INSPIRE Fellowship Scheme – Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
1. What is INSPIRE Fellowship?
It is the 4th Component of INSPIRE Program under Opportunities in Research Career Scheme 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.
2. Who are eligible for application under INSPIRE Fellowship scheme?
INSPIRE Fellowship, is offered to
i) An INSPIRE Scholar i) who has secured minimum 70% marks or (or CGPA equivalent )in aggregate at M.Sc. or Integrated M.S./ M. Sc Course,
ii) First Rank holders ii) First Rank Holders at University Level Examination (not at Autonomous College Level Examination) of overall full time post-graduate programme in Science, Engineering/ Technology/ Agriculture/ Pharmacy/ other Applied Science streams and undergraduate in Medicine i.e. MBBS. However, University shall consider providing 1st Rank tp student having a minimum batch size of 10 students in the University Level Examination with minimum aggregate of 70% marks of the entire course/ programme. Toppers in any subject specialization in post-graduation 2nd year are not eligible.
3. When can we apply for INSPIRE Fellowship?
Every year sometime during August/ September advertisement is announced in Websites. to seek fresh applications from eligible students in that year and applications are open for submission online through portal: http://www.online-inspire.gov.in There is provision of 1000 INSPIRE Fellowships every year to offer eligible students. Also check our website http://www.inspire-dst.gov.in for regular updates. The online application link can be found here: http://www.online-inspire.gov.in or at http://www.inspire-dst.gov.in
4. How should I apply for INSPIRE Fellowship Scheme?
One can apply for the Fellowship scheme through online or offline modes. However, To apply online, please visit the link http://www.online-inspire.gov.in and follow the guidelines as given therein.
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 (Format provided at http://www.online-inspire.gov.in). However, there will no scope of accepting any Provisional Rank certificate or marksheet to consider this offer.
6. What is the selection procedure?
Selection for INSPIRE Fellowship shall be purely on the basis of academic merit of the candidate, choice of the Supervisor, Host Institutions and the Research Proposal. Applications would be screened by two levels of screening committees.
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.
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 during the total tenure..
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’.
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 and 31st March 2010 http://dst.gov.in/whats_new/whats_new10/fellowship10.pdf and shall be liable to be revised from time to time as per Government Order. Medical Benefits and other allowances would also be governed by this memorandum. However, the HRA to the Fellows shall also be applicable as per GoI norms depending upon the location of the Host Institution.
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 Rs 20,000 annually and maximum Rs 1,00,000 in 5 years. The unspent balance of contingency grant at the end of a year may be adjusted to the next year to maintain yearly/installmentwise of contingency fund.
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 is made available to student as well as to Host University through webportal.
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.
14. Is it mandatory that Host Institute should be registered under PFMS for receiving the Fellowship amount?
Yes, it is mandatory.
15. What will be my effective date of INSPIRE Fellowship?
The Effective Date of availing INSPIRE Fellowship would be as under:
i. Fresh applicants who have already taken admission into PhD course prior to submission of application, application or switching over from any other fellowship to INSPIRE Fellowship will be the Effective Date. However in any case the Effective Date would not be given earlier than the date of application received at the DST..
ii. 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 after the date of resignation. 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.
16. What is the procedure to transfer the Fellowship from one host institute to another host institute?
Please confirm your host institution very carefully to activate your INSPIRE Fellowship. An INSPIRE Fellow once accepted the offer for implementing 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 DSTINSPIRE 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.
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.
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 shall be required to inform 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.
19. I have to attend an International Conference, would INSPIRE Fellowship pay to and fro journey fare charges?
20. What should be done for getting next installment 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 installment.
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 installment. – Uploaded SE and UC should be clearly visible. – In case multiple SE and UC have to be uploaded, please make one single of 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.
22. How much time takes place 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 installment will be entertained within this period.
23. When will I 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 two (2) years of INSPIRE Fellowship at JRF level through performance assessment 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 publication (1st Authorship) in any peer-reviewed journal by the INSPIRE Fellow out of the PhD work done at that Host Institute (within one year).
24. What is the procedure of up gradation from JRF to SRF?
For up-gradation of Fellowship status, a three (3) Members Committee needs to be constituted by the Host Institute’s Vice-Chancellor of the University/ Director of the Institute to assess the progress of concerned INSPIRE Fellow. The composition of said Committee would be one Member (drawn from the list of Chair-Persons & Expert Members available at the INSPIRE Website http://inspire-dst.gov.in/List_of_Chairpersons_Members.pdf,) besides the Research Supervisor of the concerned INSPIRE Fellow and one Internal Faculty as Member of the Committee. The assessment shall be carried out by the Host Institute/ University as per above process and upon assessment, the Research Supervisor shall be required to submit the `Assessment Report’ (Format available at http://www.inspire-dst.gov.in ) of the Committee along with the progress Report of the concerned Fellow to DST-INSPIRE Division for further actions. The expenditure related to such assessment shall not be borne under DST INSPIRE. (Please note at least one of the three members of the committee should be drawn from outside the host institution.). The costs for such assessment shall not be provided by INSPIRE. In case of conducting assessment after 2 years positioning as JRF, the date of assessment shall be considered as the effective date for SRF. Otherwise, the effective date would be only after the completion of eligible period as JRF. However, there will be no scope for retrospective effect in any situation.
25. I got the 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. Any unspent amount should be returned by Demand Draft in Favor of “DDO, DST” Payable at New Delhi”. (Format of SE, UC, Annual Report and claim bill is available at http://www.online-inspire.gov.in)
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). Any unspent amount should be returned by Demand Draft in Favor of “DDO, DST” Payable at New Delhi”..
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 24th point)
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.
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.
30. I was awarded final offer of INSPIRE Fellowship. I had to upload bank details then Joining cum acceptance within one month of Fellowship Final offer. I could not do it within validity?
If selected INSPIRE Fellow fails to upload Acceptance within one month from date of offer letter issued, their offer will be automatically withdrawn.
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.
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 submitted 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.
33. Whether Re-evaluation of any rejected application is possible or not?
If so, details process
Within 7 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. However re-evaluation would be done only on the existing all documents including Research Proposal available with the Portal. No new documents would be possible 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 7 days through email only to us (to the email id: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Page Updated : 18.09.2018
For updated FAQ please refer : http://www.online-inspire.gov.in/Account/FAQ