The Government of India has taken striving efforts to equalize the opportunities for women to pusue and excel in STEM, by providing a myriad of funding and grants exclusively to women pursuing science in the nation, by supporting them at various levels of their careers. Listed are the major funding and grants tailored to women pursuing science in India.
- Gender Advancements for Transforming Institutions (GATI)
GATI is an innovative pilot project launched by the Department of Science n Technology (DST), promoting equal women participation in terms of higher education and research in all STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics) fields. GATI aids at institutional level, where it promotes discrimination free and equal opportunity environment for women in STEMM.
GATI website – https://gati.dst.gov.in/
- Post-Graduate Indira Gandhi Scholarship for Single Girl Child
One of the schemes under University Grants Commission to promote women education at postgraduate level, if the only child of the family is female. The scholarship is applicable to candidates upto 30 years of age at the time of admission, enrolled in a full-time regular master’s (non-professional) course. A sum of Rs.2000 per month for two years (10 months each year) is provided during the entire duration of the postgraduate course completion.
- Pragati Scholarship for Girl Students for Technical Education
Pragati, a MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) scheme implemented by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), to financially aid girl’s education in technical courses at degree or diploma levels. The scholarship includes Rs. 30,000 for tuition fee and Rs. 2,000 per month for the entire duration of the course (10 months per year). Annually AICTE provides 5,000 AICTE-Pragati Scholarships.
- UGC – Post Doctoral Fellowship for Women Candidates
A fellowship scheme by UGC, aiming to provide financial assistance to unemployed women holding PhD in areas of science, engineering and technology, humanities and social science. The key aim of this fellowship is to encourage suitable women candidates to pursue advanced studies and research in their respective study areas. The fellowship is provided for a duration of 5 years with contingency and departmental assistance, without any further extension. Annually UGC provides 100 fellowships to eligible women candidates.
- CSIR – ASPIRE (CSIR – A Special Call for Research Grants for Women Scientists)
A new research grant opportunity from CSIR exclusively targeting women scientists to carry out R&D in major disciplines of science and technology (life sciences, chemical sciences, physical sciences, engineering sciences and inter/trans disciplinary sciences) within the budget of 25 -30 lakhs. The funding also covers for staff (JRF/SRF/RA), contingency and minor equipment. The research proposals from women principal investigators (PI) will be selected and regulated under CSIR EMR-II General Research scheme guidelines.
For CSIR-ASPIRE application – https://es.csirhrdg.res.in/csir-aspire/
- Women Scientist Scheme (WOS)
The Women scientist scheme is a set of fellowship schemes offered by DST for unemployed women, or women with career breaks for further pursuing research in STEM fields. The scheme is issued under 3 categories:
- Women Scientist Scheme-A(WOS-A): Research in Basic/Applied Science
- Women Scientist Scheme-B (WOS-B): S&T interventions for Societal Benefit
- Women Scientist Scheme-C (WOS-C): Internship in Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) for the Self-Employment
The minimum eligibility and funding amount varies with each WOS scheme. The upper age limit to apply for the scheme is 57 years.
For more information on WOS –https://online-wosa.gov.in/
- Biotechnology Career Advancement and Re-orientation Programme (Bio-CARe) for women Scientists
Bio-CARe for women scientists is a DBT (Department of Biotechnology) funded grant opportunity for employed / unemployed women scientists, to carry out their first extramural research project, up to 45 years of age.
For more details on Bio-CARe for women Scientists – http://dbtindia.gov.in/schemes-programmes/special-programmes/biotechnology-career-advancement-re-orientation-programme
- Women in Science and Engineering – Postdoctoral Fellowship (WISE – PDF)
WISE-PDF is a DST funded fellowship to women scientists, under the umbrella scheme of WISE-KIRAN. Candidates between the age of 27 and 60, with PhD or equivalent qualification (MS/MD/MDS) are funded for a duration of 3 years to pursue research at bench level in basic and applied science in specified science disciplines. The WISE-PDF program is open throughout the year for proposal submission. More details can accessed at – https://online-wosa.gov.in/
More such grants and fellowship schemes tailored to improve the opportunities for women in science, at different career levels (postgraduate, doctoral, post-doc, etc,.) can be found at – https://www.indiascienceandtechnology.gov.in/listingpage/opportunities-women-stemm. Certain relaxations in terms of age for eligibility, reservation for women candidates, training (WISE Internship in IPR), travel grants, awards (National Women Bioscientist Award, SERB-Women Excellence Award, etc,.), R&D infrastructure development in women universities (CURIE), international collaborative research opportunities (Indo-U.S. Fellowship for Women in STEMM) are other such advantages that aid in encouraging and uplifting women in STEM. Knowing the fellowship and grant opportunities, their timelines, requirements and pre-planning towards application is also crucial in successful procurement of the same.
Good luck to the aspiring women in securing financial aid to assist your journey in STEM!!
By : – Subhiksha D
Genomeden Writing Internship Participant
(MSc. Human Genetics and Molecular Biology,
Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Biology, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore , Tamil Nadu)