• भारत सरकार Government of India
  • मानव संसाधन विकास मंत्रालय Ministry of Human Resource Development
  • भारतीय प्रौद्योगिकी संस्थान खड़गपुर Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
  • Will SPARC fund patent filing and maintenance costs?
    Filing cost can come from contingency. SPARC will NOT fund maintenance costs.
  • Can co-PIs be from another Institute or research lab or industry?
    Co-PIs can be from another institution or research lab, but NOT from industry. Further, the foreign co-PI(s) does not have to be from the same country (as of the PI) but should be from an academic Institute or research lab. The PI's employers on either side will be the Lead Institutes.
  • Is there a SPOC for foreign Institute?
    No. The connection is primarily between Indian and foreign PIs.
  • Can Nodal officer and SPOC be the same person?
    It is not preferable but left to the discretion of the Nodal Institute.
  • Are faculty members who came under GIAN eligible to participate in SPARC?
    Yes.
  • What is the role of the Nodal Institute?
    The Nodal Institutes have multiple roles to play:

    a. they will liaison with the partner country and be the point of contact for the universities in the respective foreign countries for any administrative queries related to SPARC.
    b. identify eligible Institutes in the partner country and disseminate the information about SPARC among them (if any eligible Institute in the partner country is missing in the portal, please bring it to the notice of SPARC cell, IIT Kharagpur)
    c. help with administrative rules and regulatory issues including, but not limited to, visa for outgoing researchers, taxation rules, etc.
    d. facilitate interactions through the Indo-X workshops once the projects are funded
    e. ADDITIONAL ROLE: organize local workshops to disseminate the information among the 254 participating Institutes in India (list will be shared by IIT Kharagpur). This should be completed by 31-Oct.

  • IS it required for NIs to participate in the SPARC projects with their assigned countries?
    No. Project proposals with universities in a particular country can come from any participating Institute and will be centrally evaluated through the review process.
  • Is it expected that the NI should have at least one proposal with the respective country?
    It is not mandatory but expected.
  • Will proposals pertaining to a country be routed through the respective NI?
    No. Routing will only be through the SPOC of the participating Institute.
  • Will NIs be monitoring the proposals submitted for their respective countries?
    NIs have no role to play in routing or shortlisting. Till the submission stage, they will be able to view the number of proposals submitted for their country. After selection, NIs should ensure that the next steps progress smoothly.
  • Will the portal allow tracking of proposal?
    Yes, proposals can be tracked by PIs after submission.
  • Will review comments be shared with PIs?
    Yes, with the exception of confidential comments, if any.
  • Is there any funding for travel of foreign student/post-doc?
    No. They will be provided free accommodation and a monthly allowance of INR 12,000/month for a period of 3 months to 1 year.
  • Will scholarship of Indian student continue to be paid during his/her stay in foreign Insitute?
    Yes.
  • Some countries have a minimum funding requirement for visa which may exceed USD 1000 per month. What should be done in such cases?
    MHRD will take these up on a case by case basis
  • Will health insurance be paid for separately?
    Health Insurance should be bought by all travelling PIs/co-PIs/researchers. However there is no separate fund for that. The premia are expected to be borne from the available funds.
  • What should be the split of overhead and contingency?
    It is left up to the Institute.
  • Students of certain UGC/DST/CSIR labs are not given leave for more than 3 months. How can they participate in SPARC?
    MHRD will take this up with the respective labs.
  • Is the proposal expected to be focused on mobility?
    The proposals are expected to be of research types with well defined research deliverables.
  • Can Masters' level students be part of SPARC?
    No. SPARC team should have doctoral or post doctoral scholars from either side.
  • Is an MoU required for a SPARC collaboration?
    It is not mandated by MHRD. The decision is left to the collaborative Institutes.
  • Is there any travel support for Indian Faculty under SPARC?
    No. Indian faculty members will have to fund their travel through support from their own Institute, CPDA or projects. It is expected that the International Institute will take care of boarding and hospitality.
  • Will the Indian research scholar be paid any scholarship under SPARC?
    No. The travel and subsistence of Indian scholars will be supported by SPARC. He/she will continue to get his/her stipend/scholarship at the Indian Institute during his stay abroad.
  • Will projects under management science be funded by SPARC?
    Please refer to the section under Thrust Areas for Themes and Sub-themes.
  • How can project teams get funding for equipment and experimental facilities?
    SPARC does not provide funding for equipment or experimental facilities. The support needs to come from complementary funding from the Indian Institute, Foreign Institute or funded research projects.
  • My intended collaborator is a stalwart in his field. But he recently moved to a different university that does not satisfy the QS ranking criterion. Can I have him in my team.
    The foreign Institutes needs to satisfy the eligibility criteria.
  • What is the duration and expected deliverables of the SPARC project?
    Duration of the project will be 2 years. Please refer to the relevant sections of the website for the expected deliverables.
  • What are the expense heads that can be included under Travel/Living/Honorarium?
    Please refer to the the section under Program Details > Funding and Budget. The expenses under these heads include:
    a. For international faculty: coverage for travel, stay and honorarium as per the rates mentioned
    b. For international scholars: pocket allowance as per rates and limits mentioned
    c. For Indian scholars: Travel budget and out-of pocket allowance as per rates and limits mentioned
  • What is a research monograph?
