ESSO - Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services

(An Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India)
Home Call for Project Proposals Guidelines for Project Principal Investigator

Call for Project Proposals


Coastal Monitoring (CM)


  Last Date for Online Project Proposals Submission is extended upto 06th September, 2019 @ 05:00 PM IST.

Guidelines for Project Principal Investigator

The projects will be sanctioned to personnel/organization satisfying the following criteria. The proposed project should be within the areas of interest discussed in the section 2.3 viz. ‘Specific areas of interest’. The project may be proposed for maximum five years; but in the first instance, the sanction order will be issued till March 31, 2020 only. Further sanction of the project will depend on the progress made by the project.

2.1. Project sanction criteria

The project proposal will be reviewed by a Project Monitoring Committee (PMC) appointed by Director, INCOIS. The committee will consist of eminent Scientists working in the relevant field. The evaluation of the proposals will be based on the innovative ideas, feasibility, deliverables and financial requirements. The PMC will also assess the progress of the project at least once a year against the approved objectives and benchmarks of the project. Although the sanction of the project will be till March 31, 2020, the extension of the project for each financial year will be based on the progress made during previous year and recommendations of PMC.

2.2. Eligibility

The project will be sanctioned to those engaged in research/and teaching and are in regular service, in a Research/Academic institute. The Principal Investigator (PI) should have sufficient working experience in the relevant field of proposed project. PI should carry out regular sampling as per the sampling strategy provided by INCOIS. In the case where additional expertise is required to execute the project, the PI can opt for co-PIs.

2.3.Specific areas of interest

Specific areas of interest to be addressed in the project proposal are given below

  1. Deployment and maintenance of Buoy based autonomous coastal observatories:

    Autonomous observatories (buoys equipped with necessary sensors at ~ 30m bathymetry) in the coastal waters at six locations: three along the west (Okha/Veraval, Goa/Karwar and Kochi) and three along the east coast (Chennai, Visakhapatnam and Digha). The autonomous observatories will be procured by INCOIS and PI's are expected to facilitate buoy/coastal observatory deployment, it's watch keeping and maintenance. The data from the observatory may be utilised for scientific research.

  2. In-situ time-series observations:

    Manual in situ sampling (temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients (Nitrate, Nitrite, Silicate, Ammonuim and Phosphate), chlorophyll, pH, CDOM, TSM, pathogens, microplastics, etc.) at all six locations and at biogeochemical hotspots and water quality vulnerable areas also to be made every month along a pre-determined transect at fixed locations. The in situ sampling may also include parameters other than listed above (for example, the atmospheric dust deposition in modulating the coastal water quality and habitat of harmful marine species/pathogens).

    Fresh water influx also influences the coastal water. To understand the influx on Mahanadi estuary on the coastal waters it is proposed to conduct pilot studies in the estuary as well. Proposals are also solicited to carry out, at least two, field campaigns in the Mahanadi estuary, during pre and post monsoon seasons, covering full tidal cycle of 15 days to account the influence the fresh water influx to the coastal waters from the Mahanadi estuary.

    The sampling protocol will be provided by INCOIS.

  3. Modelling coastal water quality and forecasting

    The programme also aims to provide advisories and forecast of coastal water quality and habitat suitability. Proposals may also be submitted on the development of location specific forecast of water quality. The data, existing and generated under this project, may be used to validate and the model at local /regional scale.

    2.4. Submission of proposals

    The project proposal along with the necessary documents (Annexure-I and Annexure-II) should be uploaded online before the stipulated date.

    2.5. Equipment

    It is expected that the PIs have sufficient infrastructure, in terms of instruments, to execute the proposed project. If necessary, the PI may propose to purchase minimum number of personal computers. INCOIS will not provide any instrument(s) or fund to procure instrument(s).

    2.6. Manpower

    Manpower will be sanctioned in the pay scales of JRF / SRF / Research Associate and Field Assistant (FA) / Technical Assistant (TA) as prescribed in the rules of PI’s institute or as per the rules of DST whichever is lower. The recruitment rules applicable for the manpower in the PIs institute may be followed. PI being on regular service, he/she will not be paid from the project funds.

    2.7. Requirement of funds

    The funds required for the execution of the project may be proposed under the recurring and non-recurring budget heads. The non-recurring budget head includes Computer Items (Hardware, Software, Peripherals). The recurring budget head includes: 1) Manpower, 2) Boat Hiring, 3) Consumables, 4) TA/DA, 5) Contingency and 6) Institutional overheads (≤ 15%) on the recurring heads. The amount proposed towards Contingency should not exceed 10% of the project recurring cost.

    2.8. Data and studentships

    Data generated under the project should be deposited with INCOIS and should not be shared with anyone else. However, usage of data for PIs research is encouraged. Research papers published in SCI cited journals only will be recognised. INCOIS also expects the research scholars recruited under the project to register for Ph.D. degree. The students may also use the data to carry out M.Sc., M.Tech., etc. projects.

    2.9. Project Closure Report

    The PI shall submit the Project Closure Report within three months from the date of completion of the project. The closure report shall provide clear details of the achievements, against the approved objectives together with the Consolidated Expenditure Statement for the entire project period.

