About the Organization:

The Department of Science & Technology plays a pivotal role in promotion of science & technology in the country. The department has wide ranging activities ranging from promoting high end basic research and development of cutting edge technologies on one hand to service the technological requirements of the common man through development of appropriate skills and technologies on the other.

Cleaning the Ganga and Agri-Water:

There is a long history of scientific collaboration between India and the Netherlands. The Dutch Research Council (NWO), through the Merian Fund1, and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) aim to further stimulate long term research collaboration between their two countries by funding joint research, to strengthen the international position and global impact of their research. Funding is provided for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary consortia of Indian and Dutch research groups and stakeholder partners, for high quality research that has the potential for societal and scientific impact.

NWO and DST have agreed on strategic knowledge and innovation agendas. A call for proposals on a jointly agreed theme based on this agenda is planned to be published annually. Funded research should be in alignment with national research agendas, as well as international initiatives such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and build bridges between different actors in the knowledge chain, fundamental and applied research, and scientific disciplines.


This joint DST-NWO research call aims to contribute to Cleaning the Ganga, which is defined as high priority field for the Indian and Dutch governments and water sector. The call will focus in particular on the impact of agriculture on the Ganga water system and the related scopes for interventions. The Hindon sub-basin is selected as case area. The call addresses several SDG’s, in particular 2 (Zero Hunger), 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and 13 (Climate Action). In The Netherlands this topic links to the topsectors Water & Maritime, Horticulture & Starting Materials and Agro&Food and one of the 4 societal missions defined in the new Mission-Oriented Research and Innovation Policy, ‘Agriculture, water and food’. This call in Indian context will be in line with the significant National Missions such as “Namami Ganga” and “Swatch Bharat”.

Thematic focus:

  • Cleaning the Ganga
  • Impact of agriculture on the Ganga water system
  • Case area: Hindon sub-basin
  • Research areas

Specific project requirements:

  • Integrated research approach and Cocreation
  • International collaboration
  • Impact Strategy, including Theory of Change & Impact Pathway

Guidelines for applicants:

Who can apply

Applications can be submitted by consortia that include at least:

  • Two different research organisations that are based in the Netherlands,
  • Two different recognised academic institutions and/or public funded research & development organisations that are based in India, and
  • A partner from a public, semi-public or private practitioner organisation (for-profit or notfor-profit).

This call aims at knowledge chain-wide collaboration, to enhance demand articulation, ownership, and the effective uptake of results. For this reason, all consortium partners, as well as relevant stakeholders, are expected to be engaged in all phases of the project execution, from its inception to sharing the (emerging) results. Evidence of such active engagement will be an important element in the assessment of project proposals and may be demonstrated through references to involvement in project preparation, active involvement as a project partner and links between the proposed research project and ongoing projects of NGOs, private or industry organisations, and/orpolicy implementation.

A Consortium Agreement to regulate consortium governance, task division, resource management and ownership of results between the collaborating consortium organisations is obligatory (see section 3.5 for details).

Principal Investigators:

A proposal should have two Principal Investigators: one based in the Netherlands or at a university established in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and one based in India from a recognized academic public funded R&D institution. The two Principal Investigators will serve as the recipients of the grants from their respective countries. They will serve as the points of contact for their respective funding agency and will submit the proposal to both agencies. The Principal Investigators’ organisations will take responsibility for the project secretariat, the day-to-day management and all financial affairs of the research project, including the final financial accountability towards their respective funding agency.


A co-applicant is participant in the consortium and receives funding through the Principal Investigator of the respective country (or from DST in case of the Indian co-applicants). The consortium should include co-applicants from at least one other Dutch and Indian institution than the Principal Investigators.

Indian co-applicants

DST requires co-applicants to be:

  • A researcher working in regular position in a recognized academic institution/public funded R&D institution/laboratories or S&T based voluntary organizations, based in India, AND
  • have an employment contract for at least the duration of the application procedure and the duration of the research the grant is applied for, And
  • has at least a PhD or an equivalent qualification.

Submission to DST

  • The Indian Principal Investigator must submit the application via e-PMS (onlinedst.gov.in) under Technology Mission Division. In addition, the budget sheet (Annexure-I of application form) and contribution letters (Annexure-III of application form) should submitted via email along with a copy of the full proposal to dstwticall@gmail.com.
  • Two (2) hardcopies of the uploaded research proposal should be sent to Dr. Neelima Alam, Scientist E, Department of Science and Technology, Technology Bhavan, New Mehrauli Road, New Delhi-110016 by speed post.

Timeline of the call

  • February 2020: Call open
  • 8 April 2020: Webinar on Impact Strategy
  • 12 May 2020, 14:00:00 hours CEST/ 18:30:00 IST: Submission deadline full proposals
  • May – June 2020: Referees are consulted
  • July 2020: Applicants can submit a response (rebuttal). Consortia have 5 working days to submit a rebuttal
  • October 2020: IAC meeting
  • November 2020: Decision NWO-WOTRO Steering Group and Board of DST
  • November 2020: NWO and DST inform applicants about the decision

Available budget:

  • The total budget for this call is M € 1.4 on the Dutch, and Rs. 11 crores on the Indian side. With the available total budget, NWO and DST aim to fund up to two projects with duration of five years each.
  • Projects can apply for a maximum of €700.000 at NWO and a maximum of Rs. 5.5 crores from DST.

Deadline for submissions:  The deadline for submissions if this call for proposals is 12 May 2020, 14:00:00 hours CEST/ 18:30:00 IST

For more information please check the Link

Name of the Organisation
Department of Science & Technology - Govt. of India
Grant Amount
Rs. 11 crores
Closing date of Proposal
Tuesday, 12 May, 2020
RFP Email
Dr. Sanjay Bajpai: sbajpai@nic.in , +91 11 26590283
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