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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.     Where can I understand more about this Research Funding Programme?

Please go through the details available on the Azim Premji University website here : https://azimpremjiuniversity.edu.in/SitePages/covid-19-research-funding-programme-2020.aspx

If you have any further queries of a specific nature, please contact us at externalresearch+2020@apu.edu.in for assistance.


ELIGIBILTY

1.    Who can apply?

Applications are invited from independent researchers or teams affiliated with centres of vital research within academic institutions, non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, as well as the Government, in principle. We encourage scholars and researchers in the fields of education, development practice, public policy, economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, history, creative arts, media and the sciences to submit proposals.

This call for proposals is for researchers external to the Azim Premji Foundation. Employees of the Azim Premji Foundation are not eligible to apply.

2.    Are there any further eligibility criteria for this application?

As part of the Azim Premji University’s efforts to strengthen and elevate the state of understanding of societal processes and outcomes, we are launching the fifth round of our Research Funding Programme. This programme is designed to promote inquiry into areas of particular interest to the Azim Premji Foundation and to explore possible responses for some of them.

We invite high-quality research proposals that examine the significant questions of public concern in the domains of Education and Allied Areas, Labour, Livelihoods and Employment, Urban Governance and Sustainability, Local Democracy, and Climate Change Action.

The Research Funding Programme is designed to strengthen and supplement our existing efforts in these domains. While we are open to any broad considerations within the domain, the research should be empirically grounded, and be able to inform practice and policy.

3.     Does Institutional affiliation have an impact on the application procedure?

If the researcher is affiliated to an Institution, and the project is selected for research funding under the Azim Premji Research Funding Programme 2020, the agreement for the project will be drawn up between Azim Premji University, the Institution that the researcher is affiliated to, and the researcher themselves. The funds under this agreement will be transferred to the Institution the researcher is affiliated to.

4.    Can independent researchers apply for research funding under this programme?  

Independent researchers are welcome to apply for the Research Funding under the category ‘Independent’. In this case, the agreement for the project will be drawn up between Azim Premji University and the researcher themselves.

5.     Can the research project be carried out as a team? Is there any criterion or eligibility regarding the number of
       investigators and their eligibility?

Applications are invited from independent researchers or teams affiliated with centres of vital research within academic institutions, non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, as well as the Government, in principle. We encourage scholars and researchers in the fields of education, development practice, public policy, economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, history, creative arts, media and the sciences to submit proposals.

Independent researchers are welcome to apply; we have not set particular criterion as regards the number of co-PI’s and their eligibility. In case of a team submitting a proposal, in the application form, we have asked for only the details of the lead researcher/Principal Investigator (PI) and two co-PI’s. If there are more than two co-PIs on the project, their CVs and other pertinent details will be captured at a later stage.

6.    What are the domains under the Azim Premji University Research Funding Programme 2020?

Under the Azim Premji University Research Funding Programme 2020, we invite high-quality research proposals that examine the significant questions of public concern in the following domains:

  1. Education and Allied Areas
  2. Labour, Livelihoods and Employment
  3. Urban Governance and Sustainability
  4. Local Democracy
  5. Climate Change Action

Please go through further details and illustrations for each of these domains by clicking the link.

7.    Can a proposal be outside the domains listed in the Azim Premji University Research Funding Programme -
      Call for Proposals?

We invite high-quality research proposals that examine the significant questions of public concern within the domains mentioned in the Call for Proposals - Education and Allied Areas, Labour, Livelihoods and Employment, Urban Governance and Sustainability, Local Democracy, and Climate Change Action. The Research Funding Programme is designed to strengthen and supplement our existing efforts in these areas.

We have given certain themes within these domains of the kind of research we would like to you to engage with. Applicants should read the terms of reference for each area before applying and ensure that the proposal aligns with the specifications. Please note that a proposal that is outside the scope of the specific areas of research will not be considered. Accordingly, please ensure that your proposal addresses the concerns highlighted in each theme and indicate how your proposal specifically seeks to engage with them.

8.    Can I apply for research within only one domain or include more than one domain in an application?

We invite high-quality research proposals that examine the significant questions of public concern within the domains mentioned in the Call for Proposals - Education and Allied Areas, Labour, Livelihoods and Employment, Urban Governance and Sustainability, Local Democracy, and Climate Change Action. Your proposal could cut across themes within a domain and combine more than one theme, however, proposals should remain within a domain.

Applicants can submit multiple proposals within one, or more domains listed by the Call for Proposals.


TIMELINE

1.    What is the last date for submission of applications?

The last date for submission of applications is Oct 31, 2020. Applications that come in after this date will not be considered.

2.    When will the application link be live?

Interested applicants must submit their applications via the online portal which will open on Sep 15, 2020.

3.    What is the timeline for this project?

The project duration is linked with the domains under which the application is made. For the domains of Education and Allied Areas, Labour, Livelihoods and Employment, a nd Urban Governance and Sustainability, the project duration is between 1-3 years. For Local Democracy, and Climate Change Action, the project duration will be 1 year.

