Call for Proposals under this scheme will be notified soon.

SERB has been supporting basic research in frontier areas of science and engineering through its various programs and schemes. The number of researchers under the ambit of SERB has increased over the years and they contribute significantly through their research output towards the progress of science and engineering of the country. To recognize and reward Principal Investigators of SERB projects who have performed remarkably well, a new scheme called Distinguished Investigator Award (SERB DIA) has been initiated. The aim of the scheme is to reward good performance as well as to motivate ongoing PIs to perform exceedingly well. This positive reinforcement strategy would effectively improve the productivity of research undertaken and overall efficiency of the research ecosystem.

Scope of the Scheme :

To award best performers among PIs of completed SERB/DST projects which are rated "Excellent". SERB DIA is a one-time career award. The PI who receives the award will be called "SERB DIA" Fellow. Initially, completed projects under SERB Core Research Grant (CRG) would be considered. Completed projects under other schemes would be brought under the ambit of DIA Scheme in the subsequent years.

Nature of Support :

Number of awards will be 35 per year, total not exceeding 100 at any time. SERB's support will include fellowship of Rs. 15,000/- p.m for three years. In addition, PI can also choose for a research grant, subject to submission of research proposal and its acceptance by SERB based on the peer review.

Eligibility :
  • The applicant should have completed SERB CRG project in the previous financial year and the project should have been rated "Excellent". Only the PI of such projects and not the Co-PIs shall be eligible.
  • The applicant should be in regular service and should have at least 5 years of service remaining before superannuation.
  • PIs who are recipient of fellowships such as JC Bose/ Raja Ramanna/Academy fellowships or have an ongoing Swarnajayanti fellowship are not eligible. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awardees are eligible to apply, provided they fulfill other eligibility criteria. If selected, they would be provided research grant, subject to recommendation by the selection committee, but not fellowship.

Mode of Application and Selection :

PIs whose projects were rated 'Excellent' will be identified, and invitation will be sent to them to submit the application online through the website www.serbonline.in. The invitation-based call for application will be made once a year. The selection committee will evaluate the performance of the completed projects in terms of quality of work done, output and its potential impact and will rank them accordingly. Maximum of top 35 PIs will be selected in a year for the award. The project proposals of selected awardees who had opted for project grant will undergo peer review process. The selection committee would meet again to give its recommendations based on the merit of the proposal. If the proposal is not recommended, the PI would get fellowship only.

Other Features :

  • PIs who are awarded SERB-DIA projects can also avail/undertake other SERB projects concurrently.
  • Co-PIs can be included in DIA projects, subject to their fulfilling eligibility criteria of Co-PI as per SERB CRG Scheme.
  • In case if DIA project needs extension, it would be granted for a maximum period of 12 months but without fellowship.

Instructions for Online Application :
  • Submission under SERB-DIA Scheme is only by invitation
  • After log-in applicants are required to fill all the mandatory fields in Profile Details Section under User Profile which includes Bio data (as per defined template), Photo, Institute Address, etc.
  • PIs who opt only for "Fellowship", will be required to fill the details of completed projects.Those who opt for "Fellowship + Research Grant" and Bhatnagar Awardees need to submit details of new project proposal also.
  • If the new project proposal involves Co-PIs, registration of Co-PIs in SERB online portal need to be ensured.
  • Details of the new project proposal including project title (max 500 characters), project summary (max 3000 characters), keywords (max 6), objectives (max 1500 characters), expected output and outcome (max 1500 characters), budget (research personnel,consumables,travel, equipment, contingency, overheads) have to be entered at the time of proposal submission.
  • Other relevant information of the proposal has to be uploaded as a single PDF file not more than 10 MB as other technical document (OTD). Download Template

Documents required(in PDF format) :

    For PIs who opt for "Fellowship" :
  • Project Completion Report (PCR)
  • List of publications resulting from the completed project (if any)
  • Reprints of publications (if applicable)
  • Details of patents from the completed project (if any)
  • Patent documents (if applicable)
  • Documents related to technology transfer (if any)
  • Endorsement certificate (only fellowship) Download Template
  • Certificate from PI (only fellowship) Download Template

