Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)

The Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC), an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between top-ranked Indian Institutions and globally ranked Foreign Institutions, through Joint Research Projects involving mobility of students and faculty.

The SPARC Scheme is expected to have a major impact in providing the best international expertise to address major national problems, expose Indian academicians to the best collaborators abroad, enable international faculty to stay in India for a longer duration, provide Indian students an opportunity to work in the world class laboratories, to develop strong bilateral relationships in research, and improve the international ranking of Indian Institutions.

SPARC proposed to fill up this void in the collaboration eco system, as it not only funds for long term visit by the International Faculty (2 to 8 months) but would also fund the travel and sustenance of Indian students at the University/ Institute of the International collaborator. The program aims at exposing large number of young students, the torch bearers of the future generation, to state of art developments in science, thereby increasing the number of highly trained scientific manpower in the country, as well as significantly enhance the visibility of Indian Science and Scientists in the world map of highly competitive cutting edge science. It is expected that some of the joint ideas would not only lead to breakthrough in science, but would also result in sustainable technological products that will be beneficial to mankind at large, in addition to fulfilling the need of India.

The major outcome of the SPARC initiative will be strong research collaboration between Indian Research groups with top research group in the leading Universities of the world, in areas that are at the cutting edge of science or with direct social relevance to the mankind, specifically India. The strong joint research should lead to tangible result that should include large number of high quality research publications, solution to key national and international problems, development of niche courses, high quality text books and research monographs, imbibing of best practices from top international academicians and researchers, strong bilateral cooperation, and improved world reputation and ranking of Indian Institutions.


Nature of SPARC Proposal

A joint research project has to be submitted by an Indian Institution / University with participation of a Foreign University/Institute under SPARC for a two-year interaction programme.


The basic features of the proposal are as follows:  

The proposal will address a topic in any of the Thrust Areas of SPARC and address a  challenging issue of theoretical, experimental and/or translational value.

The project team should contain at least two international faculty members, two Indian  Faculty members and two researchers pursuing PhD or post-doc level from each side. The Faculty members may be from one or two eligible institutions in each side. The students have to be registered full-time students or post-docs in their respective institutions. From the foreign side, it is expected that the team will be from the same country. Each side will have a Lead Institution (LI) and a Principal and co-Principal Investigator.  

The proposal must state clear and measurable deliverables with timelines  

The Budget section should contain Component of MHRD funding (under SPARC), Indian Institution’s Funding, Foreign Institution’s Funding and the clear Deliverables.



 All Indian Institutions ranked in the overall top-100 or category-wise top-100 in the India Rankings (NIRF-2019) are eligible to apply. The partner Foreign Institution shall be in the top-500 QS-2020 World University Ranking or in the top-200 QS-2019 World University Ranking by subject to be eligible to be supported under SPARC. The project team should contain at least two international Faculty members, two Indian Faculty members and two Researchers pursuing PhD or post-doc level from each side.