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Firming up Indo-German Research Cooperation

Memorandum of Understanding signed between DFG and UGC

(PresseBox) (Bonn, ) The German Research Foundation (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and the Indian University Grants Commission (UGC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The strategic aim of the agreement is to support intense research cooperation along with the promotion of young researchers between researchers in India and Germany in well defined topics of mutual interest. The President of DFG, Professor Dr. Matthias Kleiner visited India to mark this occasion on 4 November.

In order to enhance well-structured and long-term partnerships, this funding scheme will focus on cooperation between research groups forming an "International Research Training Group (IRTG)" (Internationales Graduiertenkolleg) in Germany and in India aimed at the joint qualification of doctoral candidates in both countries.

The UGC, an autonomous organisation of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, has the unique distinction of being the only grant-giving agency in the country which has been vested with two responsibilities: that of providing funds and that of coordination, determination and maintenance of standards in institutions of higher education. Thus, the UGC emerged as a natural partner for enhancing Indo-German collaboration in basic research in all fields of sciences, including humanities and social sciences.

Scope of Cooperation
The Indian and German partners should jointly formulate a high quality research and qualification programme to be implemented by researchers in both the countries. The programme should provide for regular exchanges of scientists, academic staff, post-doctoral fellows and doctoral students working in the defined project for the purpose of joint research and training.

The participation of the German and Indian groups should be of such significance - in terms of both content and size - that the joint programme can be expected to develop into a German-Indian centre of competence of the highest academic quality.

In principle, any research area (with specific emphasis on interdisciplinarity within the main topic of the research area) is eligible. The Principal Investigators from both sides should thoroughly discuss the details of the project in advance, before finalising and submitting the project proposals to the UGC and the DFG for establishment of the IRTG.

Proposal Submission
The proposals will be invited by the UGC and the DFG separately, but with mutual consent.

Draft proposals for the establishment of an IRTG will first be submitted to and evaluated by DFG following the regular terms and conditions for a DFG Research Training Group. The DFG can fund preparatory workshops on the basis of an application sent to the Division of Research Training Groups at the Head Office in Bonn (for this purpose, the DFG accepts applications throughout the year). After a positive review of the draft proposal, the applicants are invited to submit a full proposal both to the DFG and the UGC. The full proposal is a joint application regarding the research and qualification programme.

On the DFG side, the cooperation will be channelled through the regular IRTG funding and peer review mechanism. On the Indian side, the Indian researchers will have the opportunity to submit full proposals once the Call for Proposals is announced by UGC, presumably at the beginning of 2011.

The panel review of the full proposal will be jointly organised and carried out by DFG and UGC.

Further information
German Research Foundation (DFG): www.dfg.de/en/index.jsp
University Grants Commission (UGC): www.ugc.ac.in
Link to the Memorandum of Understanding: www.dfg.de/en/dfg_profile/international_context/int_partners/index.html
Link to DFG International Research Training Groups: www.dfg.de/en/research_funding/programmes/coordinated_programmes/research_training_groups/international_rtg/index.html

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