Q: Is there any template to apply for NRPU? The general HEC eportal does not have a tab for this particular grant? 

A: Full details of the NRPU with template are available on the Higher Education Commission website available at downloads at https://www.hec.gov.pk/english/services/universities/nrpu/Pages/Related-Downloads.aspx. The FPP template needs to be filled and uploaded in the online form as .pdf 

Q: What criteria/basis should we fill in the column of salaries/stipend of PI, Co PI and students involved in the proposal form? What is the amount to be consider according to the time spent per year?

A. All desired details of the NRPU with all templates and budget guidelines are available on the Higher Education Commission website available at downloads section in: https://www.hec.gov.pk/english/services/universities/nrpu/Pages/Related-Downloads.aspx

Q. Can a faculty member working in Pakistani university with foreign citizenship are eligible to apply under this grant?

A: All of our grant programs are open to faculty members as PI or Co-PI who are currently employed at Pakistani universities irrespective of their citizenship. In case they are not employed at Pakistani universities, they can still join the project as Co-PI but we will not be funding their participation."

Q. Is ERC certificate mandatory for all disciplines? Or certain disciplines (e.g. Management Sciences, Engineering & IT etc.) are exempted from ERC certificate submission?

A. It is not mandatory for all disciplines. Research Projects which involve research on living organisms/personal data require ethical certificate.

Q. Kindly clarify, can a faculty member serve as an academic collaborator for NRPU project submitted from University of Karachi or any other institution?

A. Yes

Q. Can faculty members who are serving in public sector universities on Adhoc or on IPFP, apply for NRPU?

A. No, they are not eligible.

Q. What are the defined themes under which NRPU can be submitted?

A. Program is open for all disciplines, there is no specific themes.

Q. Can research associate only include M-phil or Ph.D students, can bachelor students be included into the project as research associate?

A. Yes as per new policy there is provision of bachelor students to engage in research project @ Rs. 5000/- p.m.

Q. Is the Full Project Proposal required to be uploaded on prescribed template as other documents?

A. Yes.

Q. Are quotations required to be uploaded?

A. Not Mandatory.

Q. Can a faculty, working on an on-going NRPU project as PI, become a PI for another NRPU (2020) project?

A. No. he is not eligible to work on another NRPU project as a PI. A PI can't have two grants at the same time.

Q. Can a faculty, working on an on-going NRPU project as Co-PI, become a PI for another NRPU (2020) project? 

A. Yes.

Q. Can a Postdoctoral fellow of NRPU project works part time if he or she is engaged somewhere else and want to do postdoctoral research?

A. Yes, Post Doc fellow can be part time

Q. Can a faculty member on contract apply for NRPU grant?

A. Yes if contract is at least equal to length of project.

Q. How many co-PIs can be added in one project? In how many projects a person e can acts Co-PI?

A. It depends upon the scope of project, a project can have more than one Co-PIs as per project requirements. Furthermore there is no restriction for a person to be Co-PI in one project only.  

Q. Can a PI apply for NRPU grant, if he/she is already executing NRPU project?

A.Yes PI can apply for NRPU grant, PI has to provide the proof of project completion and submit project completion certificate with new NRPU application. 

Q. Do PIs need to submit hard copies for NRPU 2020 grants, or only online proposal submission at HEC eportal is acceptable?

A.  For ongoing call for proposals of NRPU, no hardcopies are required, only softcopies are accepted which can be submitted on https://eportal.hec.gov.pk/   

Q. In the page no. 1 of the "Full Proposal Template" file at the HEC-NRPU website, there is some information required against the "Details of Faculty 1". Is this about the Co-PI or does it mean something else?

A. Yes it is related to Co-PI

Q. Can PI and Co-PI be from different universities?

A.  Yes they can be from different universities.

Q. If Co-PI is from different University, do we need to add his/her details against the "Academic Collaborators" too?

A. Yes all desired details are required and must be incorporated.

Q. If a PI is working on any research grant i.e. TDF research grant, is he eligible to apply for ongoing NRPU call for proposals as PI?

A. Yes he can, subject to provision of project completion certificate.

Q. In previous calls funding limit was linked to the cumulative impact factor of the PI. Is this policy still valid? (Because I do not see any such limit in the new policy documents.)

A. Not previous policy is not applicable for ongoing call for proposals, any position in paper is acceptable

Q.Personnel Cost" for "Principal Investigator/Faculty Member" in the "Guidelines for Budget", (attached) "Personnel cost of Principal Investigator (PI) & Co-PI is linked with the proportionate time spent on the given project i.e. Gross pay of PI x % time spent. How personnel cost for each year should actually be calculated?

