Researcher in a lab looking into a microscope.

The British Council Small-Scale Research Project Scheme provides funding (up to £5,000) for early career researchers in the UK and countries in South Asia to work collaboratively on a joint research project. The duration of the research project should be between 6 and 12 months.

A partnership must be formed between a UK university/research institute and a university/research institute in one of the following South Asian countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. 

An early career researcher from each university/research institute must be appointed to carry out the research project. The early career researchers should be at the beginning of their research careers and to have been awarded their PhD not more than 10 years prior to applying for the grant. Allowances can be made for career breaks or other extenuating circumstances. Final year PhD students are also eligible to apply. A senior researcher from each university/research institute must be appointed to be responsible for the oversight of the research project.

The scheme aims to provide early career researchers with the opportunity to gain skills and experience in conducting research internationally. It also aims to prepare researchers to form consortiums and apply for grants provided by funding agencies and international institutions.

The theme of the collaborative research project should be related to one of the South Asia science priority areas:  

Water e.g. water resource management, water health and sanitation, water cooperation and diplomacy in South Asia.

Mental Health e.g. child developmental disabilities, mental health and resilience

Global Health e.g. South Asia global health, migration and health, refugees

These priorty areas are related to our South Asia Science Initiatives:

Water Initiative South Asia (WISA)

WISA is a five-year project (2018-2023) promoting science and research partnerships between the countries in South Asia and the UK. The initiative brings together key experts including researchers, scientists, decision makers and analysts,
 as well as senior managers of corporations 
and research institutions to review and investigate key aspects of water science in South Asia. 

The main themes of WISA are: 

  • Health, water quality and sanitation
  • Water resource management
  • Transboundary water cooperation

Mental Health Initiative for South Asia

The Mental Health Initiative for South Asia focuses on improving mental health in the UK and South Asia. The purpose of the scheme is to identify areas for collaboration and facilitate communication and partnerships for research on mental health
 between universities and research institutes in the UK and South Asia.

The main themes of the Mental Health Initiative are:

  • Mental health resilience
  • Child mental health
  • Mental health skills sharing

Global Health Initiative for South Asia

The Global Health Initiative aims to strengthen research capacities and facilitate collaboration between global health scientists and practitioners. 

The main objectives of the initiative are to develop a knowledge exchange and learning platform on migration and health rights and facilitate new collaborations to address evidence gaps for responsive and coherent migration and health policies.

The context of the research should be in the South Asia region i.e. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.

The application form is available here.

The deadline for submission of a completed application is 23:59 UK time on 31 July 2019. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered for funding. Please read the application guidelines carefully before completing the application form.

If you have any questions please contact the South Asia Science team at

science.southasia@britishcouncil.org