Call for Proposals 2018-2019

Through December 22, 2017

Oct. 27

Center in Delhi Call for Proposals Guidelines

The University of Chicago welcomes proposals for collaborative research projects and related activities for the 2018-2019 academic year.  Proposals are due December 22 for projects beginning in July 2018 or later.

Program Description
The Center hopes to expand opportunities for collaboration with Indian scholars and universities, research institutes, and cultural organizations, to serve as a focal point for engaging alumni in India and South Asia, and to contribute to cooperation among the several international centers of the University.

The Center in Delhi will entertain faculty proposals for activities organized around three broad and intersecting areas of scholarship, recognizing that some activities will not fit squarely in any single category and may involve more than one of these areas:

 •     Business, Economics, Law, and Policy
 •     Culture, Society, Religion, and the Arts
 •     Science, Energy, Medicine, and Public Health

Proposals involving all academic disciplines are welcome, including fields not separately mentioned here, such as philosophy or political theory. Some examples of past projects that have been supported by the committee that may be useful in developing ideas is also available here. The Faculty Director and members of the faculty steering committee may also be consulted in formulating proposals; their names and specialties are listed on the Center’s website here.

We welcome the submission of innovative ideas and proposals that will help foster global initiatives and facilitate collaboration with scholars and institution in India and throughout the region of South Asia. The Center hopes to promote the travel of ideas, scholars, and students in both directions between Chicago and South Asia. Proposals that include more than one area of scholarship or joint proposals for projects across the University Centers in Beijing, Hong Kong, Paris or the Neubauer Collegium, are especially welcome.

Proposals may originate from teams of collaborators in any discipline, but must be sponsored by at least one person holding a current academic appointment at the University of Chicago.  Current members of the Center in Delhi Faculty Steering Committee are eligible to apply, provided that they recuse themselves during the review and voting on their proposal. Proposals focusing on activities of students must come from faculty members supervising the students, and awards cannot support graduate student research that is coextensive with ongoing doctoral dissertation work.

Award Information
Proposals to the Center in Delhi are solicited for the following types of projects:
• Conferences and workshops to promote the sharing of ideas among scholars and researchers, policy makers, and industry leaders from India, the United States, and beyond, including especially planning and brainstorming workshops to facilitate the development of NIH, NSF, or other grant proposals for collaborative international projects.
• Lectures and events, including arts programs, to engage scholars, alumni, and the public.
• Professional development programs (for example, residencies) for faculty and for professionals, government officials, and practitioners in India and the region of South Asia.
• Workshops in Delhi or in Chicago aimed at encouraging the work of recent graduates and young scholars in India.
• Collaborative projects involving data collection or data analysis related to India and the region of South Asia, including comparative research with other parts of the world.

Pre-Proposal Consultation
Prospective applicants are encouraged to consult with the staff at the Center in Delhi about the substance and format of the proposal, and for details on typical budgets. Please contact them by email at to arrange a consultation. Previous applicants have found such consultations helpful. Members of the faculty steering committee may also be consulted in formulating proposals; their names and specialties are listed on the Center’s website.

Application Submission
Each application should provide a project title and proposed timeline, the name(s) of the principal faculty sponsor(s), an abstract of 200–250 words, and the following documents: the CV(s) of the principal investigator(s), a project narrative of up to four pages in length, and an outline of a proposed budget, incorporating a complete spreadsheet described and linked to in "Budget Guidelines"

Applications should be submitted via the online portal at Guidelines on accessing the portal are available here.

Please contact Kate Moore at with any questions about this process.

Narrative Guidelines
The project narrative should be a summary statement of the objective of the proposal, describing how the project will benefit from using the Delhi Center and how it will further collaboration between the University of Chicago and institutions or individuals in South Asia. The narrative should be no more than three to four pages single-spaced, and address the following questions:
• Does the project involve collaboration with relevant partners in India or another part of South Asia?
• What is the nature of this collaboration? Is there a promise of two-way transfer of knowledge?
• What is the history of the project? Does it arise from collaboration that already exists?
• Was the idea of the project mooted first from the Indian side or the Chicago side?
• Are we being asked to fund a particular component of a larger project?
• How would the project benefit both the University of Chicago community and our colleagues in India?
• Does the project have the potential to generate ongoing collaboration with Indian researchers?
• Is the project a pilot study or seed project leading to a larger one? Or is it a one-off project, complete in itself?
• Have the applicants also applied for other grants?
• What is the overall significance of the project for which funding is being sought?

