1. About Research
  2. Areas of Research
  3. Guidelines


The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has evolved a programme through which financial support is provided for conducting research and development activities related to space science, space technology and space application to academia in India. RESPOND denotes this programme of research sponsored by ISRO. The main objectives of the RESPOND programme is to establish strong links with academic Institutions to carryout quality research and developmental projects which are of relevance to Space and to derive useful outputs of such R&D to support ISRO programmes. RESPOND programme is intended to enhance academic base, generate quality human resources and infrastructure at the academic institutions to support the space programme. In special cases research and development projects proposed by non-academic R&D laboratories are also supported through this programme.

Apart from these, ISRO has also set up Space Technology Cells (STCs) at premier institutions like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Bombay, Kanpur, Kharagpur & Madras; Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and Joint Research Programme (JRP) with University of Pune (UoP) to carry out research activities in the areas of space technology and applications. These STCs and JRP are guided by Joint Policy Committee's (JPC) chaired by Director/Vice Chancellor of the respective institution and with Senior Scientists/Engineers from ISRO/DOS and the respective institution as members. Under the STC, projects are taken up by the faculty of the Institute.

RESPOND also supports to conduct conferences, symposiums, seminars and educational activities of importance to ISRO at the academic institutions to promote interest in ISRO space programmes


(For more details visit: www.csre.iitb.ac.in/isro_cell; www.iitk.ac.in/dord/isro; www.kcstc.iitkgp.ernet.in; www.unipune.ac.in/isro ).


Based on the mandate by ISRO, VSSC also offers sponsored research programmes. On account of its unique nature of activities related to the development of launch vehicles, in which all engineering disciplines are brought together in a matrix kind of interaction, VSSC offers the opportunity of research in multiple disciplines



Aerospace Engineering :

Flight dynamics, orbital mechanics Wind tunnel studies, CFD, Flow field analysis, Aero thermal engineering etc  

Launch Vehicle structures:

Structural Analysis modeling and simulation stability analysis, structural dynamics & testing, honey comb structures, experimental mechanics etc.

Space Materials & Processing

Light Alloys, Super alloys, precision fabrication techniques, Heat treatment, surface treatment, welding technology, powder metallurgy, foundry technology, ceramics, materials characterization etc

Composite Materials:

Composite Materials processing and control, characterization & testing, NDT, development of composite structure for launch vehicles and spacecraft carbon-carbon composites etc.

Propellants, Polymers, Chemicals & Space Ordnance:

Propellant processing, characterization, testing, thermal protection materials, adhesive ceramics/matrix products, thermal paints, polyimides, avionics batteries, fuel cell, space ordnance materials, characterization, nozzle design, advanced propulsion technology, CFD, Heat transfer, performance simulation etc

Avionics, Guidance & Control:

Sensors & instrumentation, power electronics Data acquisition, signal processing, technology ASIC/FPGA, onboard inertial systems, servo mechanisms, guidance and control, trajectory simulation and analysis etc

Space Science

Physics of ionosphere,magnetosphere,meteorology,atmospheric studies,aerosols,boundary layer physics,climatology,planetaty and interplanetary space physics etc.

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Who can apply?

• Individual or group(s) of scientists, engineers, researchers, members of the teaching staff belonging to recognised academic institutions, universities and research organisations may submit proposals,. Proposals from persons not attached to a recognised institution will not be considered.

• The proposer(s) should be full-time regular employee(s) of the concerned institution

Information required with the proposal

• Brief description of the research proposed including the objectives and the scientific/application merits of the work.

• Description of the method or technique to be used for the proposed investigated

• The extent of financial support needed for executing the work within the shortest possible time.

• Name of the Principal Investigator from the institution forwarding the application. There may also be co-investigator(s) from different institutions working on the project. ISRO may also identify a co-investigator. However satisfactory completion of a project will be the responsibility of the Principal Investigator and his institution.

• Bio-data of all the investigators

• A list of research projects related to the proposal undertaken or carried out through funding by other agencies.

How to apply?

• The proposal should be duly forwarded through their institutions

• Five copies of the document should be prepared in the formats attached

Form-A Word Doc Icon
Form-B Word Doc Icon
Form-C Word Doc Icon


• The application should be addressed to ‘RESPOND Co-ordinator, VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram 695022’ for approval and further processing

Processing procedures

VSSC has a well structured system for evaluation of the proposal. The Sponsored Research Coordination and Review Team (SRCRT) related to the area of research evaluates the research proposals with respect to technical content, relevance to VSSC, expertise of Principal Investigator (PI), facilities at institute, project duration, budget aspects etc. Suggestions/ feedback are given to the PI. PI has to revise the proposal based on the feedback from VSSC and the final proposal is recommended for further review by a Centre-level RESPOND Steering Team (RST) constituted by Director, VSSC. These committees provide group wisdom in evaluating these proposals with an applied orientation and submit their recommendation to Director, VSSC for approval. The approved proposals is forwarded to ISRO Head quarters for final approval by Chairman, ISRO. On approval, the fund is released to institute and project gets initiated. These on-going projects would be monitored and renewed annually based on the progress. On completion of the project the PI would submit the final project report, along with audit reports, for closure of the project.

VSSC has also identified a RESPOND Co-ordinator for all the interactions with the entities of the Centre, ISRO HQ & participating institutes.