INSPIRE Fellowship Scheme (FELLOWSHIP)

  1. What is INSPIRE Fellowship?

    It is the fourth Component of INSPIRE Program launched by the Government of India to strengthen the national science and technology base. It is being implemented by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). This Component is focused on attraction of student to pursue doctoral degree in basic and applied sciences including engineering, medicine, agriculture, veterinary, pharmacy etc. after either masters’ degree in science or bachelor/ masters’ degree in engineering/ applied sciences.
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  2. Who are eligible to apply for INSPIRE Fellowship scheme?

    INSPIRE Fellowship, is offered to

    i) INSPIRE Scholar having secured minimum 70% marks (or CGPA equivalent) in aggregate at M.Sc. or Integrated M.S. / M.Sc.

    ii) 1st Rank Holder at University level examination in Post-Graduate (PG) level examinations in Basic/ Applied Sciences including Engineering, Medicine, Pharmacy, Agricultural sciences and Veterinary Sciences from any recognized University and academic Institutions (Excluding Autonomous Colleges) in India. 1st Rank Holders at the Graduate/Post-graduate Level Examination in Medicine only conducted by a University/ Institution in India are also eligible to apply. 1st Rank should be of obtained in minimum batch size of 10 students in that university level examination with minimum aggregate of 70% marks (or CGPA equivalent) for the entire course/ program.

    Students who i) are 1st Rank Holder in College including Autonomous College Examination, ii) have obtained degree (s) through Distance Education Mode and iii) are 1st Rank Holder in any specialization given at M.Sc. 2nd/ last Year, are not eligible for the offer of INSPIRE Fellowship.The Fellowship will be offered based on screening/availability of fellowships in the current year, as 1000 fellowships are available annually.
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  3. When can we apply for INSPIRE Fellowship?

    Every year during around September/October call is announced to seek fresh applications from eligible students in that year through portal: http://www.online-inspire.gov.in. The online application link is : http://www.online-inspire.gov.in
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  4. How should I apply for INSPIRE Fellowship Scheme?  

    One can apply for the Fellowship scheme through online mode only when the call is announced. However, To apply online, please visit the link http://www.online-inspire.gov.in and follow the guidelines as given therein.
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  5. Is it mandatory to produce the Rank certificate in the INSPIRE Fellowship format or we can submit what we have received from institution?

    Yes, it is mandatory to produce the Rank certificate in INSPIRE Fellowship Format only (Format provided at http://www.online-inspire.gov.in). Provisional Rank certificate or mark sheet will not be acceptable for consideration of INSPIRE Fellowship application.

  6. What is the selection procedure?

    Selection from among the eligible applicants is done in two stages i.e. Level I and Level II.

    1. Applicants who are already admitted to in Ph.D. Program in S&T prior to submitting application and selected at both Level I & Level II, will be awarded the Final Offer for the INSPIRE Fellowship.

    2. Applicants who have not admitted to in Ph.D. Program in S&T prior to submitting application and get selected at Level I, will be awarded a Provisional Offer for INSPIRE Fellowship.

    The Provisional Offer is made on the basis of scrutiny of application along with required documents (Level I) submitted by the applicant. However, the Final Offer is made on the basis of evaluation of the application at Level II considering i) Academic merit ii) Host Institution including Research Supervisor CV and iii) the detailed Research Proposal by Subject Expert Committee. In this Level II Evaluation Process, applicants need to secure a minimum qualifying score/cutoff as recommended by the Subject Expert Committee and approved by the Competent Authority. The cut-off marks may vary based on the competitive framework of the selection process. Also, it is important to note that Provisional Offer does not guarantee the award of INSPIRE Fellowship.
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  7. What is the difference between Provisional Offer and Final Offer of INSPIRE Fellowship?

    Provisional Offer: Students who are eligible for INSPIRE Fellowship but not admitted for PhD program, would get provisional selection and they will be given one year validity to gain admission into PhD program.
    Final Offer: Students who are eligible for INSPIRE Fellowship as well as got admitted for PhD program would be given final offer of INSPIRE Fellowship.
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  8. What is the tenure of this Fellowship?

