About Centre for Innovative Finance and Social Impact (CIFSI)

Indian School of Development Management’s Centre for Innovative Finance and Social Impact (CIFSI) is an initiative that seeks to enhance research on innovative financing and raise dialogue among public and private stakeholders to tackle developmental challenges. The centre is dedicated to catalysing social financing as a tool for solving global challenges through a combination of research, knowledge creation and exchange, and convening diverse voices from social purpose organisations. 

About CIFSI Research Fellowship 2023

Innovative financing in the social sector has long been touted as one of the enablers for creating, scaling and sustaining innovative and impact-oriented solutions towards developmental challenges. However, as per available resources and research, the scope of innovative financing in social sector remains limited due to asymmetry of understanding between implementers and funders, and the inherent complexity of the sector.

The CIFSI Research Fellowship Program 2023 seeks to commission interested practitioners and researchers to lead studies that will create and disseminate high-quality actionable knowledge on innovative finance and impact assessment to drive social impact. 

Program Description

Beginning from October 2023, a cohort of maximum five fellows will be spending 12 months to conduct research on a topic under ‘Driving Social Impact through Innovative Finance Approaches’.

This is a part-time program with the following specifications:

  • This is a part-time program in which the fellows need to visit ISDM campus in Noida, UP at least twice during the tenure of the fellowship.
  • At the end of the fellowship period, there will be a research showcase during which researchers need to present their work followed by a panel discussion. These will be open to ISDM stakeholders and other representatives from the sector.
  • Fellows will meet virtually every quarter, share their research progress and learnings with each other, receive peer feedback, and build a supportive community of inquiry.
  • Fellows are required to acknowledge/cite CIFSI affiliation on their peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations submitted during the fellowship period.
  • Fellows are required to accredit CIFSI funding on projects initiated under this grant that may come to fruition after the fellowship period.

The total fellowship amount for 12 months will be INR 3,00,000. At the end of the fellowship, fellows must submit a report of 6,000-8,000 words based on their research project/findings that ISDM may publish under the Creative Commons Licensing 4.0.

The copyright of the working paper published under CCL 4.0 will be held by the author, ISDM and the third party supporting the research work pursued by the author.

Research Areas

The theme for this year’s fellowship is ‘Driving Social Impact through Innovative Finance Approaches’ with a focus on the Drivers to scale impact.

In accordance with the theme, the list of research topics includes, but are not limited to:

  • The future of impact investing in India/ Impact Investing for sustainable development in India
  • Scaling finance for the social sector in India
  • Innovative approaches to social finance in India: Cases from the social sector
  • Impact assessment to unlock innovative finance
  • Venture philanthropy for the social sector
  • Scaling blended finance for social impact
  • Policy and regulatory frameworks for blended finance
  • Results-based financing: Opportunities and challenges
  • Innovative finance for NGOs: What works and what doesn’t?

Important Deadlines

Submission deadline: 31 August 2023

Announcement of selection results: 1 October 2023 onwards

Orientation and commencement of cohort: 23 October 2023 onwards

Contact Us

For any query, please write to Dr. Ria Sinha, Email: [email protected] with the subject line ISDM-CIFSI Research Fellowship Program 2023.

Indian School of Development Management, supported by Citi India's CSR efforts, launched the Centre for Innovative Finance and Social Impact (CIFSI) to mainstream innovative finance for social impact.

Admission close for PGP-DM