Call for proposals: Joint call for research proposals National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), South Africa & Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), India


The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) and the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) invite joint research projects between South African and Indian researchers in the field of Social Sciences.

Programme objective:

The objective of this programme is to promote and strengthen the research cooperation in the field of humanities and social sciences between the two countries, by providing funding to allow joint research activities for internationally excellent research in relevant areas of mutual interest and benefit. Publication outputs emanating from this research can include the following:

  • Books, journal articles, research papers, and monographs;
  • Opportunities for bilateral collaboration; and
  • Hosting of conferences, annual general meetings, workshops, seminars, dialogues, colloquia and similar academic events.

Priority Areas:

Applicants should be scholars who wish to develop a joint research project with a counterpart from India in the following priority areas:

  • Discrimination, Equity, Social Justice and Social movements;
  • Southern theories and conceptual frameworks including concepts and strategies for development;
  • Maritime networks: pre-colonial post-colonial– Old histories, New geographies; Indian Ocean studies;
  • Migration/ urbanisation;
  • Industrial, Land; Agrarian and Labour Studies;
  • Media, Arts, Performance and Popular Culture Comparative socio-political and economic histories;
  • Democratic practices; Language and Identity politics;
  • Policies, Black Economic Empowerment, Affirmative Action Policies;
  • Pandemics (COVID-19) experiences, lessons learnt and the future.


  • Researchers and academics holding permanent positions in publicly funded universities and research institutes.
  • A PhD which applicants must have held for at least three years.

Grant amount: 

  • Funding for this grant is at a maximum amount of R300 000.00 (three hundred thousand rand) each.

Selection criteria:

The following criteria will be used to assess the proposal:

  • Quality of the proposal:  Originality; Relationship to existing research in the field; Scholarly importance of the research proposed; Capacity building.
  • Quality/attributes of collaboration: Feasibility of the proposed research; Intended outcomes; Track record of the applicant and host.
  • Applications will be considered based on the following criteria:
  1. Collaboration that would be established by the project with relevant institutions and universities;
  2. Interdisciplinarity of the project;
  3. Coherency and feasibility of the project;
  4. Contribution of the project to the body of knowledge in the field;
  5. Innovative use of the thematic rubric and methodologies;
  6. Capacity building; and
  7. Publications.
  • The project must be completed within a period of 12 months from the date of contract signature, and progress and closing reports must submitted to the NIHSS.
  • Only proposals not exceeding R300 000.00 (three hundred thousand rand) will be considered.

Application Procedure:

Applicants responding to this call should submit the following documentation for application:

  1. Application forms can be accessed at:
  2. Proposal with detailed budget (projected income and expenditure).
  3. A motivation letter (maximum 1 000 words).
  4. Full curriculum vitae of the applicant (principal researcher, team members details to be included in CV).
  5. Letter of endorsement of institution(s), where the project will be based (relevant Dean/s).
  6. Certified South African ID copy of applicant or passport.
  7. A certified copy of a PhD degree certificate.

Enquiries can be directed to Mr Senkhu Maimane at or 011 480 2317. For technical queries only, please call 011 480 2328.

Closing Date: 17 February 2021. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.