4.    What are the important dates that I should be aware of?

Schedule
Start date for submission of Concept Notes on portal Sep 15, 2020
Last date for submission of Concept Notes Oct 31, 2020
Indication of initial interest Dec 1, 2020
Last date for submission of Full Proposal Dec 31, 2020
Announcement of awards Mar 7, 2021
Project start date Apr 1, 2021

BUDGET

1.    What is the research funding budget available for a project under this programme?

The research funding budget is linked with the domains under which the application is made. For the domains of Education and Allied Areas, Labour, Livelihoods and Employment, and Urban Governance and Sustainability, the research funding budget is between INR 5-20 lakhs. For Local Democracy, and Climate Change Action, the research funding budget is between INR 5-10 lakhs.

2.    Is the budget starting from 5 lakhs?

We offer research funding for projects starting from a minimum budget of INR 5 lakhs to a maximum of INR 20 lakhs, depending on the domain of the application.

3.    What are the broad heads under which this budget is required to be broken up?

The budget could be broken up into the following heads:

  1. Salaries/Payment to Research Staff
  2. Field work
  3. Field work - Data collection
  4. Field work - Focus group discussions
  5. Field work – Survey
  6. Data entry
  7. Stationery
  8. Dissemination
  9. Others
  10. Overheads for Independent researchers / Institutional overheads

These details are provided on the application form.


APPLICATION PROCESS

1.    How do I apply for the Azim Premji University Research Funding Programme 2020?

Choose the domain under which you would like to apply from the below list and click the link to access the webpage:

  1. Education and Allied Areas
  2. Labour, Livelihoods and Employment
  3. Urban Governance and Sustainability
  4. Local Democracy
  5. Climate Change Action

Applications for the research funding under each domain can be accessed by clicking the link ‘Apply Here’ at the bottom of the respective page. Please note that we will be accepting applications from Sep 15 - Oct 31, 2020 and the link will be live in this period.

2.    What should the application comprise of?

Interested applicants must submit the following via the online portal which will be open from Sep 15-Oct 31, 2020:

  1. The completed online application form available on the portal
  2. A short concept note in not more than 1200 words
  3. CVs of all collaborating investigators

The concept note should indicate why the study is needed, highlight its significance, clearly identify the research objectives/questions, and outline the methodology to be employed. In particular, it should indicate why the research is of general significance and how it addresses the particular concerns laid out in the terms of reference. Applicants should have demonstrated competency and qualifications to undertake the research in the proposed area. Applicants should read the terms of reference for each area before applying and ensure that the proposal aligns with the specifications. Please note that a proposal that is outside the scope of the specific areas of research will not be considered. Accordingly, please ensure that your proposal addresses the concerns highlighted in each theme and indicate how your proposal specifically seeks to engage with them.

3.    Do you have a format for the concept note?

We do not have a particular format for the concept note. However, the concept note should indicate why the study is needed, highlight its significance, clearly identify the research objectives/questions, and outline the methodology to be employed. In particular, it should indicate why the research is of general significance and how it addresses the particular concerns laid out in the terms of reference. Applicants should have demonstrated competency and qualifications to undertake the research in the proposed area. Applicants should read the terms of reference for each area before applying and ensure that the proposal aligns with the specifications. Please note that a proposal that is outside the scope of the specific areas of research will not be considered. Accordingly, please ensure that your proposal addresses the concerns highlighted in each theme and indicate how your proposal specifically seeks to engage with them.

4.    What are the documents to be uploaded? Is there a particular format for upload?

To complete the online application form available on the portal, the following documents are required to be uploaded in pdf:

  1. A short concept note in not more than 1200 words
  2. CVs of all collaborating investigators - In the case of a team submitting a proposal, in the application form, we have asked for only the details of the lead researcher / Principal Investigator (PI) and two co-PI’s. If there are more than two co-PIs on the project, their CVs and other pertinent details will be captured at a later stage.

5.     What is meant by CV of all investigators?

For Researchers working in teams, in the application form, we have asked for only the details of the lead researcher/Principal Investigator (PI) and two co-PI’s (collaborating investigators). If there are more than two co-PIs on the project, their CVs and other pertinent details will be captured at a later stage.

6.    Once I submit my proposal, can I edit it?

Please note that applications cannot be edited post submission, however, you can submit another application.

7.     Can I apply with more than one proposal?

Multiple proposals are welcome.

8.     How can we participate in the research programme organized by Azim Premji University?

Azim Premji University is seeking research proposals under their fifth annual research Funding Programme. This is not an internal research programme run by the University, but a call for proposals from researchers external to the University who will detail their own research plans and protocols. In this context, we do not have any opportunities/possibilities of engagement/ participation with the University directly.


ONLINE APPLICATION PROCESS

1.     On which page should I click ‘Apply Here’?

Please select from amongst the domains listed for the most appropriate one for your application.

