant that is duly registered at the EAT Module of the PFMS portal for the release of the Project Grant without any delay.

The affiliating institution will be under obligation to ensure submission of the final report and an Audited Statement of Accounts and Utilization Certificate, (in the prescribed Proforma GFR 12-A) duly certified by the Competent authority of the institution including the refund of any unspent balance. The affiliating institution shall make suitable arrangements for the preservation of data such as filled-in schedules, tabulation sheets, manuscripts, reports, etc. relating to the study. The  Emperor Research Foundation reserves the right to demand raw data, or such parts of the study as it deems fit.

In case a scholar leaves /discontinues/dies during a project before completion of the tenure, the affiliating institution shall immediately inform Emperor Research Foundation, and settle the accounts including the refund of any unspent balance within a year of submission.

Other Conditions

The duration of the project shall be a maximum period of two years for Major Projects and one year for Minor Projects which includes the time for Final Report writing. In case of exceptional circumstances, an extension may be granted by the Emperor Research Foundation without any additional financial burden on being satisfied with the progress of the work including quality publication. If the extension is required, the Project Director needs to request at least three months before the completion for a no-cost extension with a copy of the progress made, and the reason for the delay by justifying the extension. Retrospective extension will not be permitted.

The contingency grant may be utilized for stationery, computer typing-related costs, specialised assistance such as data analysis and consultation for field trips etc., related to the research work.

Defaulters of any previous fellowship/project/grant of the Emperor Research Foundation will not be eligible for consideration. 

 Any request for an additional grant over the sanctioned budget will not `be considered. 

Purchase of equipment/ assets for the research Project is permissible only if it is originally proposed and approved by the Emperor Research Foundation and does not exceed the permissible amount and follows the rules of the affiliating institution.

The project director cannot make any changes in the research design at any stage.

Regarding the Transfer of a Project/Appointment of a substitute Project Director:

  1. On the request from a university/institute, the Emperor Research Foundation may permit the appointment of a Substitute Project Director in exceptional circumstances.
  2. The Emperor Research Foundation may also appoint a Substitute Project Director if it is convinced that the original awardee of the Project will not be in a position to carry out the study successfully.
  3. The Emperor Research Foundation may transfer the place of the Project from one affiliating institution to another subject to the submission of the following:
  • Satisfactory progress report (s);
  • No objection certificate from both the previous and the new university/institute;
  • An audited statement of account and utilization certificate along with unspent balance, if any.

However, no transfer of project / Project director should be requested in the last six months of the study.

  1. Overhead charges will be apportioned proportionally among the institutes as per the grant released or as may be finally decided by the  Emperor Research Foundation

  2. In case of superannuation of the Project Director and if the rules of the institution so require the transfer of the project to a serving faculty member may be done with prior approval of the Emperor Research Foundation  The credit of the Project shall belong to the original submitting Project Director.

  3. Consideration under other call(s) would require a fresh proposal.

  4. The Council reserves the right to reject any application without assigning any reason. It will not be responsible for any postal delays/loss. 

  5. Incomplete applications in any respect will not be considered.

  6. The final authority related to the interpretation of the guidelines or any issue left is vested with the Emperor Research Foundation

  7. No queries will be entertained by the Emperor Research Foundation Secretariat until the final declaration of results against a call. Any lobbying for the award will lead to disqualification. While accepting a Research Project from the Emperor Research Foundation an awardee should not accept any other fellowship or research project or assignment from any other institution.

  8. The Emperor Research Foundation reserves all rights to publish the project funded by it, provided the work is recommended for publication by Emperor Research Foundation-appointed expert/experts.