RESPOND (Research Sponsored)

ISRO started the RESPOND (Research Sponsored) programme in the 1970s, with the objective of  encouraging academia to participate and contribute in various Space related research activities. Under RESPOND, projects are taken up by Universities/Academic Institutions in the areas of relevance to Space Programme.

To enable the faculty of Universities/ Institutes to prepare suitable proposals of relevance to space programme, a detailed list of R&D areas/sub areas /topics have been evolved as per major programmes of ISRO, by the various centres of ISRO and published annually. RESPOND programme is mutually beneficial to ISRO and Academia, wherein the rich talent of Academia/ faculty is being harnessed to support the nation’s Space programme.

General Rules

  • ISRO Research Fellowships, Research Associateships and Research Scientists hereinafter referred to as Fellowships/ Associateships/ Scientists are awarded for specific projects or Education/Research Schemes approved by ISRO. Change of level of Research Fellow, subsequent to the approval of the project will not be permitted.
  • The recipients of these Fellowships/ Associateships /Scientists are expected to conduct research work whole time under the Principal Investigator of the ISRO sponsored project. In special cases of individual Research Fellows/Associates, the candidates could be governed by the conditions of Research work as specified by the projects/ programmes/ schemes for which the Fellowships have been offered by ISRO.
  • ISRO may nominate a member in the committee(s) appointed by the institution in connection with the approved project.
  • The Fellows/ Associates/ Scientists, appointed for ISRO project, shall not be transferred from one institution to another.
  • The award of ISRO Fellowships/Associateships/ Scientists does not imply any assurance or guarantee by or from ISRO or any kind of employment to the beneficiaries.
  • Generally, the upper limit for the period of Fellowships/ Associateships/ Scientists will be the same as that of the project. However, in exceptional cases, mainly to enable the Fellow to complete all formalities required for submission of doctoral thesis, ISRO may consider extension of the fellowship purely based on the merit on case by case basis. However, such extensions cannot be claimed as right by either fellow or PI.
  • Leave for a maximum period of 30 days in a year, in addition to general holidays, may be allowed to the Fellows/ Associates/ Scientists during the tenure of Fellowships/ Associateships/ Scientists by the appropriate authority in the university/institution. The general holidays, however, do not include the vacation period e.g., summer, winter and pooja vacations.
  • Monthly emoluments of the Fellowships/ Associateships/ Scientists will be paid by the concerned institution by utilizing the project grant.

RESPOND Projects

The main objectives of the RESPOND Programme is to establish strong links with premiere academic institutions in the country to carry out research and developmental projects which are of relevance to Space and derive useful outputs of such R&D to support ISRO programmes.

RESPOND programme aims to enhance academic base, generate human resources and infrastructure at the academic institutes to support the Indian Space programme. Under RESPOND, projects in the advanced areas of relevance to Space programme are encouraged to be taken up by premiere universities/academic institutions. ISRO helps these institutions to establish the necessary technical facilities and also provide fellowships to researchers to work on cutting edge research topics.

The research proposals received from academia for consideration under RESPOND are accepted for taking up research along with appropriate technical and financial support, only after thorough review of proposals.

Status of Ongoing RESPOND Programme

Projects and Institutions supported under the RESPOND Programme as of July, 2018.

1.Number of Projects Ongoing: 177

  • Space Science: 28
  • Space Technology: 114
  • Space Applications: 35

2. Academic Institutions supported under the Projects: 105

  • Universities and Colleges: 71
  • IITs/NITs: 24
  • Other Institutions: 10

3. Space Technology Cells at:

  • IITs (Bombay, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Madras): 4
  • IISc Bangalore: 1
  • Joint Research Programme at SP Pune University: 1

4. Conferences/Workshops supported: 25

Budget for the RESPOND Programme: ~Rs. 25.00 Crores /Year

List of Completed RESPOND projects from 2000-July, 2018

List of Ongoing RESPOND Projects as of July, 2018

Supported Areas of Research

A. Research proposals are Supported by ISRO in the areas of relevance to the space programme. Some of the broad areas are mentioned below:

  • Space Science: Physics of the ionosphere and magnetosphere; meteorology, dynamics of the atmosphere; geophysics, geology; astronomy; cosmology; astrophysics; planetary and interplanetary space physics and climatology.
  • Space technology: Rocket and satellite technology; propulsion systems design and optimization; aerodynamics and heat transfer problems related to space vehicles; guidance and control systems for launch vehicles and spacecraft; polymer chemistry, propellant technology; ultra-light-weight structure; satellite energy systems; space electronics, Space communication systems; orbital mechanics, computer sciences and new material development.
  • Space Application: Remote sensing of the earth’s resources: space communication; satellite geodesy image processing, satellite meteorology including weather forecasting, Space Education and Ecology.

