State University Research Excellence (SERB-SURE)

State University Research Excellence (SERB-SURE) is a new scheme of the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) to augment the research capabilities in a structured way to create a robust R&D ecosystem in state universities and colleges by fostering collaboration for high-end research. The growth of existing research capabilities at these institutions is imperative to ensure horizontal diffusion of research excellence reaching all research students hoping to contribute to the national R&D ecosystem and promoting the enhancement of quality through SERB support.


SERB-SURE scheme provides research support to active researchers belonging to state universities and colleges including private universities and colleges across India to undertake research and development in frontier areas of science, engineering and quantitative social science. The scheme will seed new research opportunities at various state & private universities and colleges and will propagate scientific temper in faculty and students of these institutions.

  1. Applicants [Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Principal Investigator(s) (Co-PI(s))] should be Indian citizens.
  2. PI and Co-Investigator(s) should hold PhD./M.D./M.S./M.D.S./MVSc. degree at the time of applying for the grant.
  3. The applicant(s) must hold a regular academic/research position in a state university/college or private university/college which is recognized by UGC / AICTE / PCI.
  4. The term "Regular" in the context of this scheme refers to the applicants who are appointed against the sanctioned post or in a tenure post but are likely to be renewed after the end of the tenure.
    [Note: Research Associates, Postdoctoral fellows, Ad-hoc faculties, Guest Faculty, Visiting Scientist, Consultant, Project Fellows and Faculty members whose contract is renewed every year are not eligible. In respect of cases that are not mentioned above, SERB reserves the right to determine the eligibility].
  5. Co-PI can become the PI of the project, if the PI superannuates during the duration of the project. In such cases, a Faculty/Scientist from the host institute who has at least 5 years of service remaining should be associated as a Co-PI. Already superannuated Faculty/Scientists are not eligible to apply.
  6. Applicant (PI) having any ongoing or have completed any SERB project/s is not eligible to apply.
  7. Applicant (PI) from centrally funded universities / colleges / institutes/ organization would not be considered for support under this scheme.

The total research grants not exceeding Rs. 30 lakhs (Including Overhead) for a period of three years are provided for minor equipment/s, research personnel, consumables, domestic travel, contingency and other costs (analytical charges, equipment user charges, fieldwork charges, etc.,). "Overhead" is provided to the implementing institution as per prevailing norms of SERB.

  1. An applicant is eligible to submit only one proposal during a call.
  2. Any proposal technically rejected by SERB in any scheme should not be resubmitted without any substantial revision to this scheme.
  3. The call for applications will be notified through the website www.serbonline.in and www.serb.gov.in. The application form along with a proper research proposal highlighting the research work to be undertaken should be submitted online through the website "www.serbonline.in".
  4. The selection will be based on the recommendations of Program Advisory Committees (PACs) constituted by the SERB adopting a two-tier screening mechanism specifically for the scheme. If required, the applicants may be called for discussion/ presentation.
  5. SERB will take the final decision based on the recommendation of PAC.

For successful online submission of the application the following points may be noted:

  1. Applicant(s) should first register on the online website  click here to register.
  2. After login, the applicant is required to fill all the mandatory fields in the Profile Detail section under User Profile. which includes Bio-data, Photos, Institute addresses etc.
  3. Some of the details of your proposal like Project Title (max 500 characters), Project summary (max 3000 characters), Keywords (max 6), Objectives of the project (max 1500 characters), Expected output, and outcome of the proposal (max 1500 characters), Budget (Research Personnel, Consumables, Travel, Equipment, Contingency, Overhead) have to be entered at the time of proposal submission.
  4. Other relevant information about the proposal has to be uploaded in a single PDF file not more than 10 MB as another technical document (OTD) (max 1500 words). Download Template
  5. The call for proposal will be notified through the websites "www.serbonline.in" and www.serb.gov.in. The proposal highlighting the research work to be undertaken should be submitted online through the website "www.serbonline.in".

