Supported by ASIAN-India Science & Technology Development Fund (AISTDF)

Announcement & Guidelines

India has been the dialogue partner for ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) since 1992. In 2012, on the occasion of 20th anniversary as dialogue partner, India-ASIAN celebrated commemorative Summit and declared enhancement of its relations to strategic level. India S&T Collaboration started formally in 1996 with establishment of ASIAN India S&T working Group (AIWGST). Initially, the collaborative ASIAN-India S&T activities were supported through ASEAN India Fund (AIF). In 2008, Government of India established a dedicated fund viz ASIAN India S&T Development Fund (AISTDF) to support R&D projects and associated project development activities. The total budget of AISTDF is an equivalent amount of 5 Million USD in INR. This amount of 5 Million USD is jointly shared by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Department of Science & Technology (DST). The Department of Science & Technology is the nodal Department for execution and implementation of ASEAN-India S&T Cooperation program from Indian side.

The Plan of Action of the ASIAN-INDIA PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE, PROGRESS AND SHARED PROSPERITY (2016-2020), implements the goals and objectives of the ASIAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity on 30 November 2004 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, and the Vision Statement of the ASIAN-India Commemorative Summit, adopted by the Leaders of ASIAN and India on 20 December 2012 in New Delhi, India. Through the implementation of this Plan of Action, ASIAN and India will work towards supporting the ASIAN Community building and integration process, including the ASIAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision, for a politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible and a truly people-oriented, people centered and rules-based ASIAN, narrowing the development gap and enhancing ASIAN Connectivity. Both sides will also further promote cooperation in addressing common and emerging challenges and enhance coordination in other international forum on issues of common concern to contribute to overall peace, stability and
The main objectives of ASEAN-India Science, Technology and Innovation cooperation are based on following principles-

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  • Encourage and promote cooperation in science, technology and innovation, including through joint research activity, and development on cross-sectoral areas such as health, communicable and emerging infectious diseases, environmental management, climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, agricultural technologies, alternative energy, biodiversity, food processing, advanced materials for development of value-added products, and space technology and applications;
  • Encourage and promote cooperation in biotechnology including through capacity building and joint research and development for mutual benefit;
  • Undertake activities and develop program / projects under the ASEAN-India Science and Technology Development Fund;

In order to support and facilitate mobility among young talented researchers of ASIAN MS, India and ASIAN instituted the scheme “ASIAN-India Research Training Fellowship” (AIRTF) Scheme for ASIAN young researchers to work at any of the Indian research/ academic Institution.

The AIRTF scheme is a fellowship scheme with the following objectives:

  • To promote mobility of scientists and researchers from the ASIAN Member States to India and provide them opportunity to work at Indian R&D/ academic institutions to upgrade their research skills and expertise.
  • To facilitate exchange of information and contacts between the scientists and researchers of India and ASIAN Countries and create a network for building research collaborations.

As a spin-off, the Fellowship awardees may also have opportunity to get cosupervisors from India for their research projects for Ph.D. or Masters degree on their return to their home countries.


Initially to start with 100 (One Hundred) Fellowships per year shall be awarded to young scientists and researchers from ASIAN Member States to get affiliated with Indian academic and R&D institutions. These Fellowships shall be equally distributed among ASIAN Member Country. Initially, 10 Fellowship shall be allocated for each ASIAN country. However, this number could be re-adjusted in accordance with the number of applicants from respective each ASIAN MS.

The duration of the Fellowship will be for a period of up to six months. A minor variation in the duration would be allowed on recommendations of the Indian host Institute/ University depending upon the actual requirement of the research project as mutually agreed between the Fellowship holder and the Indian host institution.

The area/ topic of research for availing AIRTF must be ASIAN centric and must be aligned with the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI)-2016-2025. A copy of the APASTI is placed at Appendix-I. Fellowship will be offered for working in research topics under any of the following broad disciplines:
1. Agricultural Sciences
2. Biological and Medical Sciences
3. Chemical Sciences & Engineering
4. Computer Science & Engineering
4. Physical Sciences and Mathematics
5. Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
6. Engineering Sciences
7. Materials, Minerals and Metallurgy
8. Science Policy / IPR Management / Technology Transfer & Commercialisation
9. Other multi-disciplinary areas of Science, Technology and Innovation in alignment with APASTI.
A suggestive list of Indian institutions along with the areas of research offered by them
is enclosed as Annexure-I


1. Applicant must be holding nationality of any of the ASEAN Member State.
2. Possess at-least a Masters Degree in any Natural Sciences or an equivalent degree in
Technology / Engineering / Medicine / allied disciplines.
3. Applicant should be working in a national R&D or academic institution in his/ her home ASEAN Member country. The application should be endorsed by the Head of his/ her institution confirming that if selected, he/ she will be sanctioned leave for the Fellowship period and will join his/ her duties back in the institution on completion of the Fellowship in India.
4. The upper age limit for the applicant is 45 years as on date of submission of application.
5. Fluency in English language
6. Indian nationals are not eligible for the Fellowship.


The Applicant should submit the application, through email, to the Science & Technology Division of ASEAN Secretariat with a copy to IMRC Division, Department of Science & Technology in the enclosed format along with the following enclosures:
i. Application Form (Annexure-II)
ii. Copy of Relevant Pages of Passport
iii. Copy of an endorsement from present employer, duly filled in and signed, along with Signature of the applicant. Take a print out of the format of ‘Endorsement of Present Employer’ appended at the end of the Application format and attach a scanned copy of the appropriately filled up document along with the application form).
iv. A copy of the letter / email from any Indian scientist/ institution with consent to accept you to work with them, if you get selected.
The application form must be filled up only in typed script (NOT HAND WRITTEN). Incomplete and illegible applications will be rejected.
All the enclosures as above must be submitted along with the application. Applications without any of the enclosures as mentioned at i. to v. above will be rejected.




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