The establishment of the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) through an Act of Parliament, namely the Science and Engineering Research Board Act of 2008, represents one of the most significant breakthroughs in the Science and Technology sector of the XI Plan. The Board’s primary and unique mission is to encourage fundamental research in science and engineering and to offer financial aid to those conducting such research, academic institutions, research and development laboratories, industrial issues, as well as other organisations for these kinds of research and matters related to or incidental to it.
To promote and fund fundamental research, SERB seeks to develop best management practices that align with international best practices.
Table of Contents
The primary objectives of the Science and Engineering Research Board are to:
- Serve as a leading organisation for organising, promoting, and financing globally competitive research in emerging fields.
- Determine the main inter-disciplinary research fields and the people, organisations, or institutions that will conduct the research.
- Help provide the infrastructure and environment needed for scientific research.
- Encourage collaboration between academic institutions, research and development facilities, and industries to advance fundamental science and engineering research.
- Develop a strategy to quickly offer funds for research, including monitoring and evaluation, by implementing contemporary management techniques.
Schemes and programs
Core research grant
Since the founding of the Science and Engineering Research Board more than 40 years ago, the Extramural Research (EMR) financing scheme of the science and engineering research board has been in the spotlight. It funds academic institutions, research labs, and other R & D organisations to conduct primary research in all frontier areas of Science and Engineering. This programme promotes a personal competitive manner of research funding among eminent and young scientists in the fields of science and engineering. Extramural Research (EMR) has been changed to Core Research Grant because the programme supports active researchers’ core research.
National mission on interdisciplinary cyber-physical systems
A new category of designed systems called Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) combines computation with physical processes in a dynamic setting. CPS includes:
- Design and Embedded Systems,
- Internet of Things (IoT),
- Big Data,
- Artificial Intelligence (AI), and
- Numerous other technological fields
The CPS systems, which are intelligent, independent, and effective, are anticipated to spur development in many industries, including agriculture, water, energy, transportation, infrastructure, security, and health. It is the next technological paradigm change that can exponentially promote growth and progress.
The IRRD Scheme’s goal is to use the knowledge found in academic institutions and national laboratories to fix issues unique to the sector for the betterment of society.
Empowerment and equity opportunities for excellence in science
The EMEQ Scheme was to assist researchers from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes working in cutting-edge science and engineering fields.
Intensification of research in high priority area
The IRHPA Program encourages ideas in areas of high priority where interdisciplinary / multi-institutional knowledge is needed and will help put our country on the map of the world’s sciences in that specific subject. The Board decides on the priority areas after consulting with the interested parties. This programme will support the facilities needed to implement the specified high-priority areas. Standard analytical tools like NMR, XRD, etc., won’t be covered by the programme.
Start-up Research Grant
The SRG Scheme was to help researchers start their careers in research at a new university. It is a two-year programme designed to help scientists and engineers working in frontier fields establish themselves before transitioning to the more established core research grant. Selection criteria would be based on the applicant’s background and the suggested research strategy.
The two new Start-Up Research Grant for Young Scientists programmes are as follows:
- Early Career Research Award (ECRA)
- National Post-Doctoral Fellowship (NPDF)
Matrics aims to promote greater researchers in the mathematical sciences, theoretical sciences, and quantitative social sciences with permanent grants. This plan’s basic requirement is to submit a straightforward mathematical or theoretical proposal between one and two pages long. The money would be utilised to support research in the mathematical and theoretical sciences, which has particular demands.
International travel support
For delivering a research paper at an international scientific event (conference, seminar, workshop, etc.) conducted overseas, the ITS scheme offers financial support to Indian researchers.
Assistance to professional bodies & seminars / symposia
The assistance to professional bodies & seminars / symposia program offers limited financial help for planning seminars, symposia, training sessions, workshops, and conferences at national and international levels to keep the scientific community up to date. The assistance is usually offered to promote young scientists and researchers’ attendance at such meetings and publish proceedings and summaries for wider distribution.
Accelerate vigyan (AV)
Accelerate Vigyan’s (AV) mission is to support advanced scientific research and train scientists for jobs in research and the knowledge-based economy. Recognising that creating excellent, well-trained researchers is the foundation of all research, AV will establish and strengthen methods for detecting passion for research, tutoring, training, and practical workshops on a broad national scale.
The science and engineering research board has created policies to foster a culture of social involvement among SERB Grantees. SERB grantees’ scientific infrastructure and knowledge are intended to be effectively utilised by other S&T stakeholders, particularly the less well-off researchers and the public. Activities must be selected after approval, and additional funding may be awarded under a separate heading based on the selected activities.
The programme offers active researchers basic research support so they can conduct research and development in cutting-edge fields of science and engineering.
What is SERB?
An Act of Parliament created a statutory organisation known as the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB). The Board's primary and unique mandate is to support basic research in new fields of science and engineering.
What are schemes and programs under SERB?
The Board provides programmes for supplying grants for start-up research, sponsoring extramural research, and utilising the scientific knowledge of retired scientists. The Board also maintains programmes for accelerating research in areas of high significance, funding scientists' travel abroad, assisting professional organisations in hosting seminars and symposia, and offering fellowships.
What SERB offers to scientists?
SERB supports Frontier research in science and engineering. An academic or research institution's regular faculty or researchers can apply for research funds to conduct their projects. In addition, the Board encourages young scientists under the age of 35 to do independent research in cutting-edge and emerging fields of science and engineering.
Does the Board have any EMR scheme financing priorities?
No, the Board funds all branches of science and engineering equally across all fields. SERB will provide funding if the concept is innovative and the investigator is qualified to carry it out.