Research Chair award
Research Chairs are granted annually to Iranian outstanding scientists with distinguished scientific background, strategic research plan and clear understanding of the society’s needs in their fields of specialties. This award is one of the most prestigious ones granted by INSF.
This award is granted to both individual researchers and research groups at the national and international levels for a 5-year period. One of the most inspiring features of this program is that young researchers at the beginning of their professional life can also be considered for a Research Chair Award.
Eligible Researchers to Receive the Award
Researchers applying to win the award shall have:
- a scientific and research strategic plan;
- a cohesive scientific theoretical framework;
- innovative and creative ideas;
- comprehensive and macro vision towards the future;
- an impact on science and technology and answering the needs and necessities of Iran, the region, and the world;
- the highest h-index and G-index in the country, in their own scientific fields;
- the highest citation rank in the country, in their own scientific fields;
- at least one Hot Paper; and
- national and international reputation as distinguished scientists.
Priority is with those who have at least one international patent and two research projects that have been conducted and implemented in the country.
Types of Research Award Programs
Research awards granted by INSF and with the approval of the Research Chair Award working group, fall in the following categories:
A. Research Chair
This Research Chair is granted to distinguished Iranian researchers and scientists who are full professor and have domestic and international valid research background, with the aim of tackling major issues of the country or theorizing in basic sciences. Research Chair Award is in two forms: Individual Research Chair and Group Research Chair.
- Individual Research Chair
This Chair is granted to a researcher who possesses international or national scientific authority and prestige. The award is 500 million Rials per year for a 5-year period. In case of having a foreign research partner, this period is extendable to another 5-year period.
The winners of this Chair can have 2 post-doctoral researchers and 2 doctoral candidates in their research teams each year. The costs of these fellow researchers shall be added to the Chair fund.
- Group Research Chair
This Chair is granted to a research group consisting of outstanding researchers led by a professor who is both nationally and internationally recognized. The funding for this award is 600 million Rials per year for a 5-year period. In case of collaborating with capable foreign researchers, this Chair is extendable to another 5-year period, following the approval of the Research Chair working group.
The financial resources allocated via this award are to be used to undertake scientific activities – carrying out research projects, publishing books, mentoring doctoral candidates, contributing to facilitate laboratories, holding conferences, participating in conferences, etc.
Evaluation process to select the winning candidate is qualitative.
Evaluation criteria used for Iranian researchers and scientists living overseas are the same as criteria used for those living inside Iran. If found qualified, overseas Iranian scientists can as well be granted the award.
B. Research Grant
This award is granted to researchers who are faculty members of universities or research institutes in Iran (associate professor or higher) with remarkable research capabilities, with the aim of building new scientific and technological capacities.
This grant is given both in individual and group forms, national or international, within the frameworks and criteria of Research Chair award.
The amount of this grant is up to 500 million Rials for one year.
C. Young Researchers' Chair
This Chair is granted to young researchers with remarkable research abilities and talents, with the aim of encouraging them and helping their research activities.
The candidates are introduced by one of INSF Research Chair holders or are selected upon looking through science and technology data bases.
Eligible candidates must be no more than 40 years of age and hold a doctoral degree from one the universities inside Iran or overseas, approved by Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology or Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education.
The candidate must have at least one hot paper in their field, a high h-index, and a high citation rank. These qualifications are checked and approved by the Research Chair working group.
Priority is with those who have at least one international patent and one research project that has been conducted and implemented in the country.
Research Chair Application and Nomination Process
1. Candidates for the Award are introduced by the INSF Scientific Review Group, INSF Research Chair working group, or distinguished researchers in fields related to the Chair.
2. Candidates fill in the Research Chair application form.
3. The secretary of Research Chair working group conducts primary evaluation of the applications, compiles a list of all eligible candidates and hands the list to the working group for their approval.
4. Members of the Research Chair working group reevaluate the candidates' application forms, taking into consideration their scientific achievements.
5. Members of the Research Chair working group make their final decision on approval or denial of the candidates’ applications for Research Chair/Grant.
6. Memorandum of Understanding is drafted by the secretary of the working group and the agreement is signed by the two parties.
Research Chair/Grant holders submit their performance report to INSF every six months, following the framework approved by Research Chair working group.
Performance Oversight and Evaluation
The working group examines the six-month performance report submitted by the Chair/Grant holder and, if necessary, sends it to an expert in the field and consults them on continuing or stopping the Chair/Grant program.
One of the INSF programs is to support those high ranking researchers who do not have the qualifications for a Research Chair Award, but hold high academic qualifications and appropriate research strategy to receive special supports. This award is for a period of 1 year and researchers are awarded up to maximum of 300 million Rials. Currently, this award is granted at both national and international level.
National Grant: It is granted to Iranian researchers employed by universities and research centers inside the country.
International Grant: It is granted to Iranian researchers residing outside Iran. This group of researchers and technologies are required to be employed by organizations, universities and or research centers accredited by Ministry of Science and technology.
Research Grant Application and Nomination Process
1. Introducing the candidates for the award by the research groups in INSF
2. Filling in the research grant application form by the candidate
3. Evaluating different applications by the head of the reseach group and suggesting the most distinguished candidates to the members of the research group in INSF for further evaluation
4. Evaluating the candidates' application forms by the members of research groups taking into consideration their scientific achievements
5. Seeking other distinguished scientists' opinion about the candidates and their research proposals
6. Making the final decision and signing the memorandum of understanding or agreement by both parties (INSF and the research grant award candidate)