A. Personnel cost should be calculated as % of time multiplied with gross monthly pay of the PI/faculty member, multiple by 12 for the whole year.

Q. Faculty members having Major Clinical degrees such as FCPS or FRCS are eligible to apply or not?

A: Faculty members having PhDs (or MPhil with two years research experience) are only eligible for being PIs and FCPS or FRCS cannot be considered equivalent to a PhD.

Q: I want to ask that is bachelors studentship is possible?

A: Bachelors studentship @ Rs=5000/- PM is possible.

Q: Is it allowed to engage Co-PI from any other educational institution in Pakistan?

A: yes, it is allowed.

Q: A faculty does not have prior experience of NRPU/TDF etc.. Can he apply for NRPU grant as a principal investigator?

A: Yes if he fulfills the eligibility criteria as mentioned on the NRPU website.

Q: Who is eligible to be a principal investigator?

A: Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out relevant research may work with his or her institution to develop a grant application. Criteria for applicant eligibility or requirements concerning the qualifications of the PI is as follows:

  • PI must a regular faculty member of the Higher Education Institutions (public and private) or hold a contract equivalent to the length of project  duration
  • PI have an advanced academic degree (PhD or MPhil/MS with Two (02) years of research experience) and have relevant experience of working as a researcher.

In the funding opportunity announcements, this information is listed under a section: Call for Proposals Guidance.

Individuals who are NOT eligible to be principal investigators include:

  • Persons pursuing training
  • Undergraduates students, but funded investigators may support undergraduates as research assistants on their grants.
  • Persons pursuing master's level degrees only.
  • Persons who lack an institutional affiliation, but who wish to do research. An eligible institution is necessary to administer any grant. Eligible institutions may include public or private Pakistani institutions of higher education.

Q: If my application is not funded what can I do?

A: Grant application can be submitted after making modifications in next call for proposals.

Q: What types of work does National Research Program for Universities support?

A: National Research Program for Universities funds the projects in all disciplines of Sciences and Humanities.

Q: Can I submit multiple proposals for the same grant opportunity?
A: An applicant may submit one application for the same grant opportunity.

Q: Is there a limit to the amount of funding I can request?

A: The budgets for NRPU projects may be range between PKR 5–20 Million, with a maximum project duration of 3 years.

Q: What is required if a proposed project involves human/animals subjects research?

A: The proposal should have a description of ethical considerations relating to the study. This section should document the issues that are likely to raise ethical concerns. It should also describe how the Principal Investigator is planning to address it and how he/she plans to obtain informed consent from the research participants (the informed consent process). Ethical Certificate duly signed by Ethical Research Committee of Institute is required at submission of full proposal.

Q: Do I need to submit letters of support?
A: Yes, letters of support are required during the full proposal stage.

Q: Can I edit or submit my letter of intent/proposal past the deadline?

A: No, we do not accept any edits or submissions after the specified submission deadline.

Q: When will I be notified of a decision?
A: Applicants who go on to submit a full proposal will receive notice of final funding decisions within three to four months of the proposal submission deadline.

Q: Can I receive feedback on my application?

A: No feedback will be provided during the application process. We encourage you to carefully read through the eligibility requirements and review criteria. After final funding decisions have been made and fellows have been selected, applicants may request to see the comments our review committee had on their applications.

Q: How can I make my application stand out?

A: A high-quality application that shows you put time and effort into developing it.

Tips for producing a high-quality application include:

  • Take time to develop your application. If you rush through it at the last minute, it shows in your writing and might unintentionally signal to reviewers that you did not take the application seriously.
  • Familiarize yourself with the review criteria; this is what reviewers will use to rate the quality of your application.
  • Tailor your resume, personal essays, and any other application materials to the opportunity. Reviewers notice when you use application materials from another opportunity and simply replace some keywords.
  • If you are reapplying to an opportunity and received feedback on your past application, look it over—or have a colleague look it over—to ensure you are responsive to the reviewer comments.

Q: Is there a limit on how long the proposed project can take?

A: NRPU projects will be funded with a maximum project duration of 3 years.

Q: How does HEC decide which applications to fund?

A: All proposals are reviewed by independent peer review panels consisting of researchers and practitioners. Panel members read each proposal, assess the technical merits and policy relevance of the proposed research, and meet to discuss their assessments.

Q: Can a collaborator be from a foreign university?

A: yes, but no financial payments will be made to foreign collaborator.

Q: Do the quotations for budget need to be submitted at FPP stage?

A: Not Mandatory

Q: Can two people from different universities be PIs for the same project?

A: No, there will be one PI for the project.

Q: Is financial contribution of industry is mandatory for NRPU projects?

A: No, but if someone have it will be considered as additional merit.