Early Career Research (ECR) Award

Early Career Research Award scheme aims to provide quick research support to the young researchers who are in their early career for pursuing exciting and innovative research in frontier areas of science and engineering.

Nature & Duration of Support:
  • The Early Career Research for the purpose of the program refers to the first assignment of the applicant in a regular capacity in a recognized academic institution or national laboratory or any other recognized R & D institution in India.
  • The Early Career Research Award is a one-time award and carries a research grant up to Rs. 50 Lakhs (excluding overheads) for a period of three years.
  • The research grant covers equipment, research personnel, consumables, travel and contingency apart from overheads.

  • The applicant should be an Indian citizen.
  • The applicant should hold Ph.D. degree in Science or Engineering or M.D or M.S degree in any area of medicine.
  • The scheme encourages young researchers at the start of their independent research careers. The applicant, therefore, must hold a regular academic/research position in a recognized academic institution/ or national laboratories or any other recognised R&D institutions.
    The term "Regular" in the context of ECRA refers to one or more of the following:
    1. Those who are appointed by the institutions against the sanctioned post. Such positions are regularized/confirmed after the probation period is over.
    2. Those who are appointed 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 expecting to draw salary from the scheme.
    (In cases where it is not covered in any of the above, SERB has the right to determine the eligibility)
  • Faculties recruited through UGC-Faculty Recharge Program are eligible to apply. INSPIRE Faculty, Ramanujan, and Ramalingaswamy Fellows are also eligible to apply if they have been absorbed/appointed to a regular position. If such fellows are not absorbed/appointed in a regular position, and are receiving fellowship as well as research grant from the fellowship, such fellows are eligible to apply provided they have at least three and half years of tenure remaining at the time of submission of application.
  • The upper age limit for the ECR award is fixed at 37 years, SC/ST/OBC /Physically challenged and women candidates can apply upto 40 years.
  • Co-PIs are not allowed in the Early Career Research Award.
  • Applicants of NPDF, ECRA and CRG can submit their proposal only once in a calender year in any of these schemes.

Selection & Mode Of Application
  • The selection will be based on the recommendations of an Expert Committee that will be constituted by the Board. If desired by the Expert Committee, the applicants may be called for personal discussion.
  • The Call for applications will be made twice a year (January and July) and 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

How to apply online:
For successful online submission of the application the following points may be noted:
  • Applicants should first register into the online website click here to register
  • After log-in, go to Menu --> Proposal Submission --> Form Submission. Select scheme "Early Career Research (ECR) Award" and Click on "Start Submission" Button.
  • Some of the details of your proposal like Project Title (max 500 characters), Project summary (max 3000 characters), Keywords (max 6), Objectives of project (max 1500 characters), Expected output and outcome of the proposal (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 in single PDF file not more than 10 MB as other technical document (OTD). Download Template

Termination and Transfer of the Project:
  • If any Principal Investigator wishes to terminate the project, he/she shall inform the SERB through the host institute immediately with proper justifications. The implementing institute should not incur any expenditure from the date of termination of the project or the date of resignation of PI. The institute will also arrange for submission of documents mentioned above.
  • SERB reserves the right to terminate the Early Career Research Award at any stage if it is convinced that appropriate progress is not being made or the grant has not been utilized properly.
  • In case of projects sanctioned under Early Career Research Award, the SERB allows transfer of the project along with assets to the new institute, if required. The project cannot be transferred to any other person/s. The initial host institute will not incur any expenditure on the project after relieving the PI, without the consent of the SERB.

Documents required (in PDF) should be in prescribed format:
  • Biodata (under user profile section) Download Template
  • Certificate from Principal Investigator Download Template
  • Endorsement Letter from the Head of Institution Download Template
  • Age Proof Certificate (Class X marksheet or Birth certificate)
  • Category Certificate (in case of Age Relaxation)
  • 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.