DST launches schemes for women scientists, researchers in science and engineering


PTI, Oct 29, 2020, 5:22 PM IST

New Delhi: Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday launched the SERB – POWER schemes that aim to encourage emerging as well as eminent women researchers to undertake R&D activities in frontier areas of science and engineering.

The schemes will promote women researchers in regular service in academic and research institutions to take up R&D at the highest level through two categories of research support: SERB – POWER Fellowship and SERB – POWER Research Grants.

The SERB-Power Fellowship offers a personal fellowship and a research grant to top-performing women researchers for a period of three years, while the SERB – Power Research Grants ensure funding to undertake highly impactful research across all disciplines of Science & Technology.

The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) is a body under the Department of Science and Technology.

Speaking at the virtual event, Vardhan emphasised the significance of empowering women researchers in the S&T landscape.

He said globally, just 30 per cent of the world’s researchers are women while 18.6 per cent of India’s full-time R&D personnel are women.

Highlighting the problems faced by women scientists like career interruptions especially related to caregiving responsibilities, Vardhan said they need special attention and alternate ways of support system.

The new Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) 2020 will also emphasise on encouraging women scientists, he said.

The SERB – Power Fellowship will be given to women researchers in the age group of 35-55 years. The fellowship will be of Rs 15,000 per month in addition to regular income, while the research grant will be of Rs 10 lakh per annum for a period of three years.

Under the SERB – Power Research Grants, women researchers will be funded under two categories.

The first category includes women scientists from IITs, IISERs, IISc, NITs, central universities, and national labs of the Central government institutions. They will be eligible for funding up to Rs 60 lakhs for three years.

Level two will comprise scientists and researchers from state universities/colleges and private academics. They will be eligible for funding up to 30 lakhs for three years.

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