Early Career Fellowships

Fellowships are available across the full spectrum of biomedical research - from fundamental molecular and cellular studies through to clinical and public health research.

Research projects can be based in the laboratory, the clinic or the field and may involve experimental or theoretical approaches.

This is a mentored Fellowship Programme for Early Career Researchers to attain independence.
This scheme provides a unique opportunity for those clinicians and public health researchers, who have shown promise to pursue a research career and wish to further strengthen their efforts towards achieving a long-term research vision under the guidance of a Fellowship supervisor at a Host Institution in India.  
What is expected of the Fellowship Supervisor and the Applicant?
It is expected that the Applicant must have made efforts towards developing a track record of research in the area of interest. It is important that clinicians and public health professionals must have made adequate plans to gain broad exposure to research, which further their development as a clinical and/or public health researcher.
Applicants must have shown significant promise in their scientific career to date, which includes (but is not limited to) a strong academic record, attendance of conferences and workshops, and the vision to develop as an independent researcher. 
Role of the Fellowship Supervisor
The Early Career Fellowship scheme requires applicants to identify a Fellowship Supervisor on the application, who will provide them guidance on efficiently managing an independent research programme. 
The choice of Fellowship Supervisor and the Host Institution is carefully scrutinized to assess if the Applicant would be able to use the Fellowship effectively and gain sufficient experience towards an independent career. Essentially, this requires a concerted effort from both the Applicant as well as the Fellowship Supervisor.
The Fellowship Supervisor would ensure that the proposed project is in line with his/her research, but is developed independently by the Applicant with his/her inputs.
The Fellowship supervisor must detail the strategies he/she would adapt to support the Applicant’s career development at the Host Institution. Apart from providing a commitment for space, time and resources, the Supervisor must share a mentorship plan highlighting key indicators to evaluate the Fellows’ performance on a regular basis.
Development of the Project:
Applicants are expected to identify an important biomedical research question and develop a project that would help answer this question in consultation with the Fellowship Supervisor. 
In order to develop a coherent research plan, the applicant must have clarity regarding their own research interests, and the future directions that they intend to take in their career. Secondly, they should evaluate if the mandate of the ongoing research programme of the Fellowship Supervisor would complement their efforts in creating their own niche.
The project can be designed as an offshoot of the work currently being pursued by the Fellowship Supervisor with adequate scope for the Applicant to explore new directions, develop critical thinking, learn new technologies, make significant advances in the field and attain independence. 
The Fellowship Supervisor must describe his/her current work in the context of the work proposed by the Applicant, and how they complement each other. 
The proposal should also suggest how the work would allow the Applicant to attain independence through the proposed research program. Submitted proposals are expected to be globally competitive. 

You do not have to be an Indian national, of Indian origin or be resident in India at the time of application. 
The candidates need not be resident in India while applying but should be willing to establish an independent research career in India.
It is not mandatory for those holding a medical degree and/or a MPH degree to also have a PhD in order to apply to our Fellowships.
The India Alliance appreciates and understands that clinicians and public health researchers sometimes follow a different career trajectory from basic scientists. Therefore, flexible eligibility criteria are followed to determine the eligibility of researchers. 
This competition invites applications for the three schemes:  Early Career Fellowships, Intermediate Fellowships and Senior Fellowships. Hence, this common eligibility limit covers the entire range of eligibility limits indicated for the individual Fellowship schemes.
This competition is open for applicants in the final year of MD/MS/MPH or have up to 15 years of post MD/MS/MPH or equivalent clinical /public health research experience.
The Applicants are advised to choose the most appropriate scheme suitable for them based on their qualification, research experience, career trajectory and track record. Please refer to the guidance notes, provisions and mandate of the Early Career Fellowship scheme for assessing your eligibility. 
The following parameters are typically used to guide the Office:
• The level of qualification (MBBS/MS, MD, MPH or an equivalent degree)
• Previous research experiences
• Applicant's acquaintance with the proposed research question and if a suitable environment is being proposed for this work.
Guidance notes 
Suitable for applicants in the final year of your MD/MS/MPH/PhD studies or have up to four years of postdoctoral/post-MD/post- MS/ post-MPH or equivalent research experience  from the date of completion of the highest degree to the full application submission deadline. 
Time spent outside the research environment (i.e., career breaks) will be considered but has to be clearly mentioned in the application.
If you would fit the profile of a clinician scientist or public health researcher, you have the option to contact the office with your CV and a brief write up of what you would like to do, to get advice on suitability of the scheme you wish to compete for.

Resubmission Policy

Regardless of their previous applications to the India Alliance, all applicants have to make a preliminary application to every competition. If you are not short-listed at the preliminary application stage, you may apply to the same scheme, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria for the scheme. 
Normally, resubmission after consideration of a Full application is not permitted in any scheme. If the Full application has been reviewed by the India Alliance’s Selection Committee, and it was unsuccessful at either the short-listing or interview stage, the applicant may not re-apply to the same scheme. This implies that applicants would have only one opportunity to compete per scheme, once they are into the full application stage. Therefore, it is very important for applicants to carefully consider the timing of their application.


The fellowship is for five years, full time and provides: 
Personal Support for the fellow.
Research expenses (materials and consumables; animals; support to attend scientific meetings; and small items of equipment, e.g. laptop)
Additional allowances (travel and overseas subsistence) for work outside the Host Institution; these are scientifically justified visits of up to 24 months to an external laboratory either in India or abroad.
Support funds for large equipment are not typically provided. It is expected that applicants will choose appropriate laboratories/environments where majority of the necessary equipment and facilities are already available. 
Similarly, funds to support research staff are not typically provided through this scheme. However, justified request for research staff may be considered if the proposed work involves fieldwork or if the clinical studies require assistance from support staff. 
The Clinicians and Public Health Research Fellows may use this opportunity to do a PhD on the India Alliance Fellowship project. Please note that such requests are carefully scrutinized by the India Alliance on a case to case basis. 
The total award for an Early Career Fellowship includes the costs requested by the applicant as well as the set contributions by the India Alliance. For further details, see costing policies. Costs requested by the applicant must commensurate with their research proposal and should be fully justified in the full application. Inadequate justifications may result in costs being revised.

To complete a preliminary application use our online system, IASys. Refer to the IASys userguide for guidance on completing the application form and the submission process. Please ensure that the form is submitted by the published deadline.
Your preliminary application is assessed and If successful, you will be invited to submit a full application.
Your full application will be peer reviewed and considered by the appropriate Selection Committee and, if successful, you will be short-listed for interview.
Short-listed candidates will be notified two weeks before the interview date.
Applicants are not permitted to apply to multiple Fellowship schemes within the India Alliance in parallel. Only one application to one scheme will be entertained, at a time.
The Fellowship must be started within one year from the point at which the decision has been communicated, typically a week after the interview.

Information regarding the various roles on the application can be found here.

Please find overview of the application process and associated timelines here. Note: the timelines are to aid applicants to plan their application appropriately. India Alliance reserves the right to modify competition timelines for operational convenience.