SITARE BIIS: Opportunity for Technology Students to Work on Grassroots Innovations | 1 Lakh Grant


SITARE BIIS: Opportunity for technology students to work on grassroots innovations

SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions) in collaboration with BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India) is organizing a three-week SITARE BIIS (Students Innovations for Translation & Advancement of Research Explorations-Biotech Innovation Ignition School) for validating, value adding and product development around grassroots innovations. The BIIS will try to develop solutions for grassroots applications for human, animals, and agricultural applications including herbal technologies, medical devices and microbial application.

The BIIS-5 will be held at SRISTI, Grambharti, Gandhinagar from 15th March to 5th April, 2020.

The selected students will be assigned individual projects in primarily five action-research areas drawing upon the Honey Bee Network Database:-

1. Pharmacognosy/Phytochemistry - SRISTI’s Grassroots database contains many traditional knowledge practices as well contemporary innovations from across the country. These projects would involve validation/ value addition to these practices. A few of these practices are presented here-

 2. Soil Microbiology-SRISTI has a Microbial diversity bank containing 8000+ organisms (bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes) isolated from the soil samples collected during  ShodhYatras (learning walks for scouting and sharing innovations and local practices) in different parts of the country ( An extensive study of screening these isolated microbes for novel human, animal and agricultural application would be conducted.

3. Veterinary Medicine- Validation of traditional practices for the improvement of livestock health, nutrition and productivity.

4. Agriculture- Validation of grassroots practices by conducting trials in lab, on station and in field for product development/improvement.

5. Medical devices- Value addition/product development of any of the open source projects listed on our summer school website ( or medical devices for human and animal health care or meeting any other unmet social needs.

Eligibility to apply

Students pursuing Bachelors programme in any discipline can apply. The student should have a valid ID issued by the Institution/University.

A few seats are reserved for post graduate students also. In exceptional cases, even school children with interesting ideas may be considered.

The abstracts along with the objective of the projects will be shared with the selected students three weeks before the start of the BIIS. The participants would be expected to do literature review before joining the School.  They are likely to develop a project proposal as well as work plan. These students would receive an expert feedback on their proposals from the reviewers.  These students will also receive hands-on training in various techniques of microbiology, phytochemical extraction procedures, and using various lab equipment (AAS, HPTLC, HPLC, ELISA, PCR, BSL-I & II etc.) as per the need of the project in the first week of the event.

Application Process

Applications need to be submitted online at BIRAC site and can also be sent directly to SRISTI at

Format of application with Statement of Purpose will be accessed through the website.

Selected students will be informed three weeks prior to start of the workshop.

Process for submitting the proposals online is detailed below:

• Log on to the BIRAC website
• If you are a registered user, log-in using the credentials, else you need to register yourself as an individual by clicking on New User Registration.
• In case of new user registration, a computer generated password would be sent to the email-id provided at the time of registration. The password can be changed later.
• Once you login, you would be navigated to the page displaying SITARE-BIIS link.
• Click on the SITARE-BIIS application link under Programmes and the active call would be highlighted.
• Click on the active call against which you wish to submit the proposal.

Selection Process

Selection will be based on Statement of Purpose (SoP) submitted by the Student. Key factors for selection of applications include
• Originality (40%) 
• Clarity of Purpose (20%)
• Implementation Plan (15%)
• Potential impact (15%)

Following expenses will be covered for student participants:

• Class II Rail fare and local travel expenses
• Hostel accommodation
• Breakfast, lunch, dinner
• Shuttle facility from hostel to project site

Frugality will be practiced at all stages and in all functions. The students should be willing to adapt to simple conditions of subsistence with high expectation of hard work.

The work done by students during BIIS will be assessed on the last day of the school and the outstanding studies (up to 10 per BIIS) going to be identified for further support of INR 1 lakh each as SITARE-Appreciation Award Grant. The grantees are expected to conduct further research on the topic either at home institution or at SRISTI’s lab.

Above all, students would get an invaluable opportunity to interact with both national and international experts as well as grassroots practitioners/innovators in their respective fields. It is hoped that each participant becomes a volunteer of the Honey Bee Network which has helped in scouting and disseminating rural creativity and innovation over the last three decades.
All the output will be credited to the grassroots knowledge providers and can be published thereafter with prior written concurrence of the BIIS team and knowledge providers.

Highest ethical code of biotech research is expected to be followed. Team spirit and willingness to develop open source solutions will be highly encouraged. Peer learning will be strongly encouraged. The findings will be shared with knowledge providers in local language with the help of SRISTI and Honey Bee Network team.

Kindly email at or call at 9426140041 (Dr. MeghaBarot) for further queries.
Last date for submission of application is 25th February, 2020 on or before 12:00 p.m.

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