High Risk High Reward

The Scheme for Funding High Risk - High Reward Research aims at supporting proposals that are conceptually new and risky, and if successful, expected to have a paradigm shifting influence on the S&T. This may be in terms of formulating new hypothesis, or scientific breakthroughs which aid in emergence of new technologies.

  • Applicant should be an Indian citizen residing in India.
  • The applicant(s) must hold a regular academic/research position in a recognized institution.
  • The proposals can be submitted by an individual or by a team of investigators.Proposals submitted by a team of investigators must identify a Principal Investigator, who will spearhead the research objectives and administer the grant.

Nature of Proposals to be Supported:
The scheme is aimed at supporting proposals that are new, challenge existing hypothesis, and provide 'out of box' thinking on important problems. It should contain significant risk elements but promise of high reward if the difficulties could be circumvented. It is expected that the success of such proposals will have far reaching implications in S&T. Outcome could be new and significant theoretical or experimental advances, formulation of new hypothesis, or breakthrough science which will lead to new technologies. Proposals that address scientific issues which will result in 'incremental' knowledge will not be supported. Ideally, the proposal must contain bold research ideas which will have wide ranging impact and potential for new scientific and technological innovations.

Nature & Duration of Support:
  • The funding is provided normally for a period of three years. In exceptional cases, the duration can be up to 5 years as assessed by the expert committee.
  • No budget limit is prescribed for this type of projects. The research grant covers equipment, consumables, contingency and travel apart from overhead grants.

Selection & Mode Of Application
  • The call for proposals will be notified through the website www.serbonline.in and www.serb.gov.in
  • The proposals will be evaluated through peer review processes as approved by Board.

How to apply online:
For successful online submission of the application the following points may be noted:
  • Applicant(s) should first register into the online website click here to register
  • After log-in, go to Menu --> Proposal Submission --> Form Submission. Select scheme "High Risk High Reward (HRR)" and Click on "Start Submission" Button.
  • If you have CO-PI in your proposal then it is to be ensured that all the CO-PI's are registered in SERB online portal and have filled all mandatory fields in "Profile Details" section under "Menu" ->"User Profile" after login.
  • Some of the details of your proposal like Project Title (max 500 characters), Project summary (max 3000 characters), Keywords (max 6), Objectives of project (max 1500 characters), Expected output and outcome of the proposal (max 1500 characters), Budget (Research Personnel,Consumables,Travel, Equipment, Contingency, Overheads ) have to be entered at the time of proposal submission.
  • Other relevant information of the proposal has to be uploaded in single PDF file not more than 10 MB as other technical document (OTD). Download Template

Documents required (in PDF) should be in prescribed format:
  • Biodata (under user profile section) Download Template
  • Certificate from Principal Investigator Download Template
  • Endorsement Letter from the Head of Institution Download Template
  • If project is approved for SERB support, the Quotations of the approved equipment need to be uploaded within one month of the date of the Approval Letter.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1: What is the difference between an EMR project and a High Risk High Reward (HRHR) project?

A1: Both EMR and HRHR projects are expected to address important and challenging issues resulting in advancement of scientific knowledge. However, in HRHR projects, the risks associated to address the proposed scientific issues are high, and if it is successfully solved, should result in high reward. This could be in the form of new hypothesis, methodology, process or products, and may have the potential to open up new frontiers in S&T. In other words, proposals resulting in 'incremental knowledge' will not be supported under the HRHR scheme.


Q2: Does the Board has any priority areas for funding HRHR projects?

A2: No. The Board funds all areas of Science and Engineering without discriminating any discipline. The proposal will be funded if it is conceptually new, risky and challenge the existing hypothesis and approaches. If successful, it is expected to open up new frontiers in science and technology.


Q3: Can I apply for a project under HRHR scheme when I am already implementing another project (such as EMR) in SERB?

A3: Yes. You can apply and implement a HRHR project, in addition any other project being implemented by you in SERB.


Q4: I am currently executing an HRHR project in the area of Chemical Sciences. I want to apply for another HRHR project related to Engineering Sciences. Will I be funded another project?

A4: No. Only one HRHR project can be executed at a time.


Q5: I want to apply for a HRHR scheme for the first time. What is the maximum amount of the grant the Board will fund?

A5: There is no upper limit (or even lower limit) for a project grant. The budget is decided based on the requirement for its successful implementation. The Investigator should propose a budget which is realistic taking into account the infrastructure and resources available at the implementing institutions.


Q6: Are Co-Investigators allowed in HRHR project? If they are from different institutions, can the budget be provided separately to both the Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator(s)?

A6: Yes. Co-Investigator(s) are allowed in HRHR project, provided the work proposed require complementary expertise for its implementation. Separate budget can also be provided to the Co-Investigator (s) even if they belong to different institutions.


Q7: Is there any specific time-line for applying proposals under this scheme?

A7: SERB is planning to fix time-lines to call for proposals for each scheme. Please look at notifications in websites ( www.serbonline.in and www.serb.gov.in) for information.