IIT Kharagpur is all set to launch the first of its kind Undergraduate Research Program (UGRP) from the upcoming Autumn semester of 2019-20. The initiative is aimed to encourage and nurture the spirit of research and innovation among UG students early on. The UGRP will fund select research ideas proposed by the students on a competitive basis and each successful proposal will be guided by a member of the Institute’s faculty.
The Institute which has been supporting various co-curricular activities of the undergraduate students through travel grants and fellowships to facilitate them participate in competitive projects will now float a competitive grant of Rs 56 Lakh for four years.
“The undergraduate students are extremely talented and motivated. As teachers, we have observed for years that the innovative ideas they come up with can address many real-life challenges. The ability to carry out research is a key capability for all graduates today. Through UGRP we are promoting the idea of research challenge among them which will germinate their potential as innovators and problem-solvers,” said Director Prof. P P Chakrabarti.
As many as 20 such proposals will be accepted each year. A portal is going to set up for project submission. The projects if successful may also culminate into BTech Thesis Projects of the students.
The funding will be generated from alumni donation fund resources. “IIT Kharagpur launched an endowment campaign in 2012 and every year one or two alumni batches have been raising Rs 50 Lakh – 1 crore. It has been decided that part of the earnings from this fund will be utilized towards funding the Undergraduate Research Platform,” confirmed Dean Alumni Affairs Prof Subrata Chattopadhyay.
Each selected group will receive support to the extent of Rs 25000/- for 1 Credit Projects and Rs 50000/- for the 2 credit projects.
Dean of Undergraduate Studies will coordinate the activity in association with the Technology Transfer Group which is a student-run body. “Students who have completed four semesters at IIT Kharagpur can form departmental or interdisciplinary groups and submit project proposals under faculty supervision. The project submission needs to be completed 30 days prior to the beginning of the 5th semester,” said Dean Prof Sudhir Kumar Barai.