To promote research in cutting edge areas of science, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) is launching a new scheme called Supra (Scientific and Useful Profound Research Advancement) to fund scientists.
- SERB is planning to launch the scheme as part of the government’s 100-day transformative ideas.
- The objective of the scheme is to funding new scientific and engineering breakthroughs of global impact.
- SERB is targeting to fund disruptive ideas that will lead to new areas of study, new technologies, new products and new scientific concepts.
- The design of the scheme is such that it will attract high quality research proposals that will challenge the existing scientific understanding or altogether hypothesise new science.
- SERB is a statutory body set up to fund research in various scientific disciplines. It disburses funds through various schemes and programmes.
- As per the Supra scheme, the proposals of the Principal Investigators (PIs) should be extremely bold and cutting edge. The reviewers must be satisfied with the long-term impact of the proposals or its disruptiveness.
- In the first year, SERB is planning to support 15-30 proposals.
- Once approved, a proposal will get funding for 3 years which can further be extended by two years.
- Initially, a panel of top scientists will screen the proposals of the PI’s based on their previous work and public record.
- Later, it will be evaluated by an expert review committee which is specifically constituted for each subject.
- The Committee has the freedom to solicit the services of experts from overseas if there is a lack of subject knowledge on the proposal within the country.
The Supra scheme is similar to the recently withdrawn High Risk-High Reward (HRHR) Research scheme of SERB. With HRHR, the organisation was unable to articulate what high risk means. But, SERB is now hopeful that Supra scheme will fill this lacuna.