PMRF Prime Minister Research Fellows Scheme Guidelines: The Government for implementation of the Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme at a total cost of Rs.1650 crores for a period of seven years beginning 2018-19.
Under the PMRF Scheme, a maximum of 3000 meritorious students from IITs, llSc, IllTs, NITs and IISERs shall be selected in three batches starting from 2018-19 through a rigorous process and provided direct admission into Ph.D programmes in llTs and IISc to pursue research in frontier areas of science & technology, with an enhanced monthly fellowship as detailed below:
– Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Studies (Ph.D.) in IITs and IISc aimed at attracting the best talent.
– PMRF for Promoting research in cutting-edge technology & science areas
– PMRF For Promoting research with focus on national priorities
Year – Amount (Rs)
Year 1 : 70,000
Year 2 : 70,000
Year 3 : 75,000
Year 4 : 80,000
Year 5 : 80,000
In addition to the fellowship as mentioned above, each Fellow will be eligible for a Research Grant of Rs.2.00 lakh each year for five years towards foreign travel for presenting research papers. The Fellows selected under the Scheme will be recognized as ‘Prime Minister’s Research Fellows’.
The modalities for implementation of the scheme such as eligibility conditions, selection procedure, expected deliverables, monitoring, and administrative mechanisms, etc. will be as per the guidelines of the Scheme, a copy of which is at Annexure. The guidelines of the PMRF Scheme will be subject to change from time to time based on the requirements and objectives of the Scheme. PMRF Prime Minister Research Fellows Scheme Guidelines
The National Coordination Committee (NCC), which will be notified separately, shall implement the scheme as per the guidelines. Director IIT Hyderabad, who would be the National Coordinator of the scheme, is requested to operationalize the PMRF Scheme with immediate effect so as to ensure that the first batch of PMRFs is selected in the academic year 2018-19. The expenditure incurred in this regard will be met out of the Scheme ‘Prime Minister’s Research Fellows’ of the Department of Higher Education.
PMRF Prime Minister Research Fellows Scheme Guidelines:
1. Eligibility for PMRF:
a) The candidates for the PMRF should have completed, or are in the final year of B. Tech or Integrated M.Tech or M.Sc. in Science and Technology streams from
b) They should have secured at least 8 CGPA.
c) Students should have completed the required academic qualification in the last five years.
2. Contours of SoP/Proiect abstract by the eligible aspirants:
a) The Project abstract should clearly articulate the area of the study and should display keen interest and insight on the subject chosen.
b) The Project should formulate a problem for the study which would be used for assessing the applicant’s analytical and research skills.
c) The topic chosen shall be in the frontier areas of science and technology, preferably focusing on national priorities.
d) There should be two referee names for each proposal, in case the Selection Committee (SC) wants to seek feedback.
e) There will be a cap on the number of Ph.D. students in each discipline to ensure that disciplines that do not already have enough Ph.D. students should get the priority.
3. Appointment of Nodal Institutions (NIs):
a) For each subject area, one IIT or IISc would act as the Nodal Institute (NI).
b) The NI will rotate once in two years.
c) The National Coordination Committee (NCC) will decide on the NIs for the first two years.
4. Method of evaluation of the projects:
a) A central portal for upload of all the projects by the students which automatically sends these to the Nodal Institutes (NIs) would be developed.
b) The candidates should apply on this Portal, along with their SoP/Project Abstract within the time limit prescribed.
c) Nodal Institute (NI) level – NI would constitute Reviewers consisting of subject matter experts to go through all projects/candidates’ credentials and shortlist candidates for interview.
d) The Selection Committee (SC) for each discipline shall be constituted by the respective NI with the representation of subject matter experts nominated by each IIT/IISc.
e) The SC would interview shortlisted candidates within the time limits agreed. The interview could be done using video conferencing if need be.
5. Selection and Approval:
The selection process for the PMRF will be a rigorous two-stage process with screening by the Reviewers and final selection by the Selection Committee for each research vertical to ensure competition, standardization, transparency, and selection of the best talent. This shall be done in the following manner:
a) For each subject area, the Selection Committee constituted by the NI will select candidates after the interview.
b) The allocation of the Institute for the doctoral study would be done by the Selection Committee, keeping in view the choices of the selected candidates and the availability of academic and other infrastructure.
c) An appropriate algorithm will be developed by the IITs/IISc for the selection of the candidates and linking them to potential guides.
6. Participating Institutes:
All IITs and IISc (the participating institutes) shall take the approval of their respective Senates for accepting the candidates selected for PMRF as per these guidelines, without any further process at the Institute level.
a) At the time of joining, each Fellow shall be given deliverables to be achieved each year. This will be decided by the Department which the Fellow is joining.
b) The deliverables are to be designed keeping in view the topic selected by the Fellow.
c) There shall be an annual review of the performance of these Fellows by the host institution and the next year Fellowship shall be renewed only if the deliverables are achieved.
d) Each fellow is expected to teach once a week in a neighborhood ITI/Polytechnic/Engineering College, as per modalities approved by the Government.
e) If the deliverables are not achieved, they could be brought back to the institutional fellowship or even discontinued.
The IPR policy shall be as per the Institute’s Policy on IPRs. The IPRs are owned by the Institution where the Fellow has worked.
9. Administration system:
a) National Coordination Committee (NCC): The NCC, comprising of 7-8 Directors of the IITs/IISc, will be the apex decision making body of the Scheme to monitor the scheme.
b) The NCC may also include one or more Directors each from the second and third generation IITs as Members of the NCC.
c) The NCC will also be empowered to suggest minor changes in eligibility conditions, including CGPA, etc. with detailed justification, for effective implementation of the scheme.
d) The NCC will be fully empowered to decide the maximum and a minimum number of research projects to be taken up under the Scheme in such a manner that there is a balanced growth of research in each discipline.
e) Nodal Institutions: Role and responsibility
a) To receive, review, shortlist candidates
b) To constitute the Selection Committees
c) To recommend the shortlisted candidates to the Selection Committees based on reviews/scrutiny.
10. Monitoring mechanism:
The NCC will periodically review and monitor the implementation of the scheme. The NCC will report to MHRD the status of the scheme, fund flow and utilization thereof, and policy changes required to make the scheme more effective.
Apart from this, the monitoring will be done in the manner detailed below:
a) There will be internal reviews twice a year.
b) There will be a National Convention every year where all PMRFs will showcase their work. This will be an occasion for the Industry to participate in the Convention.
c) There will be a website set up by the NCC showcasing the areas of work of each PMRF which will list all publications.
11. Financial Implications:
a) The following Administrative costs will be met from the Scheme funds:
(i) Cost of selection by the NIs
(ii) Cost of travel for the selections
(iii) Cost of maintaining website and monitoring system
(iv) Annual Convention Costs
(v) Cost of meetings
b) An amount of Rs.5 Cr would be placed with the NCC for covering incidental costs related to the above.
c) The following would be the fellowship for the PMRFs:
Year Amount (Rs)
Year 1 – 70,000
Year 2 – 70,000
Year 3 – 75,000
Year 4 – 80,000
Year 5 – 80 000Apart from this, each Fellow would be eligible for a research grant of Rs.2 lakhs per year (total Rs.10 lakh)
d) The tenure of fellowship will be four years for students from integrated courses and five years for B. Tech. students.
e) Industry participation in the PMRF programme would be explored through CSR funding so as to enable the industry to sponsor a maximum number of fellows.
(i) The institutions will review the performance at the end of the 4th year and would decide on the continuation of the fellowship for the 5th year.
(ii) The students who have taken admission after the post-graduation are expected to complete the Ph.D. program in 3 years.
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