    2.10. Terms and conditions for issue of the project

    1. The Principal Investigator (PI) shall be a permanent employee of the host Institutions / University/ Research Laboratory/ Organization, and is expected to have sufficient exposure and prior experience in the proposed field. All basic facilities by way of accommodation, infrastructure etc. required for the project shall be provided by the host organization.
    2. Project will be sanctioned for a specific period and the date of commencement of the project will be the issue of sanction order. The release of further funds will be only against the submission of (i) Audited Utilization Certificate, (ii) Audited Statement of Expenditure, (iii) List of assets & Physical Stock Verification Certificate, and (iv) Annual Progress Report. Accounts should be maintained in a separate Register by controlling authority. This account shall be subjected to the audit and the report should be submitted periodically. If it is found expedient to keep a part or whole of the grant in bank account earning interest, the interest thus yielded should be reported to the INCOIS. This will be treated as credit to the host Institution / University /Organization and will be adjusted in the subsequent releases of the grant by INCOIS. The final audited statement of accounts pertaining to the grant should be submitted within 3 months of the termination / completion of the project. The audited accounts shall be submitted and the unspent balance if any shall be remitted to INCOIS. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India at its discretion shall have the right to access the books and audits of the Institution / University / Organization for the grants received from INCOIS.
    3. Allocation of funds for various budgetary items as sanctioned shall be adhered strictly. Any deviation either in spending the money from the sanctioned amount for each head or after the lapse of time should be spent only after obtaining the prior approval from INCOIS. No amount can be transferred from one head to other head without the prior approval of INCOIS. All the funds will be released through Public Finance management System (PFMS) and PI to put the expenditure only through this module and upload the UC at the end of the every year. For one time registration of child agency, the PI to send the details of the organization to INCOIS in the format specified at Annexure-IV
    4. The host Institution / University / Organization is not permitted to seek or utilize funds from any other organization (Government / Semi-Government / Autonomous or Private) for the same project.
    5. Research Associates / Fellows and Technical Supporting Staff, .e.g. Technician, Instrumentation Mechanics, etc. can be appointed as per the guidelines of the concerned host institute. The project staff shall not to be treated as employees of the INCOIS. The deployment of such staff after the completion/ termination of the project is not the concern / responsibility of the INCOIS.
    6. The PI shall submit one hard copy and a soft copy of the annual progress report of the project by second week of April of every year during the entire duration of the project. The review committee constituted by INCOIS will review the progress of the work and suggest measures to ensure an early realization of the results of the project. During the execution period of the project, the host Institution / University / Organization shall extend all facilities to the committee of experts who will be on inspection / review.
    7. Internal Travel can be included for participation in scientific conferences / symposia / workshops etc connected with the project. International Travel cost is not allowed out of project funds.
    8. The equipment/instrument not available in the nearby and expendable items to laboratory supplies, and cost of computer time etc., may be proposed. However, equipment/instrument should be ordered within ninety days from the date of sanctioning of the project.
    9. For permanent/semi permanent assets acquired solely or mainly out of the grant including books, furniture, etc., an audited record in the form of a register shall be maintained by the host Institution / University / Organization for the record purpose. The term Asset means (i) Immovable property or (ii) Movable Property of a capital nature where the value exceeds Rs.10,000/-. However, the grant shall not be utilized for construction of any building. At the end of each financial year, a physical stock verification certificate together with asset details is to be provided for the assets acquired under the project grants for the audit purpose.
    10. All the assets including equipment/instrument, prototype acquired or fabricated out of project funds etc, will be property of INCOIS. They will remain with the host Institution / University / Organization concerned unless or otherwise directed by INCOIS. These should not be disposed off or encumbered or utilized for any purpose other than those for which the grant is sanctioned during the project period.
    11. At the conclusion of the Project, INCOIS will decide about the assets acquired under the project funding. INCOIS has the discretion to give the assets to the Institution if it considers it appropriate. The money generated out of sale proceeds of assets of INCOIS if any, shall be remitted to INCOIS account. However, the host Institution / University / Organization shall render necessary facilities for arranging the sale of assets or transfer them to other places as per the desires of INCOIS.
    12. Reports / Dissertation / Thesis / Publications coming out of this research work shall be forwarded to INCOIS immediately after their release. Proper acknowledgement should be given to INCOIS.
    13. The host Institution / University / Organization shall submit all drawings, source codes and technical documentations pertaining to the products of the project at any time as desired by INCOIS. The know-how generated either from the project or the receipts by way of sale of know-how, royalty, etc. will be property of INCOIS. INCOIS may, at its discretion allow a portion of such receipts to be retained by the host organization. However, sale of know-how, collection and settling the rate of royalty etc. would be decided by the INCOIS.
    14. In case of change of PI to whom the project is sanctioned the PI shall submit an upto date status report of the project and accounts and shall hand over the same to the 1st co-investigator who will become PI after obtaining the necessary permission from the host organization as well as from INCOIS.
    15. In case where the host organization is unable to execute or complete the work, the entire amount received in the form of a grant shall be returned to INCOIS along with penal interest. In such case the host organization shall not entrust this work, in full / partial, to any other Institution / University / Organizations for implementation.
    16. INCOIS shall terminate the grant at any stage if convinced either grant of the project is not being properly utilized or work is not progressing according to the milestones.
    17. The PI should submit monthly progress reports (through email to INCOIS) having detail outcome of the project to INCOIS during the sanctioned period.
    18. In case, where there is violation of any of these conditions for the grant, closure or dissolution of the host organization, INCOIS shall take possession of all the assets acquired under the project grants , and use them in any manner deemed appropriate or to recover from the host organization, to an extent the total value of the Project including penal interest.