  1. Education and Allied Areas
  2. Labour, Livelihoods and Employment
  3. Urban Governance and Sustainability
  4. Local Democracy
  5. Climate Change Action

Then click ‘Apply Here’ on that webpage. For e.g. To apply for Local Democracy, please access the ‘Apply Here’ button on the Local Democracy page. If you click the ‘Apply Here’ on any other page and fill in your application there, it is liable to be rejected as it is not in the relevant domain.

2.     When I click ‘Apply Here’ where does it lead me?

Depending on the domain you wish to apply for, please click the ‘Apply Here’ button after reading the instructions for the domain on the relevant website page. This will open to the landing page for the application that has further instructions regarding the information you should have on hand while filling in the form and important dates. Once you have gone through this, please scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘Next’, this will take you into the application.

3.     What are the points to note while filling in the Principal Investigator’s (PI) Details page?

Please fill in an email id that you access regularly, access to the draft form via verification codes, and all communication related to research Funding will be addressed to the PI there. On this page, all mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk, you must fill these.

4.     What is a verification code?

Once you fill in your email id, a 4-digit verification code will be sent to that email id which should be input into your form. This validation is done to ensure that the email id you have entered is valid and we have the correct email to contact you in future. This process also helps in accessing the form saved as draft.

5.     Is it necessary to fill co-PI details?

If you have co-PI’s working on the project, please enter their details. The page allows you to fill in details for two co-PI’s; if you have more co-PI’s working on the project, their details will be collected at a later stage.

6.    If I save my application as a draft, how do I access it again?

Once you ‘Save as Draft’, you will get an email in your registered email id with a reminder to complete your application. This mail will have a hyperlink which when you click will take you back to the landing page. Scroll down and click on ‘Next’ and you will be back on the application page. The page will appear unfilled, please enter your registered email id and then input the verification code that will come via email to the registered id. All the data you had filled before will auto-populate on the form. You can then continue to fill from where you left off.

At any stage of the application, it can be saved as draft and accessed in the manner described above.

7.    If I want to access the Instructions for filling the form again, how do I go there?

Please click the ‘Previous’ button and you can access the instructions to fill.

8.    What is the Project Information to be provided?

Please put in the ‘Title of your proposal’, period and the budget. The period and budget limits have been defined in the Call for Proposals and you will be able to enter within these defined limits. Do not leave any of the fields unfilled, they are all mandatory on this form.

9.    What are the things to keep in mind while breaking up the budget?

The drop downs under Budget Expenditure Head offers options under which you can organise your budget. This should total the budget you have filled in the ‘Project budget’ field above. The total budget defined by you has to be broken up inclusive of overheads:

  • For Independent researchers, the maximum allowable overheads are Rs. 15,000
  • For Institutional researchers, the maximum percentage is 10% of the budget value

10.    What does ‘Completed’ in ‘Project Information status’ tell you?

Once the total of the line items on the Budget table match the ‘Project budget’ field above, the budget is deemed to be ‘Completed’. If this says ‘Incomplete’, the totals on the budget table are lower than that on the ‘Project budget’ field above, you will need to check and add the balance amount into any of the line items.

11.    What are the documents to be uploaded in the ‘Documents Upload’ page?

Look under the heading ‘Document name’, the required documents will be auto populated by the system.

  1. The Concept note of a maximum of 1200 words
  2. CV of the PI
  3. CV of the co-PI’s depending on the number you have entered details for in the Principal Investigator (PI) Details page. If you have entered details for one co-PI, please upload the pertinent CV, and if you have entered details for two, please upload both CV’s. If you would like to check what you have done previously, please tick the check box at the top of the page labelled ‘Back’, and this will take you to the ‘Principal Investigator (PI) Details’ page

Only when the ‘Document upload status’ shows ‘Completed’, can you proceed.

12.    Once I enter the ‘Project Information status and Documents Upload page’, how do I check what I have filled in
        the previous page ‘Principal Investigator (PI) Details’ page?

Please tick the check box at the top of the page which is labelled ‘Back’, this will take you to the ‘Principal Investigator (PI) Details’ page

13.    Is there a restriction on the type of file format and the size of the upload?

All documents have to be uploaded in PDF format of file size less than 50 MB each.

14.    What does ‘Incomplete’ in ‘Document upload status’ tell you?

All the required documents as per the application have not been uploaded successfully. Please check and upload a document against each of the ‘Document name’. When the upload is successful, each document will have a cross next to it.

15.    Once your ‘Document upload status’ is ‘Completed’, what is the next step?

If your ‘Document upload status’ and the prior ‘Project Information status’ shows ‘Completed’, you will get a Declaration box that you will have to select before submitting your application which states ‘I hereby declare that the information given in this application is true and correct.’

If you do not get the declaration box, please go back and check for completion status on both the above fields. Please note: Without the Declaration box being selected, the application is not complete.

16.    Once my application is submitted, what next?

A pop up acknowledging the submission with an application no. will pop up on the screen which will read APU/2020/xxxxx. Please make a note of this for your reference. This will be followed by an email to your registered email id thanking you for applying.


ASSISTANCE

1.    Whom do I contact for assistance?

Please contact us at externalresearch+2020@apu.edu.in for assistance.





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