Kothari Fellowship

5 minute read
Kothari Fellowship

Education is one such sector where people do not think twice before shelling out their money. But, what if meritorious candidates who have completed a PhD and aspire to advance in academia and post-doctoral level research, have to quit their passion because of the lack of funds? Thousands of young aspirants have taken the backstop in the past owing to this hurdle. Things have changed for students who wish to be successful in their field of interest. This is exactly what our blog talks about, the ‘Kothari Fellowship’. Let’s take a look at all the important details of this fellowship scheme for Indian students.

Understanding Kothari Fellowship

Dr D.S. Kothari Post Doctoral Fellowship (DSKPDF) Scheme was introduced on the recommendation of the Empowerment Committee (EC) chaired by Professor M.M. Sharma in 2007. Also known as Kothari Fellowship, this scheme was launched to facilitate young researchers to pursue their research and academic careers. Created for the PhD holders only under the Faculty of  Science, this fellowship scheme gives the aspirants an all-new opportunity to broaden their horizons and grow in various cross-disciplinary fields. The essence of this fellowship scheme lies in universalising the culture of postdoctoral research in India. 

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Parameters of Eligibility

The Kothari Fellowship calls for certain eligibility criteria that the candidates are required to meet to be awarded the benefits of the fellowship scheme.

Here’s a complete list of the eligibility parameters for this fellowship scheme:

  1. The aspirant should be below the age of 35 years. (relaxable up to 3, 5 and 10 years for OBC, SC/ST/Women and Physically Handicapped respectively).
  2. Only those candidates are eligible to apply who have been awarded the degree of PhD under the Faculty of Science. 
  3. the candidates need to identify a mentor (affiliated with the university or college, wherein the Kothari Fellowship scheme is tenable) for the research work and also obtain mentorship consent from the mentor itself. 
  4. Teachers and lecturers below 35 years of age who are working in Academic Institutes can also apply. However, they will be required to submit a hard copy of a ‘certificate from the Head of the Institution (Principal/ Registrar)’ stating that the teacher will be given 3 years of special leave without any kind of financial support to carry out their post-doctoral research work.

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Duration of the Scholarship

The Kothari Postdoctoral Fellowship is only available for 3 years and can be applied for at any time during those 3 years in the field of study chosen by the candidates, so its application period is open all year long. If a candidate is chosen for the Kothari Postdoctoral Fellowship, they must join the department and mentor within just 6 months of the date the fellowship award letter was sent out.

Fellowship Amount Details

The fellowship period of the Kothari Fellowship scheme is valid for 3 years. The candidates holding a PhD degree in any of the fields under the Faculty of Science will be awarded a certain fellowship amount every year. Following is the break-up of the total amount awarded in the fellowship scheme:

  • In the first year, the candidate would be awarded a monthly fellowship amount of ₹43,800.
  • For the candidates in the second year of the fellowship, they will receive a fellowship amount of ₹45,000 per month.
  • For the third year, the candidates will be awarded a fellowship amount of ₹46,500 per month.

In addition to this, a contingency grant is provided to the candidates accounting to ₹1 lakh annually. Not just being limited to this, if a candidate is unable to find an accommodation or hostel within the institute, as per the rules, the House Rent Allowance (HRA) will be paid.

Important Documents

To apply for the fellowship scheme, a candidate must be ready with all the documents supporting the enrolment. Below is a complete list of duly attested documents required for the Kothari Fellowship scheme:

  • Outline or summary of the PhD work in the prescribed format
  • The proposal of the concept for the post-doctoral research in the prescribed format
  • A brief CV of the mentor
  • A copy of graduation and post-graduation certificates
  • A copy of the applicant’s age proof certificate or class X certificate
  • Certificate of the PhD Degree or certificate from the PhD guide/university/college
  • An original certificate from the mentor specifying his/her willingness to guide you in your postdoctoral research work
  • Certificate of SET/NET if applicable
  • Certificate of the reserved category (physically handicapped, OBC, SC/ST/Women, etc.)
  • Also, if you are employed as a teacher, you need to submit a certificate from the head of your organization stating that you will be given 3 years of sabbatical/special leave without any financial support to carry out your postdoctoral research work.

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Kothari Fellowship selection process

The following selection criteria will be used to choose the applicant:-

  • Since submitting a thesis and receiving a Ph. D. are both open-ended processes, the selection process is always available in “…as and when…” mode and is not constrained by any set dates. The UGC website features a rolling advertisement; other organisations and UGC affiliates should be encouraged to do the same on theirs.
  • To apply for the fellowships, visit the appropriate website at http://ugcdskpdf.unipune.ac.in/. The entire procedure is completed online.
  • A permanent (core) peer group can access the online applications and grade them using technology. The Chair of this group makes the ultimate judgement based on the grades that were electronically received from the peer group. The emphasis during the review process/selection is on an appropriate blend of the candidate’s accomplishments at the Ph. D level and the professional standing of the mentor and institution where the postdoctoral research is to be carried out because this is a promotional scheme to inculcate a post-doctoral research culture. Candidates are generally encouraged to transfer to newer research centres and institutions.
  • The individual application must be received and the selection procedure must be finished within six weeks of that.
  • There could be up to 500 of these awards given out each year, with a maximum of roughly 1000.


When can I apply for the Kothari Fellowship scheme?

The application process is open throughout the year and you can apply for the fellowship whenever you want. You can apply for the fellowship at the official website of DSKPDF.

What kind of subjects are covered under the Kothari Fellowship Scheme?

The fellowship scheme is available to all candidates holding a PhD degree in the field of Science, which includes PhDs in Engineering and Medicine.

In what colleges the Kothari fellowship scheme is not tenable?

The fellowship scheme is only tenable in the science departments of Indian universities and the UGC-funded inter-university centres including IUCAA (Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics), UGC-DAE-CSR, IUAC, etc. Whereas, the scheme is not tenable in CSIR/DRDO/DAE or IIITs.

“I live outside of India but want to pursue my postdoctoral research work in India. Am I eligible for the Kothari Fellowship?”

Yes, the Kothari Fellowship scheme is open to all students living in the other corner of the world. Candidates coming from developing nations and neighbouring countries are also preferred. 

We hope that have acquired the right information regarding the Kothari Fellowship scheme. In case you have any further questions or apprehensions regarding this, our experts at Leverage Edu will be happy to answer all your queries with utmost precision.

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