Call for Applications: Team Science Grants


 

Deadline: 14 may 2020

 

Team Science Grants will fund team of researchers who bring together complementary skills, knowledge, and resources to address an important health challenge for India. These grants will also fund high-risk, high-reward research work.

Applicants must demonstrate their complementarity, the added value that this collaboration would bring and lead to advances that would otherwise not be possible with individual Principal Investigators (PIs) working alone. The project should be multi-institutional and inter-disciplinary in its approach, with a suitable research management plan and structure.

Though not mandatory, the scheme encourages international collaboration. The projects would require external evaluation at regular intervals, and therefore the proposal should have in-built milestones for evaluation and reporting. India Alliance would also reserve the right to periodically review the funded program, which may include site visits. 

Team Science Grants will fund team of researchers who bring together complementary skills, knowledge, and resources to address an important health challenge for India. These grants will also fund high-risk, high-reward research work.

Applicants must demonstrate their complementarity, the added value that this collaboration would bring and lead to advances that would otherwise not be possible with individual Principal Investigators (PIs) working alone. The project should be multi-institutional and inter-disciplinary in its approach, with a suitable research management plan and structure.

Though not mandatory, the scheme encourages international collaboration. The projects would require external evaluation at regular intervals, and therefore the proposal should have in-built milestones for evaluation and reporting. India Alliance would also reserve the right to periodically review the funded program, which may include site visits. 

Composition of the team

A minimum of three investigators should participate, including one as Principal Investigator (PI) who would manage and lead the team. The applying team should bring different expertise or disciplines to address the research problem within the remit of India Alliance. No more than 2 investigators can be from one institution, and a minimum of 2 institutions should be included. In a given round, no more than one application would be entertained from an individual as either PI or Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) (see roles below).

All investigators should

  • Have PhD/MD/MBBS-MS/MPH or equivalent, with at least 5 years of experience in running an independent research group or lab.
  • Demonstrate a record of achievements appropriate for their career stage.
  • Have obtained competitive grant/fellowship(s).
  • Have tenure at their respective host institutions for the entire duration of the grant.

There would be no age or nationality bar.

Principal Investigator (PI)

  • Would lead and manage the team of all investigators.
  • Should be working at / willing to re-locate to an Indian not-for-profit and financially eligible host institution for the entire duration of the grant. India Alliance would not negotiate a contract on behalf of the applicant. Note: no relocation charges can be requested on the grant.
  • Should hold an academic or research post and have a salary, or the guarantee of a salary, for the duration of the award period. If he/she holds an academic or research position at an eligible Indian host institution but has to generate part of the salary from extramural funds, the host institution must formally confirm this. In addition, the host institution must state that it would not guarantee the PI’s salary/part of salary if the researcher is unsuccessful in generating it from extramural sources.

Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI)

The eligibility criteria are same as that for PI. A Co-PI may be located at an overseas not-for-profit institution. However, contributions towards the salary of an overseas Co-PI cannot be requested.

All investigators should carefully consider the percent of time they would give to these grants and must state their time commitments towards other research and non-research responsibilities. This would be particularly required of researchers currently holding India Alliance fellowships, which have defined percent time commitments.

An appropriate research management plan should be in place at the coordinating institution, and preferably at all participating institutions.

The proposal can seek support for hiring research staff/researchers, purchasing equipment and research supplies, etc. Funds can also be requested for strengthening the research management structure at the institution(s). All budgetary requests (including manpower) should be commensurate with the proposed project and must be supported with strong scientific justifications. The application should outline a resource-sharing plan and demonstrate sustainability once the funding is over. Commitment from the hosting institutions to co-support would be highly desirable.

 

India Alliance would invite applications for the said scheme in the prescribed format which would be made available on its site.

Screening: The India Alliance Office would screen the received applications against the eligibility criteria (as mentioned in the scheme). A Screening Committee (SC) would carry out a hard triage of eligible applications so that only selected applications go for a peer review and interview. This Committee would be external to, but facilitated by India Alliance and would have basic, clinical, public health and interdisciplinary researchers. The SC is not expected to provide elaborate feedback on research merit of the project and would evaluate it based on aforementioned eligibility and competition in the cohort of applications received. India Alliance would not be able to provide reviews to applicants at this stage.

Peer Review: Selected applications will be reviewed by external and international experts.

Funding: The peer-reviewed applications would be evaluated by a Funding Committee (FC), which would be external to, but facilitated by India Alliance. The FC would have members from the existing SIF and CPH committees of India Alliance. Based on need in a specific round, it may also co-opt other experts. All peer-reviewed applications would normally be brought to an interview, unless recommended otherwise by the FC, for example, based on an unsatisfactory external review. The FC would interview the PI and, up to 2 more co-PIs on each application. The recommendations made by the FC and the decision of India Alliance would be based on performance at the interview with the Committee and competition within the cohort. These decisions would be final.

Applications will be accepted online from 1 May 2020 to 14 May 2020. Proforma for the online application is available HERE. Please prepare your application details as per the proforma and use these for filling in the online application when it is launched.

Source