SPPU to boost quality research through revised scheme ‘ASPIRE’

Pranita Roy
Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Under the revised scheme, SPPU will provide research funding in two categories 

Pune: In order to boost and promote research culture in affiliated institutions of the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), the varsity has revised the research funding scheme, which will now be called ‘ASPIRE’ (Assistance by SPPU for Project-based Innovative Research) and will be launched on Wednesday. SPPU varsity is probably the only university in the State to start such a novel scheme.

Under the scheme, the varsity will provide research funding in two categories, one of Rs 3 lakh for beginners (professors below 35 years) and another of Rs 15 lakh for senior professors (above 35 years). till now, the varsity would grant only Rs 3 lakh for research to professors.

The scheme was earlier known as ‘BCUD (Board of College and University Development) Research Project Scheme,’ which was launched in 2006. 

Two programmes

Under the first programme, Research Mentorship Programme, young regular teachers (below 35 years), who are beginners in the academic career and have interest in research activities, will be given guidance, mentorship and funding of Rs 3 lakh.

The funding for the category will not exceed 50 per cent of the total budget and funding for individual proposal will not exceed Rs 3 lakh for Science/Engineering/Pharmacy and Rs 2 lakh for other disciplines, based on the realistic requirements of the proposal.  The second programme is ‘Impact Oriented Research Programme’ for senior regular teachers, who are above 35 years and below 57 years and hold a PhD (advanced stage of academic career).

They can submit an original and innovative research proposal to the university and will receive a fund of Rs 15 lakh to complete/pursue their research. However, the programme has a condition, which emphasises that the proposals should have potential to develop high impact outcome in the form of new theories, technologies of industrial/social applications, patents, high impact publications, etc.

‘The funding for the category will not exceed 50 per cent of the total budget and funding for individual proposal will not exceed Rs 15 lakh for Science/Engineering/Pharmacy and Rs 6 lakh for other disciplines, based on the realistic requirements of the proposal. Also, proposals submitted by a group of teachers and/or of interdisciplinary nature will be encouraged.’ 

“There is a need to strengthen the research quality in education overall. So far, the varsity was focusing on 
quantity -- generating more research papers under the former research scheme of BCUD, while now the university aims to bring the quality of research in the forefront. Therefore, only those research proposals will be given funds, which SPPU finds promising,” said KC Mohite, Principal of CT Bora College, Shirur, and Head of the Committee, which drafted the guidelines.

“Those professors, who fall under the first category, can approach the university with ideas and research proposals, the university will provide all kinds of guidance and train them about the research study. As many teachers are not aware as to how to start a research or whom to meet, so now the university will be the platform and will provide them help. Also, not many are aware of plagiarism. While senior professors will be independent, they have to propose an impactful research proposal,” said Mohite.

SPPU had a budgetary provision of Rs 5 crore earlier, while now it has been raised to Rs 10 crore, informed Mohite. He also said that researchers will be given money in installments as per their research progress. “The full amount will not be given at first, according to the understanding and quality of their research, the university will disburse the money,” he said.

How to apply

Eligible regular teachers can submit their applications online on the university website. The head of the department (HoD), principal or director should assess the proposal and provide a certificate that the proposed research work is in conformity with the guidelines. The online application for the scheme will be invited every year before December 31. A duration of two years will be given to the research candidate.

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