Competitive Research Program

Document Name Details
Advertisement of 7th call for concept proposals
A Comprehensive Guide to Navigating the Research Grant Management System(RGMS)

Guidelines & Details for Principal Investigators


The Pakistan Science Foundation under PSDP “Competitive Research Programme” is inviting Scientists, engineers, technologists, innovators, academia and entrepreneurs from R&D institutes, HEC recognized universities and industry who have already completed first stage of research and development work and need financial support for utilization of their research outcomes to develop new products, prototypes, pilot-scale production and commercialization in the fields of Nanotechnology, Material, and Artificial Intelligence in order to promote utilization of R&D outcomes in economic development of Pakistan.

In addition, the “lone” innovators/ startups/ SMEs have launched a new product/ technology/ technique/ process and want to bring value addition/improvement alone or in partnership with scientists, technologists and academia R&D institutes and HEC recognized universities are also encouraged to apply.
Grants are available for a period up to two years in following streams i.e., individual researchers/lone innovators/startups (up to 10 million budget), consortium research groups (multidisciplinary research groups up to 20 million budget), and Triple Helix model (collaborative research projects between academia, R&D organizations, and industry up to 20 million budget).
The aim of this funding opportunity is to promote utilization of R&D outcomes in economic development through export push and import substitution while saving foreign exchange in Pakistan.

2. Who can Apply

Scientists, engineers, technologists, innovators, academia, lone innovators and entrepreneurs from R&D institutes, HEC recognized universities and industry/start-ups/SMEs. Principal Investigator should be from HEC recognized University or public sector R&D organization/ private industry/start-up/SMEs can be taken on board for pilot scale/commercial trials, production and marketing activities.

3. Nature of the Projects

Duration for the execution / completion of the project will be maximum upto 2 years with the maximum funding limit up to Rs. 20.00 Million (Rs. 10 Million for Individual Researchers). Competitive Research Grants will be provided for:

  • i. Creation of new knowledge through patent, technology transfer and publications
  • ii. Development of the new processes/ products/ prototype/ applications through indigenous skills.
  • iii. Value addition in the existing products/ prototype/ processes according to the needs of economy.
  • iv. Pilot Plant Studies.
4. Main Streams of Funding:

Following major categories will be funded under this Call of Competitive Research Grants (CONCEPT PROPOSALS MUST BE OF APPLIED NATURE):

I. Criteria for Selection under Individual Research Grants:
  • Individual researchers from the public sector R&D and S&T institutes and private sector.
  • Private sector researchers can submit proposals where proper financial management system is in place and the organization is involved in R&D with proper record of accomplishment and/or management hierarchy to prudently manage R&D funds and deliver results. The private sector will have to sign agreement with few Terms and Conditions.
  • PSF may consider “lone” inventors/startups/SMEs to be eligible for an individual grant if he/she has an established record of accomplishment of successful R&D. These will be consulted with the Steering Committee for approval of grant and formulation of SOPs.
  • The limit under individual research grants will not exceed Rs. 10.00
II. Criteria for Selection under Consortium Research Grants:
  • Researchers from different public/private sector institutions and universities can join hands to submit one (or more) multi-disciplinary research proposals on issues of societal need and national importance.
  • The concept proposals for Consortium Grants must be applied, thematic, inter-disciplinary, and must be in the area of Nanotechnology, Materials and Artificial Intelligence.
  • Developing the consortium will be the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (or Lead Institution) though PSF may support this process by organizing Scientific Meetings of key stakeholders to discuss possible approaches to solving National Problems.
  • Consortium Research Grants will be funded upto Rs. 20.00 Million.
III. Criteria for Selection under Triple-Helix Model:
  • The concept proposals of public-private collaborations with private/industry cost-share (in cash or kind) shall be solicited and funded under the Triple Helix Model.
  • Industry Letter of Intent / Consent with clearly defined commercial value and private sector cost-share during or after (for commercialization) shall be mandatory with 15-20% cost sharing in cash & kind.
  • Project must clearly elaborate a meaningful participation of the private sector during commercialization mechanism or technology handing over to private sector as the ultimate end-user after the culmination of the project.
  • Private Sector can itself submit a project proposal to PSF to carryout indigenous R&D to come up with indigenous solutions.
  • Triple- Helix Research will be funded upto Rs. 20.00 Million.

What is Market Demand / Feasibility of proposed solution and cost effectiveness (product/ technology/ process/ technique)?

In general, a market demand explore the connection of demand and supply that will create a market for a proposed solution (product/ technology/ process/ technique) at a given price. While, a feasibility measures or calculates risk whether a proposed solution (product/ technology/ process/ technique) will meet certain financial or social goals in the market. The proposed solution should also be cost effective in order compete existing technology.