India Alliance: Early Career Fellowship

Wellcome Trust

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Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Aug 20, 2020 (Pre proposal)

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher PhD Student

Funding uses: Fellowship

Location of project: India

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

Degree requirements: Applicants must be within 4 years of receiving their PhD

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About this funder:



Early Career Fellowships are intended for the most promising newly qualified postdoctoral researchers, to help them make an early start in launching their independent research careers, working in the best laboratories in India.

This is a mentored Fellowship Programme for Early Career Researchers to attain independence. The scheme provides a unique opportunity for the most promising postdoctoral researchers to carry out research in India. Applicants are expected to identify an important biomedical research question and design a project that would help answer this question. The proposal would also suggest how the proposed work would help develop the applicant's future independent research program. Submitted proposals are expected to be globally competitive. 

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.
  • Fund requests for expensive items of equipment are typically not allowed. It is expected that applicants will choose appropriate laboratories/ environments where majority of the necessary equipment and facilities are already available.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Candidates should be one of the following:
    • An Indian national (holder of an Indian passport)
    • An overseas citizen of India
    • An exceptional candidate who does not fall into the categories above but wishes to pursue an academic research career in India
    • Please note:
      • You do not have to be an Indian national or of Indian origin.
      • You do not need to have undertaken your PhD in India. 
      • You do not need to be resident in India during the application process.
  • You must be EITHER:
    • in the final year of your PhD studies (and/or equivalent clinical or veterinary research experience), OR 
    • have no more than four years of postdoctoral research experience from the date of your PhD viva 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.
  • You must have shown significant promise in your scientific career to date.
    • This includes, but is not limited to; strong academic record, visits to conferences and workshops, and importantly, the vision to develop as an independent researcher.
  • Location:
    • You must have an eligible sponsoring institution (Host Institution) in India that will administer the Fellowship for the full duration of the award. To read about the full list of sponsors and mentors that the Welcome Trust requires you to have click here.
    • It is mandatory for the awarded Fellows to be hosted in the Host Institution for the entire duration of the Fellowship (5 years for Early Career Fellowship).
      • Exceptions will not be considered and the applications in which the applicant's contract with the Host Institution ends before the Fellowship end date will not be processed.
    • It is mandatory that applicants carry out their Fellowship project in a laboratory that is not their thesis laboratory or thesis environment.
      • If you have compelling reasons to continue in or return to your thesis laboratory, please contact the office.
    • Applicants may set up long term training or collaborative laboratory visits (work outside Host Institution) for up to 24 months, anywhere in the world.
    • The final year or a majority of the final year of the Fellowship must be spent in the Host Institution in India. 
    • The Host Institute in India is responsible for administering the Fellowship.
      • Hence, the award has to start in India before the 'Work Outside Host Institution' option can be availed.
      • However, length of the start period may be negotiated between the Fellow and the Host Institution.
  • Timing:
    • Fellowships may not be taken up prior to the completion of a successful PhD viva.
    • The Fellowship must be started within one year of being awarded.
  • You may apply even if you already hold another Fellowship.
    • Please note that if awarded, you will be required to make a choice between your current Fellowship and the India Alliance Fellowship. 


  • Fellowship applicants must not apply to more than one Alliance fellowship scheme at any one time.
  • If the full application has been reviewed by the India Alliance’s Selection Committee, and 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.