Proposals submitted must be original in ideation and content. Plagiarism in any form will not be acceptable. All submitted proposals would be subjected to a third-party similarity check and proposals are liable to be rejected if found plagiarized. Any text taken verbatim from other sources needs to be identified using quotation marks and proper reference. Applicants are requested to pre-check their proposals for plagiarism before uploading. Proposals found containing plagiarized content will be rejected.

SERB has adopted Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy to imbibe a culture of social commitment among SERB Grantees. The policy intends to effectively utilize the scientific infrastructure and expertise of SERB grantees to benefit other S&T stakeholders, especially the less-endowed researchers and society. SSR activities need to be chosen after approval and depending on the activities chosen additional budget would be provided under a separate head to carry out the chosen activities. SERB Grantees need to undertake the proposed SSR activities during their project period.

Q1: If the PI has a SERB-funded Project as a Co-PI, can he/she apply for the SERB-SURE scheme?

A1: Researchers being part of another project as Co-PIs, can apply for the SERB-SURE scheme as a PI.


Q2: Who can apply for SERB-SURE? What are the eligibility criteria for availing of the SERB-SURE?

A2: The applicant should hold PhD/M.D/M.S/M.D.S/MVSc. degree. The applicant must hold a regular academic/research position in a recognized academic institution.


Q3: What subject area SERB-SURE scheme will fund?

A3: This scheme covers all areas of Science, Technology, Mathematics, Engineering, Life Science and Quantitative Social Science.


Q4: Where from I can get the required documents ie., Certificate from Investigator(s), Endorsement from the Head of the Institute and Plagiarism undertaking?

A4: You can download these formats through "www.serbonline.in" the portal under Core Research Grant (CRG) format only.


Q5: What does the term "regular" imply?

A5: The term "Regular" in the context of this scheme refers to the applicants who are appointed against the sanctioned post or in a tenure post but are likely to be renewed after the end of the tenure.

Not Eligible: Research Associates, Guest Faculty, Visiting Scientist, Project Fellows, Faculty members whose contract is renewed every year; and those who are on temporary capacity are not eligible. (In cases where it is not covered in any of the above, SERB has the right to determine the eligibility).


Q6: Are Ramanujan, INSPIRE Faculty, Ramalingaswami Fellows and UGC Faculty Recharge fellows eligible to apply for the SERB-SURE scheme?

A6: Faculties recruited through UGC-Faculty Recharge Program, INSPIRE Faculty, Ramanujan and Ramalingaswamy Fellows are also eligible to apply provided they have at least three and half years of tenure remaining at the time of submission of application.


Q7: PI want to apply for a SERB-SURE scheme for the first time. What is the maximum amount of the grant the Board will fund?

A7: SERB-SURE is a one-time grant and carries a maximum research grant of Rs.30 lakhs for a period of three years. The research grant covers minor equipment, research personnel, consumables, travel, contingency, other costs (analytical charges, equipment user charges, fieldwork charges, etc.,) and overhead.


Q8: Does the Board have any priority areas for funding under the SERB-SURE scheme?

A8: No. The Board funds all the areas of Science, Engineering, and quantitative social sciences without discriminating between disciplines. The proposal will be funded if it has novelty and the investigator has the competence to execute the project.


Q9: PI has an ongoing CRG project in the area of Chemical Sciences and want to apply for the SERB-SURE scheme. Will PI be funded for another project?

A9: No. The applicant should not have any ongoing or completed R&D project sanctioned by SERB except those scientists who received grants only under NPDF/ITS/Seminar & Symposia.


Q10: Are Co-Investigators allowed in the SERB-SURE scheme?

A10: Co-Investigator is not mandatory in this scheme. However, in the case where the PI will be superannuating during the duration of the project a Co-PI from the same host Institute with at least 5 years of service remaining, should be included in the proposal. In other cases, if required by PI, he/she may include a Co-PI in the proposal. However, the Co-PI is not eligible for taking any research grant from the sanctioned project.


