India Research Management Initiative (IRMI)

Research institutes and Universities, the major players contributing to knowledge generation, need to invest in enhancing their strategic research competency to be able to drive innovation and development. With a view to improving institutional ecosystems in India and helping them attain global competency standards, the India Research Management Initiative (IRMI), was launched by the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance (India Alliance) in February 2018.

IRMI arose in response to streamlining research support systems that could reduce the amount of time spent by Indian researchers on administration and enable Indian researchers and institutions make the best use of international collaborative funding opportunities. Additionally, IRMI aims to generate a cadre of professionals with the skills needed for supporting research management in India.

Research Management is now considered crucial for the conduct of research worldwide and includes myriad of responsibilities such as building international collaborations, scoping for and dissemination of funding opportunities, managing grants at pre- and post-award stages, managing major multi-institutional projects, ensuring compliance to research ethics, and engaging with the public. In India, research management is at a nascent stage, with tremendous scope for expansion and professionalization.

IRMI will be developed along a framework that encompasses four themes:

  • Generating leadership support for research management in India
  • Making research management offices sustainable
  • Identifying common standards and good practice for research management
  • Developing individual capacity: ensuring recognition of research management as a profession and developing a pool of qualified staff

IRMI is presently being implemented as a pilot, with a focus on creating awareness about research management in India, initiating dialogues between institutions and the India Alliance, and identifying gaps in the system. Outcomes and feedback from the pilot phase are expected to guide future directions for IRMI, which will be aimed at developing efficient research management structures for Indian institutions.

IRMI sharing sessions, which have been held at research institutes and Universities as part of the pilot phase, are designed to allow in-depth sharing of ideas, along with a detailing of the barriers to implementation of research management at Indian institutions. Additionally, the IRMI sharing sessions are a platform for Indian research managers to meet across institutions and share their respective career stories.

Since the launch of IRMI, sharing sessions have been organized at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune, Jamia Hamdard University, and the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. These sessions included members of the scientific leadership at participating institutions along with research managers. The workshop at Jamia Hamdard University included representatives from DBT, DST, and the US Department of Health and Human Sciences. 

The IRMI sharing sessions have demonstrated the benefits of research management, highlighted constraints faced by institutional leadership and concerns of faculty members, brought issues relating to long-term sustainability of research management careers to the fore, and helped articulate training and networking requirements for individual research managers.







We welcome participation in the IRMI initiative from Institutions and individual research managers. We invite you to share your experiences in research management with the IRMI team and also use this opportunity to connect with others in the IRMI network.

The India Alliance will also periodically reach out to institutions registered with IRMI for specific opportunities, as they arise.

For institutions

  • Institutions wishing to be considered for participation in the IRMI pilot program should contact the India Alliance by filling out this form (downloadable form).
  • An authorized official (e.g. Director, Dean, Registrar) should apply on behalf of the Institution.
  • The registration form should be completed with all the relevant details.
  • Once confirmed, the institution will be contacted by the IRMI consultant for further follow-through.
  • The decision of the India Alliance will be final.

For research managers:

  • Research managers can join the IRMI network by following the IRMI initiative on LinkedIn at
  • The decision of the India Alliance will be final.

The IRMI team are putting together a curated list of training and networking opportunities in diverse areas of research management. This information was last updated on 20th September 2018.

We welcome suggestions for content for this page, which should be sent to [email protected].  

Forthcoming Events

Event details




Twitter chat “Research Management Matters”


September 2018

The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance


Scicomm workshop


September 2018

The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance

Registrations closed

Scientific Project Financial Management Training Workshop


October 2018


To be confirmed

2018 NIH regional seminar


October 2018


Women in Science Journalism


November 2018

Indiabioscience, NCBS

Women in Science Administration and Management


November 2018

Indiabioscience, NCBS

Dr Savita Ayyar is a Research Management professional with over ten years of experience in diverse areas of the field and is the Founder of Jaquaranda Tree, an independent consultancy service.

Dr Ayyar received her initial training in Biochemistry at the University of Delhi and Biotechnology at AIIMS, New Delhi. She completed her doctoral studies in Developmental Biology at the University of Cambridge, funded by a Cambridge Commonwealth Fellowship. Following a period of Post-Doctoral training in Neurobiology at the University of Cambridge, Dr Ayyar joined the Wellcome Trust in London, where she gained experience in grant management. She then relocated to India as the Head of Research Development at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, where she worked to create and nurture a Research Development Office (RDO) for the Bangalore Life Science Cluster. Under her stewardship, operations at the NCBS RDO grew to include grant management, philanthropic fundraising and endowments, intramural funding, and News and Communications. She has significant experience as a mentor for science administrators, science communicators, and other staff in research management roles.

Dr Ayyar is currently working on behalf of the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance to develop IRMI, the India Research Management Initiative.

For further information, please contact [email protected]

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