UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


UCL IHE & IIT Madras joint call for collaborative research projects

1 June 2022

As part of IHE’s ongoing collaboration with UCL Global Engagement Office in building partnerships with Indian academic institutions, IHE has been awarded £11,000 to seed fund joint research and exchange activities between IHE and IIT-M, with match funding of £11,000 from IIT-M.

IIT-Madras and UCL buildings side-by-side

The award is intended as a one-off grant to initiate a new or support existing interdisciplinary research partnerships between the two institutions. The aim is to encourage both sides to work on proof-of-concept ideas, generate initial data and attract support from external funding agencies to strengthen these seed-funded activities. Additionally, IIT-M researchers who are actively engaged with current UCL Faculty are encouraged to apply, providing substantial evidence for the need of the SEED funding for their ongoing research.

1. Eligibility for participants within the scope of this call

Collaborative activities may be based on joint research projects set up by faculty/staff members from both institutions.

Applications are open to UCL staff members with the following roles:

  • Professor/Professorial Teaching Fellow or equivalent.
  • Reader or equivalent.
  • Senior Lecturer/Principal Researcher/Principal Research Associate/Senior Teaching Fellow or equivalent.
  • Lecturer/Senior Research Associate/Teaching Fellow or equivalent.
  • Post Doc/Researcher/Post Doc Fellow/Research Associate or equivalent are eligible provided the contract covers the spend and activity period.
  • Applicants are not required to have a doctorate to apply, but do need to hold a role at one of the levels described above.
  • PhD students are not eligible to apply, but are encouraged to take part in the project.

For IIT-M staff, the call is open to only the faculty members.

  • There should be at least two principal investigators (PIs) – one from each institution. 
  • There may also be co-PIs from the same or other departments provided that there are no financial implications to the concerned department/faculty. 

2. Collaborative activities

As inspired by IHE’s Tomorrow’s Home project, the award would like to support innovative interdisciplinary research addressing the need for affordable sustainable solutions for the health and well-being of future populations.

The call for proposals is open to all areas in the healthcare engineering and digital health, with a focus on affordable and sustainable home-based technologies and research to support healthy ageing and independent living through the life course.  

We would encourage projects of an interdisciplinary nature that demonstrate a pathway to impact and focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

3. Value and duration

Up to £11,000 is available for UCL IHE faculty and up to Rs 10.75  lakh for IIT-M faculty, for one year.

Funding will be jointly provided by UCL IHE and IIT Madras, with 50% going to the academics at each respective institution. The award will be allocated respectively through each institution to their own academic staff.

4. Identifying academics at IIT Madras and UCL 

In order to identify academics at either institution, please refer to the institutional websites in the first instance https://www.iitm.ac.in and https://www.ucl.ac.uk 
For further help assistance please contact marilyn.aviles@ucl.ac.uk for UCL applicants and Swagatika Sahoo global.relations@ge.iitm.ac.in for IIT-M applicants.

5. Ethics and governance

The research proposal will require ethics clearance from the respective Ethics Committee of both institutions. The ethics clearance letters may be submitted when submitting the initial project proposal or after the project proposal is approved for funding. Funds will be allocated for approved projects only after ethics clearance is obtained and evidence presented to the Dean (Research) at IITM and the IHE Office at UCL.

It is mandatory that the PIs from both the institutions sign a Cooperation / Research Agreement before commencement of the project. This would ensure Intellectual Property Right (IPR) rights are protected for both sides. Collaborative Research Agreement issues, IPR issues and Joint Supervision issues will be addressed as per the guidelines described in detail in the UCL-IITM MOU.  Awarded researchers will need to organise and verify this with their respective departments in each institutions.

6. Review criteria

Proposals received by IITM and UCL IHE will be evaluated by a separate review committee at each institution.

Both internal review committees will assess proposals according to the following criteria: 

  • Scientific merit, project design and rationale (how clearly presented, and justified is the design and basis for the collaboration)
  • Project impact (how clearly linked are the outcomes to the planned activities and performance indicators, such as joint papers, external funding applications, joint research with industry and policy recommendations) 
  • Interdisciplinary nature of the project (the aim of the funding is to encourage academics to collaborate on a project that will require a range of disciplines for successful delivery)
  • Impact of collaboration (is there a distinct advantage provided by this collaboration that is not possible by the two institutions working individually?)
  • Capacity for future collaboration (what is the extent to which future collaborations are possible as a result of the proposed exchange activities).

Please identify which of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals your project will fall under. The information sought here is for mapping purposes. It is not part of the selection criteria. 

A joint committee will convene to select the final high-quality and evidence-based proposal. 

7. Reporting after project completion

All awardees must, as a condition of receiving an award under this call, complete a narrative report of achievements (of between one and two pages) including how they intend to take the research forward beyond the funding period.

8. Submission of proposals

  • Project proposals are to be prepared and submitted jointly. 
  • Project collaborators must ensure that their respective institutional counterpart is in full agreement on all aspects of the proposal. A confirmation of this will be needed as part of the submission.
  • They will also have to submit an auditable Statement of Expenditure to respective institutions
  • Compilation of submissions will be handled jointly by IITM and IHE. Please send your completed proposal proforma to both:

Swagatika Sahoo – global.relations@ge.iitm.ac.in  

Marilyn Aviles – marilyn.aviles@ucl.ac.uk

9. Timeline

Call for proposals opens:  1st June 2022

Deadline for submission of proposal: 21st June 2022 

  • 17:00 BST
  • 21.30 IST 

Communication of results to applicants: Week commencing 27th June 2022

Download the application form