Q11: Is a Co-PI from Centrally funded institutions allowed under this scheme?

A11: Yes, but no funding will be given to the Co-PI.


Q12: I have completed one project sanctioned by SERB as a Co-PI. Will I be eligible for this SERB-SURE scheme?

A12: Yes, you are eligible to apply to this scheme as a PI.


Q13: What is the duration of the SERB-SURE project? Can it be extended?

A13: SERB-SURE project period is of 3 years. Extension of the project period is not encouraged. Only in very rare and exceptional cases, depending on the necessity and progress of the project, the no-cost extension will be considered. Such a period of extension will be limited to a maximum of one year.


Q14: When should PI apply for the SERB-SURE scheme? Can PI apply for the project throughout the year?

A14: An applicant is eligible to submit only one proposal during a call. The call for applications will be notified through the websites www.serbonline.in and www.serb.gov.in.


Q15. I have already submitted one application under CRG/SRG/SUPRA etc. in this calendar year 2022, can I submit a proposal under the SERB-SURE scheme?

A15. Yes, you can submit a proposal.


Q16: Is State/Private funded labs eligible for the SERB-SURE scheme?

A16: No, only academic Institutions are eligible under this scheme.


Q17: What documents should I send to receive the grant's next installments?

A17: The PIs should upload annual Progress Reports and financial statements (UC / SE) at the end of each financial year. The release of the next installment of the grant will be considered only after the submission of (a) Financial year-wise Utilization Certificate (separately for recurring & Non-recurring) and Statement of Expenditure and (b) Annual Progress Report through the SERB online portal.


Q18: If PI intend to change its Host Institution? What procedure should be followed?

A18: Change of host institute will be considered from a private/state government university/college to any other state government university/college only. Change of host institution can be undertaken only after obtaining due approval from SERB. The transfer of the project along with the balance grant and the assets to the new institute is allowed, provided the administrative authority of both institutes agrees in writing. NOC from the previous host institute and Endorsement Form from the new host Institute must be sent to SERB through the online portal.


Q19: What is the procedure for surrendering the SERB-SURE project?

A19: For termination of the project, PI need to inform the SERB through the host institution immediately. The implementing institute should not incur any expenditure from the project's termination date or the PI's resignation date. The institute must also arrange for the submission of relevant documents and refund of the unspent balance along with the interest amount to SERB.


Q20: Can PI be away from the implementing Institute when he/she has implemented the SERB-SURE project?

A20: The PI must seek the consent of SERB if he/she intends to be away from the implementing institute (except for field work related to the project) continuously for a period of more than eight weeks.


Q21: What should be done for the unspent grant under the SERB-SURE project after the completion of the tenure of the project?

A21: The following documents should be sent to the SERB after the duration of the project is completed:

a) Final Consolidated Statement of Expenditure (SE), giving expenditure financial year wise (FY) from date of start till the date of completion.
b) Utilization Certificates (UC) for all FYs (separately for recurring & non-recurring) matching with Statement of Expenditure figures in that FY.
c) Project Completion Report (PCR) with the list of publications, and patents filed.
d) DD/ cheque for the unspent grant, drawn in favour of "Fund for Science & Engineering Research".

Contact Details
Member Secretary
Dr V Ramesh
Scientist- D
Science and Engineering Research Board
3rd & 4th Floor, Block II,
Technology Bhavan, New Mehrauli Road,
New Delhi-110016
Tel: +91-011-26511082, 26522146
Email: drvramesh[at]serb[dot]gov[dot]in
Program Coordinator
Dr. Jacob V.V.
Science and Engineering Research Board
3rd & 4th Floor, Block II,
Technology Bhavan, New Mehrauli Road,
New Delhi-110016

Tel: +91-011-26552216
Email: jacob[at]nic[dot]in