B. ​​"Research Areas in Space "-A document of Research Areas for soliciting proposals from academia-  Download

C."Respond BASKET " comprises a set of most urgent and immediate research areas for the academia to select and prepare detailed proposals on priority basis under RESPOND programme-Download

For research areas supported by NRSC,Visit www.nrsc.gov.in/Collaborative_Research

For research areas supported by LPSC, Visit http://www.lpsc.gov.in/researchareas.html

For research areas supported by SAC,Visit http://www.sac.gov.in/respond

Submission of Research Proposal

An individual or group(s) of scientists / engineers affiliated to any academic institution/autonomous R&D institutions and/or faculty members of recognized academic institutions and universities may submit proposals. The Principal Investigator(s) should be full-time employee(s) of the concerned institution. The age limit for the Principal Investigator should be below 65 years (sixty-five) including the project period. The Head of the academic institution must forward proposals with application for research grants. Proposals from individuals not affiliated to any recognized institution will not be considered.

The proposals should preferably be submitted in the areas of Space Science, Space Technology and Space Applications. There is no last date for submitting proposals. Each proposal must name a Principal Investigator who is a domain expert in the area to which the proposal belongs and who is a full time employee/faculty of the institution forwarding the application. There may also be co-investigator(s) from the same/different institutions working on the project. But satisfactory completion of a project will be the responsibility of the Principal Investigator and her/his institution. Each proposal should provide the following information:

  • Detailed bio-data of all the investigators (Age also to be indicated) including publications/awards & recognition received.
  • Contact details: address, email id, telephone/fax numbers of investigators and head of the institution forwarding the proposal
  • Brief description of the research proposed including the objectives and the scientific/application merits of the work.
  • Description of the research methodology or technique to be used for the proposed projected.
  • The extent of financial support needed from ISRO for executing the work within the shortest possible time.
  • A list of research projects related to the proposal undertaken or carried out through funding by other Agencies.
  • Name and address of the Scientist/Engineer of ISRO with whom the PI had coordinated.

Seven copies of the proposal on standard A4 size paper (297mmX210mm) should be prepared in the format. Please note that all the Forms - "Form-A", "Form-B", "Form-C" and the "Application for Grant of Funds" needs to be filled appropriately. All formats are available here.

Five copies of the proposal, in the respective areas given below should be sent to one of the following ISRO Centers:

Some illustrative examples of specific problems in the above-mentioned areas can be made available by ISRO from time to time by sharing the titles of the old projects. Proposers need not feel to be restricted in the selection of subjects, research areas etc. for the proposals, but they need to demonstrate the intrinsic scientific merit. However, ISRO reserves the right to not to fund any proposal (s), if in its opinion, similar proposals are already funded or similar work is already done in ISRO.

For more details, visit:

Two copies of all proposals must be sent to:

Director, Capacity Building Programme Office (CBPO) ,
ISRO Head Quarters,
Department of Space,
AntarikshBhavan,
New BEL Road,
Bangalore 560 231
E-mail : dir.cbpo@isro.gov.in

Proposals will be evaluated by domain experts (internal and/or external) for its novelty, usefulness to Indian Space Programme and other Scientific/ technical merits. The proposal may call for changes based on review and the PI will have to re-submit the proposal incorporating the recommended changes. Proposers are informed about the outcome of the evaluation of their research proposals.

Related Links

Sponsored Research from ISRO Centres

  1. http://www.vssc.gov.in/VSSC_V4/index.php/respondvssc?view=featured
  2. http://www.vssc.gov.in/VSSC_V4/index.php/researchspl?view=featured
  3. http://www.lpsc.gov.in/introduction.html
  4. www.iist.ac.in/research/projects
  5. www.isac.gov.in/research.jsp
  6. http://www.sac.gov.in/Vyom/respond.jsp
  7. http://www.sac.gov.in/Vyom/SMARTProgram.jsp
  8. http://www.sac.gov.in/Vyom/TREESProgram.jsp
  9. www.narl.gov.in
  10. www. nrsc.gov.in/Collaborative_Research
  11. www.prl.res.in/prl-eng/phd
  12.  www.prl.res.in/prl-eng/respond_program

Research Areas [Centre-wise]

  1. http://www.lpsc.gov.in/researchareas.html
  2. http://spl.gov.in
  3. http://www.iirs.gov.in/research-areas