HEC Announces Research Fellowship Abroad For PhD Scholars

Aizbah KhanWeb Editor

07th Dec, 2020. 06:54 pm

The Higher Education Commission has announced a six-month fellowship abroad for PhD scholars under its Research Support Initiative Programme (IRSIP).

The aim of the programme is to heighten the research capabilities of PhD scholars and also exchange bonds between Pakistani and foreign institutions for students in higher educational institutes in Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.


The objectives of the program are:

  • To enhance the quality of doctoral research in Pakistan.
  • To create a critical mass of highly qualified manpower that could contribute towards the development of Pakistan.
  • To facilitate assimilation, absorption and transfer of important and promising scientific and technological knowledge information to achieve repaid economic progress.
  • To provide opportunities to doctoral students for training/ research work at advanced research labs of reputed universities abroad and to interact with a foreign scientist working at frontiers of knowledge.
  • To explore avenues for further collaboration internationally.
  • To introduce Pakistani talent globally.
  • To disseminate information about research in Pakistan.
  • To bring the standard of doctoral research at par with international standards.


  • AJK/Pakistani national who is a full-time PhD student
  • Completed coursework of 18 credit hours, at least.
  • The scholar is eligible to apply after 2 years of enrollment and maximum up to 3.5 years in the PhD program.
  • Passed the local GAT subject test OR University Admission Test at the time of registration/enrollment in PhD Studies/Program.
  • Who has an approved PhD research topic and synopsis by the Board of Advanced Studies and Research (BASR) or Directorate of Advanced Studies and Research (DASR) or equivalent body of the university
  • Who has an official acceptance/invitation letter for research from a foreign university/institute/ lab? The university/institute must be listed in top 200 universities list (either subject wise or overall ranking) as per Times Ranking of World Universities​ Or QS top universities ranking (topuniversities.com).
  • Your Foreign Supervisor should not be an ex-supervisor of your Local Supervisor.​


For Selection Committee Meetings after June 2013, upper world ranking limit of the foreign university has been reduced to top 200 universities for the applicants from all disciplines Agriculture & Veterinary Science, Biological & Medical Science and Physical Science, Engineering & Technology, Social Sciences subjects.

Those Scholars who are already availing any other HEC scholarship are also eligible to apply provided they submit NOC from their concerned HEC dealing officer.

How To Apply

​​Submit application form, two copies, to the Project Director after filling as per instructions, along with the documents listed below.

Applications can be submitted round the year. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as they are eligible and fulfil the basic criteria.

Incomplete applications will not be entertained and will be discarded.

—– Download Application Form—– 

Required Documents:


Application Set 1:

  • Application form
  • Foreign university acceptance letter(s), in order of preference
  • CV of proposed foreign supervisor(s)
  • BASR/DASR approval showing approved PhD research topic and synopsis
  • PhD thesis synopsis (complete)
  • Local PhD supervisor recommendation letter
  • CV of local PhD supervisor
  • NOC from concerned HEC officer (if already availing any other HEC scholarship)
  • NOC from department/organization (if employed/ on study leave)
  • CV of applicant
  • Copy of passport
  • Copies of academic documents including PhD coursework transcript showing credit hours and grades obtained in each course.
  • Copy of GRE result certificate/card from ETS / NTS

Application Set 2:

  • Application form
  • Foreign university acceptance letter(s), in order of preference
  • CV of proposed foreign supervisor(s)
  • PhD thesis synopsis (complete)
  • BASR/DASR approval showing approved PhD research topic and synopsis
  • Copy of GRE result certificate/card from ETS / NTS

Important Note: 

The acceptance letter must be issued by the head of department/ senior professors. Acceptance letters issued by Lecturers, Lab Instructors/expert won’t be acceptable. The acceptance letter must include at least the following:

  • A brief overview of work to be carried out during the foreign visit.
  • Brief details of research facilities available at foreign Lab.
  • Plan of research work/activities to be carried out at a foreign university
  • Duration of research in months.
  • Bench fee amount if required. No claim of bench fee will be entertained if not mentioned in the original offer letter.
  • Terms and conditions of the invitation, if any.
  • Complete address, contact details (phone, fax, email) of the proposed foreign professor.
  • It is Mandatory to get filled in a performa from your foreign supervisor along with the acceptance letter.  ​​Download Foreign Supervisor’s Performa

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