Cognitive Science is the study of human mind and brain, focusing on how mind represents and manipulates knowledge and how mental representations and processes are realized in the brain. The field is highly transdisciplinary in nature, combining ideas, principles and methods of psychology, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, neuroscience etc. In Indian scenario which is full of diversity, it is important to foster scientific research in interdisciplinary field of Cognitive Science for better understanding of Indian mind sets, languages and cognitive disorders etc. With this aim, the Department of Science & Technology (DST) had initiated a highly focused programme "Cognitive Science Research Initiative (CSRI)" in 2008 during 11th Five year plan. The Cognitive Science Research Initiative facilitates a platform to scientific community to work for better solution of challenges related with cognitive disorders and social issues through various psychological tools & batteries, early diagnosis & better therapies, intervention technologies and rehabilitation programmes.
Cognitive Science Research Initiative is aimed to revolutionize research in various fields, such as:
- Nature and origins of mental disorders, of physiological, social and neuro-chemical origins.
- Design of better learning tools and educational paradigms.
- Design of better software technologies and artificial intelligence devices.
- Streamlining of social policy formulation and analysis.
Thrust Areas: Cognitive science has wide horizons which covers different aspects of cognition. DST has identified specific thrust areas in Cognitive Science which include Foundations of Cognition; Language and Cognition; Computational Intelligence; Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience etc.
Activities Supported under CSRI:
- Individual R&D Projects: Grant is available for R&D projects in any thrust areas identified. Support will be provided for Equipments, Manpower and other research grant.
- Multi-centric Mega Projects: Multi-centric projects are encouraged to provide better solution of issues related with social relevance, better understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and their therapeutics.
- Post Doctoral Fellowship:Two years 'Post Doctoral Fellowship' Programme is aimed to develop human resource in Cognitive Sciences. The Scheme provides Opportunities to Young Scientists (below 40 years) for pursuing innovative research in frontier areas of Cognitive Science.
- Support for Schools, Training, Workshops, Conferences etc: The CSRI programme extends partial support for organizing conference/seminar/symposia/training programmes/workshops/schools on a selective basis. The support is provided to Academic or Research Institutions, Universities and other Professional bodies to encourage young researchers and keep scientific community abreast of the latest developments in various areas of Cognitive Science.
Programme Schedule: Department invites Individual Project Proposals and application for Post Doctoral Fellowship once in a year through advertisement in all leading Newspapers and DST website. Mega projects for intensified research in particular area are supported under top-down approach in discussion with DST and stakeholders. Proposals for conducting Schools /Conferences are open throughout the year and considered on request.