This document provides guidance for preparation and submission of project proposals for support under the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) of the Department Science and technology (DST)

The Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) was established in 1974 and is an apex body through which the Department of Science and Technology (DST) promotes R&D programmes in newly emerging and challenging areas of science and engineering. SERC is composed of eminent scientists, technologists drawn from various universities/national laboratories and Industry. This Council is assisted by Programme Advisory Committees (PACs) in various disciplines of Science & Engineering. As a part of its Science and Engineering Research Council Programme, the Department of Science & Technology considers time-bound research proposals for financial support. SERC provides an integrated and cohesive approach for supporting R&D Programmes.

Broadly, the objectives of the SERC are as follows:

SERC activities may be classified under the following broad disciplines:

(Documents "Vision for R&D" in each of these disciplines are available on request)

ctivities supported under SERC


This format may be used for submission of proposals by individual scientists and technologists as also for setting up of an Unit/ Centre and Core Group around outstanding scientist or group of scientists.

Proposals for setting up of National Facilities to promote research may be submitted by group of investigators within the same Department or from several Departments within an institution or institutions within a region. Investigators may be working in related areas or their research may be multi-disciplinary in nature. However  while submitting proposal for setting up a National Facility, the Investigator(s) will have to Provide the following additional information as a part of the proposal :

i) need and justification for the facility including the equipment(s);

ii) proposed organisational structure;

iii) details of R&D programme of scientists from other institutions/ departments interested in using the facility;

iv) the competence and area of research of the PI(s) or Group of PI(s) along with the Bio-data of the programme team;

v) Self-Assessment reflecting specific competence of the Principal Investigator(s) for undertaking the programme and justification for choosing the location of the proposed facility;

vi) Necessary supporting documents from the users may be attached along with the proposal.

vii) Participation of the Parent Institution (financial)/ other S&T agencies/ State Government Departments or private industry (financial as well as technical) in such projects.

Who are eligible

The Scientists and Technologists who are working in the academic sector, National labs and other recognised R&D institutions and Centres of Excellence are eligible for SERC support.
Research proposals from scientific institutions/research laboratories under various scientific departments, which are in line with the normal research activities of the institutions may not be considered for supprt under SERC. Only research proposals outside the normal activities of such institutions (i.e. National R&D Programmes, Programmes in newly emerging and front-line areas of research etc.) will be considered. Further, proposals involving purely survey-oriented work and routine studies will not be normally considered.


The approach to support research in carefully identified thrust areas under various disciplines will continue with the objective of formulating coordinated thrust areas programmes by inviting the concerned Scientists to present their proposals in related areas of the Programme Advisory Committees constituted for this purpose.


i) The project proposals for consideration under the SERC Scheme can be submitted anytime throughout the year.

ii) The Investigators may submit 20 copies of the proposal printed on both the sides of A4 size paper, properly stapled and without spiral binding along with the electronic copy of the proposal on a 1.44 MB floppy, preferably in MS Word.

iii) The proposal should be prepared and submitted strictly according to the formats prescribed in this document.

iv) The duration of the project should be of 3 years normally. Projects for setting up of research facilities/ Units or Core Group may be of 5 years duration.

v) Please read explanatory notes and detailed instructions carefully for completing each section of the prescribed format while preparing the proposal.

vi) Copies of the proposal and other required documents must be sent in one lot through proper channel to Member Secretary (SERC) at the address mentioned above. If the copies of the proposal are mailed in more than one package, the number of packages should be marked on the outside of each package.

vii) Please contact DST if the acknowledgement letter mentioning the registration number of the project is not received within one month from the date of dispatch of the proposals.

viii) Please make sure to quote the registration number/ letter number (given by the DST) and title of the proposals in all your future communications.

ix) The information should be given under each section, even if it is Nil. No Annexure(s) should be enclosed along with the project proposal.



I. The Principal Institution implementing the project assumes financial and other administrative responsibilities of the project.

2. In case of multi-institutional project the Principal Investigator (PI) has to obtain formal agreement from the collaborating institutions/scientists.

3. International travel is not normally permissible under the project.

4. The manpower recruited for the project are temporary and should be paid as per the rules of the institute and guidelines of the Govt. of India.

5. It is the policy of  DST to maximize the use of an equipment. In this light, Investigator shall permit the use of spare or ideal capacities of equipment procured under the project by bonafide users from the parent or nearby Institutes (research workers in other DST funded projects or other projects of the institute).

6. The proposals are scrutinized by experts in the field and after a peer review by PAC/Expert Committee, the SERC takes the decision.

7. The role of the Co-PI(s) in the project should be clearly spelt out.

8. In case of retired scientists there should be a Co-PI who will be in service during the duration of the project.


Special Guidelines :

Projects which involve Recombinant DNA work should be examined and certified by Institutional Bio-safety Committee. Certificate from this committee should accompany the project proposal. Guidelines for constitution of Institutional Bio-safety Committee and related information can be obtained from:

Dr PK Ghosh
Adviser ,
Department of Biotechnology
CGO Complex, Lodi Road,
Block No.2. Floor-7, Room No.12. New Delhi-110 003.
Telephone: 4363989, 4363012, 4360899. Fax : 4363018. 4362884.

Projects which are clinically oriented or projects which involve experiments with human and/ or animal material should be examined and certified by Institutional Ethical Committee. Certificate from this Committee should accompany the project proposal. Guidelines for constitution of Institutional Ethical Committee can be obtained from:

The Director General
Indian Council of Medical Research
Ansari Nagar
New Delhi-110029.
Telephone: 6963980, 6962895, 6962794. Fax : 6868602.

3. Proposals in the area of Earth Sciences should contain the geological map of the region to be studied.

Note: Projects in areas which are of direct relevance to the programmes of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Indian Council of Medical Research, Indian Council for Agricultural Research, Department of Ocean Development etc. may be sent directly to these Ministries/ Agencies.