    The Fellowship shall be tenable for a maximum period of five years from INSPIRE Fellowship “Effective Date” or completion of the PhD program (i.e. up to the date of final defend of the PhD Thesis), whichever is earlier. The fellowship shall be governed by administrative norms and guidelines of Host University/Institute during the total tenure. .
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  9. What would be our designation after selection under INSPIRE Fellowship?

    The entry in INSPIRE Fellowship would be only as JRF. There is no any direct entry into SRF. The Junior Research Fellow (JRF) or Senior Research Fellow (SRF) under this scheme shall be termed as 'INSPIRE Fellow'..
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  10. What is the amount of Fellowship?

    The Fellowship shall be governed through the Office Memorandum of this Ministry of Number A.20020/11/97-IFD dated 6th August 2007; 31st March 2010; 21st October 2014 [No. SR/S9/Z-09/2012] and SR/S9/Z-08/2018 dated 30th January 2019 shall be liable to be revised from time to time as per Government Order. However, the HRA to the Fellows shall also be applicable as per GoI norms depending upon the location of the Host Institution.
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  11. What are the norms for contingency Expenditure?

    Expenditure of contingency grant would be governed as per host institution norms. The limit of contingency amount is Rs 20,000 annually. The unspent balance of contingency grant at the end of a year may be adjusted to the next year to maintain yearly/instalment wise of contingency fund.
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  12. Where will be the amount of Fellowship transferred?

    Fellowship amount to selected students are transferred by electronic mode through PFMS to the host-institution Bank Account where students are pursuing PhD program. The Sanction Letter of individual Fellow is available to Fellow as well as to Host University through webportal.
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  13. What is this PFMS?

    The Public Financial Management System (PFMS: pfms.nic.in) is a Central Sector Plan Scheme of the Planning Commission which is being implemented by the Office of Controller General of Accounts in partnership with National Informatics Centre. The scheme has established a common transaction-based on-line fund management and payment system and MIS for the Plan Schemes of Government of India.
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  14. Is it mandatory that Host Institute should be registered under PFMS for receiving the Fellowship amount?

    Yes, it is mandatory. Else Fellowship fund transfer cannot be done.
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  15. What will be my effective date of INSPIRE Fellowship?

    The Effective Date of availing INSPIRE Fellowship would be as under:

    1. Fresh applicants who have already taken admission into PhD course prior to submission of application, or switching over from any other fellowship to INSPIRE Fellowship will be the Effective Date. The Effective Date would not be given earlier than the date of application received at the DST.
    2. Applicant who will be placed during selection process under “Provisional Selection” category from 9th advertisement onwards and subsequently issued “Final Offer” by gaining admission into Ph.D. the “Effective Date” would be the date of uploading documents related to confirmed Ph.D. Admission or date of Ph. D. Admission, whichever is later. However, in case the candidate already enjoying some other fellowship and resigns to join in to INSPIRE Fellowship, the “Effective Date” would only be after the date of resignation from previous funding agency. In no case the candidate would be allowed to resign from other fellowship before date of Final Offer of INSPIRE Fellowship. For Final selection under INSPIRE Fellowship, the admission into Ph.D. program is necessary.

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  16. What is the procedure to transfer the Fellowship from one host institute to another host institute?

    An INSPIRE Fellow once accepted the offer of Fellowship at a particular University/ Institute/ Laboratory in the country shall not be allowed for transferring the Fellowship to any other University/ Institute / Laboratory in the country during 5 years of Fellowship tenure. However, in unavoidable situation for continuation of PhD works, the Fellow must seek prior permission from DST-INSPIRE Program Division for transferring/ shifting of Host Institute through written applications with following documents:

    1. No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from both Host Institutes and Research Supervisors,
    2. Detailed Justifications for changing / shifting of Host Institute for implementation of Fellowship,
    3. Area of PhD works with an up to date technical Progress Report,
    4. CV of the Research Supervisor at the new Host Institute,
    5. Up to date Financial Statement from the old Host Institute.