  • If PI opt for " Fellowship + Research Grant" :
  • Project Completion Report (PCR)
  • List of publications resulting from the completed project (if any)
  • Reprints of publications (if applicable)
  • Details of patents from the completed project (if any)
  • Patent documents (if applicable)
  • Documents related to technology transfer
  • Other Technical details Download Template
  • Endorsement certificate (Fellowship + Research Grant ) Download Template
  • Endorsement certificate (Only Research Grant ) Download Template
  • Certificate from PI (Fellowship + Research Grant / Only Research Grant) Download Template
  • If project is approved for SERB support, the Quotations of the approved equipment need to be uploaded within one month of the date of the Approval Letter.
  • Contact Person:

    Dr. Pramod Kumar Prasad, Scientist 'C'
    5 & 5A, Lower Ground Floor,
    Vasant Square Mall,
    Sector-B, Pocket-5, Vasant Kunj
    New Delhi-110070
    Telephone: 40000336
    Email: pk[dot]prasad[at]serb[dot]gov[dot]in

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Q1. What is DIA?

    A1: DIA is an award given to a Principal Investigator who had performed exceedingly well in the recently completed EMR project.


    Q2: What is the award amount?

    A2: Rs. 15,000 will be the award amount and is given to the awardee for a period of 3 years. In addition, project grant will also be given subject to the project proposal meeting the scientific merit.


    Q3: How the Excellence grading in the project is arrived at?

    A3: The Project Completion Report (PCR) of the completed project will be evaluated by the Experts, and the performance will be graded based on the quality of research work done in the project, its impact, publications, patents, research personnel generated, etc.


    Q4: I have not sent PCR, but my output in my project is excellent. Can I be considered for the award?

    A4: No. It is essential to send the PCR of the completed project for consideration of the award.


    Q5: I have forgotten to acknowledge "SERB" in many of my publications, but I have large number of publications from the project. Will I be considered for the award?

    A5: Only publications in which SERB/DST is acknowledged will be taken into account for the award.


    Q6: Can the awardee accept only the "Fellowship" without the "Project Grant"?



    Q7: Can all Principal Investigators apply for the award?

    A7: No. Only PIs of projects which were rated "Excellent" are eligible to apply for the award. SERB will send invitations to such PIs requesting them to apply.


    Q8: Will all the PIs whose projects are rated excellent receive award under DIA Scheme?

    A8: No. The PIs of excellent rated projects would be ranked according to the project output and the top rankers (maximum of 35 in a year) would be awarded.


    Q9: What would be the selection criteria among the PIs who have been rated excellent?

    A9: Selection criteria would be based on quality of the project output rated by publications, patents and other achievements.


    Q10: What are the schemes covered under the DIA Scheme?

    A10: To start with, projects funded under "EMR" scheme will be covered. It will be expanded to other schemes later.


    Q11: My project has been rated excellent, how should I apply for the DIA Scheme?

    A11: SERB will send invitations if the project is rated excellent and if other eligibility criteria are satisfied.


    Q12: Is there any specific timeline for DIA application?

    A12: DIA application call to PIs whose project has been rated excellent, will be made once a year.


    Q13:Will all the Awardees opting for project grant will be given the grant?

    A13: Not necessarily. The project will be granted after it successfully goes though the normal "peer review" process of SERB. In case the proposal was found to lack scientific merit, the proposal will not be funded. However, the awardee can receive the Fellowship amount.


    Q14: I have completed an EMR project 5 years ago, and it was rated "excellent". Will I be considered for the award?

    A14: No. Only projects which have been completed in previous financial year will be considered.


    Q15: I am a recipientof JC Bose Fellowship. Am I eligible to apply for DIA?

    A15: No. Any one holding Fellowships like JC Bose, Raja Ramanna, Ramanujan, Ramalingaswamy and recipient of award such as Bhatnagar are not eligible.


    Q16: Am I eligible for DIA project when I am already implementing another project under EMR?

    A16: Yes. DIA projects can be concurrently operated with other SERB projects.


    Q17: What is the maximum amount of grant under DIA scheme?

    A17: There is no upper limit (or even lower limit) for the project grant. The budget is decided based on the requirement for its successful implementation. PI should propose a budget which is realistic taking into account the infrastructure and resources available at the implementing institutions.


    Q18: Is there any age limit forthe ProjectInvestigator to qualify for the award?

    A18: There is no specific age limit, but the PI should have at least 5 years of service remaining before superannuation.