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UK Science and Innovation Network essay competition

We welcome applicants to write an essay about Innovation capacity building in India.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

SIN Essay Competition

The UK Science and Innovation team in India welcomes applicants to write an essay about Innovation capacity building in India. We encourage Indian policymakers, researchers, academics and those with strong knowledge of the field to participate in this essay competition.

Science and Innovation is widely recognised as the engine that drives the economic transformation of emerging markets like India. Increasingly, the real innovation bottleneck is not the supply of new knowledge, but external factors surrounding the process. How is India building the capacity to develop its innovation systems? What has been the impact of the national and state-level innovation capacity building programmes and initiatives in India so far? These could be the guiding points for writing the essay.

The UK Science and Innovation Network has bases in 28 countries/territories and works to facilitate international science & innovation collaboration with the UK, as well as collecting evidence to inform the UK’s, and our host countries’, policies.

Application guidelines

Please read the guidance carefully before completing the Phase I - Application form (MS Word Document, 518KB) .

The competition will have two phases -

Phase I

Submit the completed Phase I - Application form (MS Word Document, 518KB) including a 500 word outline summary and a curriculum vitae (CV) by 1700 hrs IST 18 August 2014. Submitted applications will be reviewed and successful candidates will be notified by 5 September 2014.

Phase II

Five successful applicants will then be invited to submit a full length essay (up to 3000 words) by 22 September 2014. The winners will be announced on 13 October 2014.

Anticipated timelines

3 July 2014 Call launch
18 August 2014 Applications for Phase I due
5 September 2014 Notification of success of application
22 September 2014 Completed essay submitted
13 October 2014 Winner announced

Essay topic/ theme

The essay topic will centre on the issues related to ‘Innovation capacity building in India’. We anticipate that areas which would be covered in the final essay would include:

  • ‘National and state-level capacity building programmes and initiatives targeting staff from public sector and innovation agencies’ in India.
  • Which programmes have worked in the past? What did not work?
  • What were the gaps in the programme development?
  • Key Indian and multilateral funders delivering programmes in this area.

For Phase I, we are looking for a 500 word summary of some of the key issues relating to the above. The successful applicant will be asked to expand on these in Phase II – writing of the full essay.


The essay competition is open to academics and researchers based in Indian universities, institutes and centres and to those with knowledge and expertise in this subject. The competition is open only to people based in India.

All applicants must complete the application form, attaching a two page CV and submit these by 1700 hrs IST 18 August 2014 by email.

Incomplete applications, submissions after the deadline, and applications exceeding the word/page limit will not be accepted.

Only one submission per person is accepted. Essay should be the original work of the participant. When quoting directly, original sources must be cited.

By entering the essay competition, the applicants agree that while the Intellectual Property Rights to the essay content remain with the author, the UK Science and Innovation Network in India has the right to promote, print, distribute and publicise the final essay and excerpts from it.


For Phase I applications will be judged against the following criteria and should demonstrate:

  • The ability to write in English in a fluent and engaging way
  • An understanding of how innovation capacity building programmes are funded in India
  • An understanding of the success and failure of such programmes
  • An understanding of the gaps in the programmes
  • The drivers for undertaking these activities
  • Any other aspects of delivering innovation policy and programme development in India.

The successful candidate must be able to commit to completing the essay by 22 September 2014.

Prize and recognition

1st prize: An all expenses paid trip to the UK to attend Innovate UK conference in November 2014. SIN India will pay for roundtrip economy class fares in carriers of its choice between candidate’s home city and the UK and will be responsible for travel, room and meals for 4 nights.

Entrants are responsible for all documentation related to their journey, including passports and visas and the costs related to these, as well as appropriate medical insurance for their journey and stay in the UK.

There will be exciting prizes for first and second runners-up.

All five successful candidates of Phase II will receive certificates of participation.


Any questions regarding this essay competition should be emailed to

Published 3 July 2014