    However, shifting/ change of Host Institute without prior approval from DST-INSPIRE may be called for withdrawn of the INSPIRE Fellowship. Moreover, such shifting/ change of Host Institute may be allowed only one time in 5 years period of Fellowship tenure and within one year of effective of Fellowship at that Host Institute. If INSPIRE fellow leaves without permission, stipend due at any time shall not be paid to him/her by the Institution, till all University and other dues are cleared and certified by the University/Institution. Responsibility in such cases shall be that of the University/Institution concerned.
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  17. I am already receiving other fellowship what should I do for switching over to INSPIRE Fellowship?

    When you receive the Final offer under INSPIRE Fellowship please resign from the previous fellowship for switching over into INSPIRE Fellowship and put these details into Acceptance letter (Format provided at http://www.online-inspire.gov.in). Please do not resign unless you receive the Final Offer of INSPIRE Fellowship.
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  18. I have received an invitation for doing a short internship program which is relevant to my PhD degree, Can I avail this short term internship during my INSPIRE Fellowship tenure?

    INSPIRE Fellow shall be allowed for availing short-term Research Internship activities at any national or international Laboratory/ University/ Institute up to a maximum period of 18 months either in one or multiple slots during 5 years of Fellowship tenure. However, the Fellow requires informing DST-INSPIRE along with recommendation of PhD Research Supervisor as well as confirmation from Research Internship provider for obtaining prior permission. In the event that the Fellow receives financial support of the overseas institution, the INSPIRE Fellowship for the period of Overseas stay will not be remitted.
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  19. I have received an invitation for doing a short internship program which is relevant to my PhD degree, Can I avail this short term internship during my INSPIRE Fellowship tenure?

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  20. What should be done for getting next instalment of my Fellowship?

    INSPIRE Fellows need to submit Utilization Certificate, Statement of Expenditure, Claim Bill and Annual Report as per the formats available at http://www.inspire-dst.gov.in, at the end of every year through Host Institute for receiving the next instalment.
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  21. What are things to be remembered while preparing the correct and acceptable SE, UC and claim bill?

    The balance of Fellowship should not be more than the amount of one month’s fellowship.HRA or Contingency balance will be subtracted from next year’s Requirement if it is not utilized in last sanctioned year. Fill Expenditure details in online portal only for previous sanctioned instalment. Uploaded SE and UC should be clearly visible. In case multiple SE and UC have to be uploaded, please make one single file of all year’s SE together and another file of all year’s UC together, then upload at appropriate place. SE and UC without the Seal of Signing Authority will be unacceptable.
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  22. How much time will be taken after uploading SE, UC and claim bill for processing?

    It takes around 4 months to process from the date of uploading documents and no enquiry regarding next instalment will be entertained within this period.
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  23. When will I be eligible for up grading my Fellowship from JRF to SRF?

    The up-gradation of Fellowship status i.e. Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) to Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) would normally be considered after completion of two (2) years of INSPIRE Fellowship at JRF level through performance assessment report on the progress made in the PhD program. However, this performance assessment can also be conducted at any time after completion of one year at JRF level with acceptance of at least one research publication (1st Authorship) in any international peer-reviewed journal by the INSPIRE Fellow out of the PhD work done at that Host Institute (within one year).
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  24. What is the procedure of up gradation from JRF/JRF-P to SRF/SRF-P?

    For up-gradation of Fellowship, a three (3)- member Assessment Committee shall beconstituted by the Vice-Chancellor/Director/Head of the Host Institute to assess the progress ofthe concerned INSPIRE Fellow.The Assessment Committee shall include the Research Supervisor of the concerned INSPIREFellow and one Faculty from the Host Institution as a Members and a DST-nominated expertwho will act as the Chairperson. The host institute need not approach DST for the name of the DST-nominated expert who willbe the chairperson of the Assessment Committee.
    The Host institute may choose one Fellow ofany of the following four National Academies as the DST-nominated Expert and theChairperson of the Assessment Committee subject to i) his/her being in the concerned area ofresearch, ii) his/her being from an institution other than the Host Institution; iii) his/her beingnot related to the INSPIRE Fellow and/or his/her Research Supervisor; and iv) ResearchSupervisor of the INSPIRE Fellow not having been his/her research student:
    Indian National Science Academy (INSA), New Delhi
    Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS), Bengaluru
    National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), Prayagraj, and
    Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), Gurugran.
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  25. I got a Job please tell me what is the procedure to discontinue my INSPIRE Fellowship?

