About the Scheme

Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) for human resource capacity building for industrial R&D was recognised as one of the main deliverables by a sub-committee of Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry in 2010. One of the key recommendations from the private sector as part of this sub-committee was to design, develop and implement a doctoral research scheme in PPP mode for enhancing trust level in academia, research outfits and industry.

A special scheme for 100 'Doctoral Research Fellowships' every year was announced during the Inception Ceremony of the Indian Science Congress Association, in June 2012 in Kolkata. Vide Prime Minister’s Office ID No–3646245/2012-ES-II dated 2 November 2012; the Prime Minister’s Office approved the proposal of naming the ‘SERB-CII Doctoral Fellowship Scheme’ as Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research. Subsequently, the Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research was formally launched at the ‘AICTE-CII University-Industry Congress & CII’s 4th Global Higher Education Summit’ in New Delhi on 8 November 2012.


The Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research is a public-private partnership (PPP) between Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), which is an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).


This scheme is aimed at encouraging young, talented, enthusiastic and result-oriented scholars to take up industry-relevant research. Under this scheme, full-time PhD scholars get double the money that they would otherwise get for doing research. Maximum government fellowship in India at any academic or research institute is approximately Rs 36,400 per month, including House Rent Allowance (HRA) for SRF category. Under the Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research, the scholars get double the JRF/SRF as scholarship (as per applicable slabs). While one-half of this scholarship comes from the government, the second half comes from a partner company which also works closely with the candidate on the research project. The first batch commenced in 2013. The scheme has been made open-ended since September 2014, allowing aspirants to apply anytime within 14 months from their PhD registration.

More than 145 Fellowships have been awarded under this scheme with active participation of CII and its member companies. Over 60 institutions and more than 100 companies are supporting PM Fellows. PM Fellows, supported by SERB and CII, have been winning accolades and laurels across the world and have been granted more than 5 patents so far.

Apex Council

The Apex Council is the highest decision-making body of this scheme. It has representation from both industry and academia. The Apex Council vets the proposals received under the scheme and gives its recommendations on the candidates to be supported under the scheme.

Fellowship - Framework

  • Up to 100 new Fellowships are provided every year
  • 50% of the scholarship comes from SERB [being equivalent to the prevailing Government norms for Junior Research Fellow / Senior Research Fellow (inclusive of HRA)], which can be revised as per the JRF/SRF norms from time to time
  • Rest 50% (matching equivalent of SERB component) comes from the partner company
  • Duration of the Fellowship is four years
  • If selected to receive the Prime Minister’s Fellowship for Doctoral Research, the candidate ceases to receive any other scholarship / salary from any other organisation, which he / she may be receiving at the time of enrolling into the scheme