Budget Guidelines
The budget proposal is an opportunity to present the costs necessary to carry out the described research activities. A budget should include an itemized estimate of costs. A list of typical budget cost heads is included below as a guide. A brief budget narrative may be included to describe how estimates were calculated. All budgeted costs should be necessary in order to accomplish project objectives and reasonable in relation to the anticipated outcomes.

Financial and in-kind support from local collaborators is strongly encouraged. As a rule, collaborators traveling from institutions outside South Asia other than the University of Chicago should arrange their own funding for their travel expenses. Grants will cover economy airfare for international travel for University of Chicago faculty and scholars only. In some instances, the Committee will approve travel expenses for collaborators outside South Asia. In some cases, it will approve business class airfare. If either is necessary, it should be budgeted and justified in the proposal.

We expect that cost headings for your budget might include the following items:

• Any domestic travel required in India
• Lodging and meals in India
• Costs of conducting meetings or conferences in India such as catering, supplies (USB drives, notebooks, etc.) and any specialized printing
• Any costs associated with publicizing or advertising the event
• Compensation for any research support being hired for the project

Normally we discourage the use of honoraria or speaker’s fees but if they are necessary they should be budgeted and justified in the proposal. 

In reviewing proposed budgets, the staff of the Center will ordinarily use the standard amounts that they have arrived at for common items in categories such as travel and lodging. A list of the current standard amounts is available here. The spreadsheet Conference Budget Template form provided for use in submitting a budget outline will automatically apply these standard amounts. Please note that for events held at the Center locally and payments made locally through the Center there is an additional buffer for fees and tax costs (15% margin as well as 18% GST) that has been built into the budget template.

Note that if you are using the Delhi center as a venue for your events, there is no additional cost to you for using the space. If you are using a different venue, there will likely be additional costs for the venue.

We encourage you to plan any meetings or conferences at the Delhi Center unless another location is absolutely necessary for the success of your project, and we ask planners of events elsewhere to consider whether an additional component in Delhi might be appropriate, including especially events open to wider audiences such as a public lecture or discussion. The staff of the Center can assist in publicizing events and in locating interested local participants.

We encourage you to consult with the Center staff for help in estimating these costs. They can be reached by email at .

Our current resources may require us to offer less than is asked for in some proposals, and allow us to consider awarding no more than $36,000 as our contribution to any one project. We welcome proposals requesting any amount up to that maximum, as well as proposals requiring no funding from the Center, and for every proposal we urge applicants to seek appropriate sources of additional funding.

Review and Selection Process
The Faculty Director and Faculty Steering Committee of the Center in Delhi will evaluate proposals with the following criteria in mind:
The originality and intellectual significance of the proposed research and the importance of the proposed collaborative approach in addressing the central research question(s);
• Whether the project advances one or more of the Delhi Centers goals of supporting unique research related to India, and of advancing collaboration with India;
• The quality of the design of project activities and the likelihood that they will lead to successful realization of the projects intellectual goals;
• The reasonableness of costs in relation to anticipated results;
• Whether support from the Delhi Center will make a clear and distinct impact on the project.

Award Administration
The Center in Delhi will provide assistance in planning and managing the logistics for the project, project communications, and access to the facilities at the Center in Delhi. Award notices will be sent by the middle of February, 2018. Funding for awards will become available beginning July 1, 2018. Projects must submit a report assessing the project’s success and impact in July, following each year of funding.

Additional Funding Opportunities
The following outside programs also provide significant support for academic activities involving South Asia:
• The GIAN initiative of the Government of India encourages US faculty to teach courses in Indian institutions. The program provides faculty with a comparison of $8000 to $12000, covering travel and honoraria, depending on the duration of teaching. Further details are in the Government's guidelines for the program, here.
• The United States-India Educational Foundation administers the Fulbright and other programs in India. One of their programs is the Indo-U.S. 21st Century Knowledge Initiative Awards (formerly known as the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative). This program provides funding to projects in the following fields: Energy, Climate Change & Environmental Studies; Education and Educational Reform; Public Health; Sustainable Development & Community Development; and International Relations & Strategic Studies. Additional details are on the program's website.
• The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) established by the Governments of India and the United States, is an autonomous, not for profit society that promotes and catalyzes Indo-US bilateral collaborations in science, technology, engineering and biomedical research through substantive interaction among government, academia and industry. The IUSSTF provides funding for a number of programs described on their website.