    A research monograph is a topical book focused on a research topic. It can be structured in separate chapters bringing comprehensive knowledge to the readers and is catered towards practicing scientists/engineers/researchers/technologists with scholarly interest on the topic/subject.
  • Can Indian private institutions without 12B certification apply?
    Only such private institutions in India which are recognized under 12(B) of UGC Act and also satisfy the eligibility criteria pertaining to NIRF ranking are eligible to apply for SPARC.
  • It is said that free accommodation will be provided to intl. students by the Indian institution. Do we need any letter from the lead Indian Institute stating this?
    The endorsement letter from the Indian Institution should mention about free accommodation to the international students/scholars. Otherwise, the cost may be included in the budget under Travel/Living/Honorarium.
  • Is there an upper limit on the number of students traveling back and forth?
    For international students, there is no limit on the the number of visits as long as the total budget for out of pocket allowance (INR 12,000/month) does not exceed INR 2 lakh AND the minimum period of stay per visit is 3 months. For Indian students/scholars, the number of visits is restricted to 2 during the period and the period of stay per visit should be between 3 and 12 months.
  • Is there an upper limit for the duration of stay of one Indian student abroad?
    The period of stay of the Indian student/scholar abroad should be between 3 and 12 months.
  • Do we need to mention the split of funds between Indian PI and co-PI's Institute at the proposal stage?
    As per the understanding thus far, funds will only be transferred to the Institute of Indian PI. They, in turn, can allocate part of those funds to the co-PI's Institute.
  • Is the international faculty honorarium of $15,000 for the first month and then $10,000 pm for each person or cover everyone who may travel together?
    The honorarium is per person. However, it may be noted that the upper limit of the total combined stay of the foreign PI and co-PI(s) that will be supported during the tenure of the project is 8 months. If two foreign faculty members are travelling simultaneously for x days, it will count as 2x towards the quota of 8 months. Further, only 2 visits by international faculty be supported by SPARC. If two are travelling together, it will count as 2 visits (if support for both are claimed).
  • Is it expected that the foreign host institution will provide boarding and lodging and if so is this just for the faculty staff or do they also have to provide for the Indian Students or do the students pay for their own boarding and lodging out of the $1000 per month out of pocket expenses they receive?
    The foreign Institute is expected to take care of Indian PI and co-PI(s) during their travel. The Indian student/scholar's allowance of USD 1000/month is expected to cover his/her living expenses including accommodation.
  • How many proposals can a PI be part of?
    The Indian or foreign PI can be part of multiple proposals. However, it is most likely that only one project will be awarded to a PI.
  • Is there any format for the endorsement letter from foreign Institute?
    There is no prescribed format. The endorsement letter can be provided by the foreign PI on his/her letterhead. It should outline his/her consent to be part of this project and fulfill the expected commitments. It should also mention the support that his/her Institute can provide.
  • Can junior lecturers also be Principal Investigators (PIs)? Or is it that only Assistant Professors and above are qualified for being PIs?
    There is no restriction as long as the PI is a faculty member of an eligible institution.
  • Could you please clarify whether SPARC will entertain a tripartite collaboration between 3 countries?
    It is not necessary for the foreign PI and co-PI(s) to be from the same country.
  • For an Indian research scholar enrolled under the SPARC project what happens to his/her funding after two years on completion of the project?
    SPARC only pays for mobility of the students. A PI or co-PI cannot hire a project scholar from SPARC funds. In other words, SPARC does not support stipend of research scholars.
  • I am not from any academic institution, but a Research and Development lab of CSIR, Govt. of India. Can I apply along with some UK based university for a joint research collaborative project in that scheme?
    The PI of a SPARC proposal has to be a faculty member of an eligible institution. The co-PI can be from a research Institute/Lab.
  • Are there limits on maximum number on visits by foreign PI/co-PIs?
    Only 2 visits of foreign faculty will be funded by SPARC during the tenure of teh project. Please refer to the relevant sections under Funding and Budget to know the details on minimum and maximum stay periods.
  • In some cases, the $1000 per month amount for Indian student may not be enough, especially when the universities are located in expensive areas. Can this amount be increased?
    For countries where the visa applications require evidence to f funding exceeding $1000 per month, MHRD can make an exception. Otherwise, the limit for Indian scholar/student is $1000 for living expenses.
  • Is a monograph mandatory?
    Yes, monograph is a mandatory deliverable of a SPARC project.
  • Is there any endorsement letter required from co-PI's institutions?
    Endorsement from co-PI's Institutes are not mandatory. However, if it is available it can be included in the proposal.
  • Is Overhead and Contingency is strictly for Indian PI and Co-PI only?
    Overhead and contingency is only for Indian institutions.
  • Can the Workshop/symposium will be organized in the foreign university?
    The SPARC funded workshop needs to be organized in the Indian PI or co-Pi's Institute.
  • Can the number of Indian or foreign students/postdocs on a single project exceed 2?
    The number of Indian scholars/students can exceed two but only two visits (each ranging between 3 to 12 months) will be funded. The number of foreign students/post-docs can be more than 2 but the limit for out of pocket allowance is limited to INR 2 lakh for the entire period of stay.
  • Is it mandatory to have a component of funding from Indian and foreign institutions to supplement SPARC's contribution?
    It is not a mandatory requirement. If present, they make the proposal stronger.