Intensification of Research in High Priority Areas (IRHPA)

The Intensification of Research in High Priority Areas(IRHPA) program of Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) supports proposals in high priority areas where multidisciplinary / multi-institutional expertise is required which will put our nation in international science map in that particular discipline. The Scheme is designed to provide major conscious support to very few selected areas of research that have high priority from the view point of advances in fundamental science and that can be of great significance for scientific and technological development of the country. The necessary facilities required for implementing the identified high priority areas will be supported through this scheme. Routine analytical instruments like NMR, XRD etc will not be supported under the scheme. These type of analytical facilities are being supported under the Funds for Infrastructural (FIST) program of Department of Science and Technology(DST). Under the IRHPA scheme a unit or core group having super specialization in the relevant areas of science will be developed and further nurtured. Training in these super special areas to other scientist is mandatory under the program. The facility developed through the program will be named as SERB National Facility and 50 % of the time of these facilities will be given to the scientists/academicians outside the host Institution. These facilities will be set up around an outstanding scientist who is well trained in running and maintaining the equipment.Wellco-ordinated R&D programmes are also supported and specialised facilities are set up to cater to the needs of the scientific community.

Scientists from Universities, their affiliated Colleges, IITs, IISc., and other Autonomous Research Institutions alongwith scientists working in the industrial R&D sector in India can submit a proposal under this scheme.

Procedure To Submit A Proposal
  • The proposal should be submitted online only, through the website
  • The format, guidelines and other details of the scheme are available in the same website.
  • No hard copy of the proposal will be accepted. The proposals will be accepted twice in a year and it will be opened for submission online.

High priority areas as identified by the Sub-Committee of the SERB:
  • Advanced Functional Materials
  • Energy
  • Catalysis, Process Chemistry, Atmospheric Chemistry and Chemical ecology
  • Surface and Interfacial Science
  • Quantum Computing and Spintronics
  • Complex systems
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Genetic & Genomic approaches
  • Stem Cell Biology
  • Big Data
  • Mechanobiology / Physical Biology
  • Bio-energy, Genetic to Physiology
  • Mental Health
  • High Performance Computation in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics
  • Humanoid Robotics
  • Congnitive Science
  • Mechnotronics
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Cyber Security
  • Encryption and decryption
  • Sensor Array Technology
  • System-Centric Design
  • Medical Robotics
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Petroleum and Petro-Chemical Engg
  • Science of Climate Change
  • Glaciology
  • Modelling in Earth Sciences
  • Imaging
  • Algorithms and Combinatorial Optimizations
  • Analysis including Wavelet Analysis

Components of Grant:

The component of grant is similar to other Project submitted to SERB online. However, the amount of grant is slightly higher than regular projects, since in order to set up core groups or units/facilities under this scheme, existing infrastructural facilities of the institutions needs to be strengthened. The duration of these type of Projects are 5 years.

Mechanism of Implementation and Monitoring

The mechanism involved in implementation and monitoring etc. of the programmes under this scheme is same as the SERB mechanism. However, the following mechanisms are essentially followed (which is different from the usual three years projects of the SERB Scheme):-

  • Under the scheme, a Core Group/Unit is set up for a period of five years so that it can serve as focal point for a national programme. The parent institute are asked to take over the unit after five years.
  • Identification, formulation and implementation of national R&D Programmes through involvement of scientists from different agencies & institutionsare encouraged.
  • The proposals submitted for support are peer reviewed by the experts in the area through the Expert Committees constituted for the purpose. The Principal Investigators of the project are also requested to give a presentation of the proposed work before the Committees. The recommendations of the Committees and the comments of experts are placed before the Empowered Committees/ Science and Engineering Research Board for its decision. Based on the decision of the Board, the project is Considered for financial support by SERB.

Instructions for Online Application

For Successful Online submission of your proposal the following points may be noted:

  • After log-in, applicants are required to fill all the mandatory fields in Profile Detail section under User Profile. which includes Bio data, Photo, Institute Address, etc.
  • If you have a CO-PI in your proposal then ensure that your Co-PI is registered into the system and has filled Profile Detail section under User Profile which includes Bio data, photo, Institute Address, etc. Click here for CO-PI guideline
  • While filling profile section, if your CO-PI did not find his/her institute and added a new institute in the system, then this new institute details must be verified by the Administrator. You can make a request in this regard by clicking on Report a Problem after log-in into the system.
  • 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

Documents required (in PDF) should be in prescribed format: (as in other programmes)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1: What is the difference between an EMR project and an Intensification of Research in High Priority Area (IRHPA) project?

A1: Both EMR and IRHPA projects are expected to address important and challenging issues resulting in advancement of scientific knowledge. However, IRHPA projects should address the emerging areas of research and are not paid enough attention for research in the country.


Q2: Can I apply for a project underIRHPA scheme when I am already implementing another project (such as EMR) in SERB?

A2: Yes. You can apply and implementa IRHPA project, in addition any other project being implemented by you in SERB.


Q3: I am currently executing an IRHPAproject,can I apply for an another IRHPAproject in a new priority area. Will I be funded another project?

A3: No. Only after the successful completion of the ongoing IRHPA project, you become eligible for apply.


Q4: I want to apply for a IRHPA scheme for the first time. What is the maximum amount of the grant the Board will fund?

A4: There is no upper limit (or even lower limit) for a project grant. The budget is decided based on the requirement for its successful implementation. The Investigator should propose a budget which is realistic taking into account the infrastructure and resources available at the implementing institutions.


Q5: Shall IRHPA project will support the infrastructure development of the institution?

A5: Necessary minimum facilities for the successful implementation of high priority area of research alone will be supported. Mere improvement of infrastructure facilities like construction of buildings, procurement of sophisticated analytical instrument will not be supported under this scheme.


Q6: Are Co-Investigators allowed in IRHPA project? If they are from different institutions, can the budget be provided separately to both the Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator(s)?

A6: Yes. Co-Investigator(s) are allowed in IRHPA project, provided the work proposed require complementary expertise for its implementation. Separate budget can also be provided to the Co-Investigator (s) even if they belong to different institutions


Q7: Is there any specific time-line for applying proposals under this scheme?

A7: Call for IRHPA projects will be made during April and September months of every year. Please look at notifications in websites and for information.