ESRC-ICSSR Newton call for collaborative research on urban transformations in India

The UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) invite joint applications for collaborative projects between UK and Indian researchers which seek to enhance understanding of urban challenges and issues in India and achieve economic and social understanding of concerned areas in India.

We invite proposals to address one or more of the following topics:

  1. Urban planning, governance and management
  2. Formal and informal populations
  3. Place and space: challenges and solutions, including health, sanitation and labour issues
  4. Small towns, dynamics of change and migration

The ESRC has allocated up to £1.75 million, with matched resources from ICSSR. It is expected that four to six research projects will be awarded under this call.

This call has been designed to give researchers in the UK and India an opportunity to conduct research on the most pressing urban research issues in India. As part of the consultation activity that helped shaped this call, the ESRC, ICSSR and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) organised a workshop with academics representing institutions from across the UK and India in March 2016. Participants took part in a range of activities and discussions in order to establish key issues which would benefit from UK-India collaborative research under the Newton Fund.

UK awards will be funded through the Newton Fund – a five-year programme that aims to strengthen research and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging knowledge economies. Proposals are invited for joint UK and Indian projects; each proposal may request £360,000 – £540,000 at 100% full economic cost (fEC) from the ESRC and with INR 25 lakhs for each successful project from ICSSR over 24 months.

How to apply

The call will open on Je-S at the beginning of July, and all applications need to be approved and submitted on Je-S by 16.00 on 1 August 2017.

Call documents

Key dates

  • Call for proposals announced – 22 May 2017
  • Je-S submissions open – early July 2017
  • Closing date for proposals – 1 August 2017
  • ESRC and ICSSR joint panel – January 2018
  • Decisions announced – February 2018
  • Grants commence – 1 May 2018

Further information

If you have any questions about the call please email

The Newton Fund builds research and innovation partnerships with 17 partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. It has a total UK Government investment of £735 million up until 2021, with matched resources from the partner countries.

The Newton Fund is managed by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and delivered through 15 UK delivery partners, which include the Research Councils, the UK Academies, the British Council, Innovate UK and the Met Office.