    You have to submit complete financial statements (SE & UC) with Completion report. Now, DST is not accepting any Cheque/Demand of unspent balance in physical form. All interests, unspent balance and other earnings against released Grant shall be remitted to Consolidated Fund of India (through Non-Tax Receipt Portal (NTRP), i.e. www.bharatkosh.gov.in), immediately after finalization of accounts, as it shall not be adjusted towards future release of Grant. A certificate or receipt (indicating IF No) to this effect shall have to be submitted along with Statement of Expenditure / Utilization Certificate on online INSPIRE portal (http://online-inspire.gov.in) for considering subsequent release of Grant/Closure of accounts. (Format of SE, UC, Annual Report and claim bill is available at http://www.online-inspire.gov.in)
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  26. I have completed my PhD under INSPIRE Fellowship, What next to do?

    You have to submit complete financial statements (SE & UC) with thesis soft copy (Only in CD). All interests, unspent balance and other earnings against released Grant shall be remitted to Consolidated Fund of India (through Non-Tax Receipt Portal (NTRP), i.e. www.bharatkosh.gov.in), immediately after finalization of account. The IF No. and Name of the Fellow should be mentioned on the receipt.
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  27. I am INSPIRE Fellow, I got a government job. Can I join my job and hold my INSPIRE fellowship for some period? I want to join INSPIRE Fellowship again after completing my probation period of job, with permission from Employer?

    If you join government job, there is no such provision of holding INSPIRE Fellowship and rejoining again after some period. Your Fellowship will be discontinued from the date of joining of job. Then you need to follow the procedure of discontinuation of the INSPIRE Fellowship. (Procedure given in 25th point)
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  28. What are the other things which I need to remember during my tenure under INSPIRE Fellowship?

    1. All kind of required blank formats for INSPIRE Fellowship are also available at http://www.inspire-dst.gov.in
    2. Keep checking the website and registered email for any updates.
    3. Acknowledge the financial support of DST in your all published research papers under INSPIRE Fellowship and also in PhD thesis.
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  29. I have to wait for my bank details to be approved before submitting my joining acceptance documents.

    The bank detail submission page consists of a selected bank details list already approved by DST. If you select the required bank detail from the list, you do not have to wait for its approval and can move forward directly to upload your joining acceptance. [Back To Top]

  30. I was awarded final offer of INSPIRE Fellowship. I had to upload bank details then Joining cum acceptance (JCA) within one month of Fellowship Final offer. I could not do it within validity?

    If selected INSPIRE Fellow fails to upload JCA within one month from date of offer letter issued, their offer will be automatically withdrawn.
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  31. My provisional offer validity is now over. I could not upload my PhD admission documents in online portal?

    This is an automated system. If student fails to upload his/ her PhD admission documents within validity, the portal will get closed and then he/ she will not be able to upload PhD admission documents for Final Offer. In that case his/ her provisional offer will stand withdrawn.
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  32. I had filled my Bank details after receiving Final offer and waiting for its approval. How would I know that my documents are approved?

    Once you submit your Bank details you need to regularly check your portal whether your link for Joining cum Acceptance is opening. If it started opening that means your Bank details are approved and you need to fill and upload Joining cum Acceptance.
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  33. Whether Re-evaluation of any rejected application is possibleor not?

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  34. If so, details process

    Within 45 days of notifying the results for Stage-2 evaluations, in case any candidate whose application is rejected at that stage may be allowed for re-evaluation. The re-evaluation would be done only on the existing all documents including Research Proposal available on the Portal. No new documents would be possible/allowed to accept for the re-evaluation aspects like i). Academic Merit, ii). Host Institute and iii). Research Proposal. Such requests shall be made by the candidate within 45 days through email at (email id: tamanna[dot]arora[at]gov[dot]in).
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