Sree Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Research Grants


We at SreePVF have a vision for the betterment of humanity, and we recognize that in addition to the government, Private Foundations and Trusts should also support research and technology through grants. In 2019, we established the Sree Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Research Grant, which is arguably the first of its kind in India.

As part of our commitment to supporting ground-breaking research, we offer one three-year research grant (of up to Rs. 3 crores) each year in Biomedical Sciences, for individuals and groups engaged in “bench to bedside” translational research. We are proud to have supported some of the most innovative and promising researchers in this field.

In 2021, we expanded our grant program to include agricultural sciences, with the constitution of a special call specifically for agricultural sciences. This new grant aims to support novel and sustainable solutions that benefit small and marginal farmers. It offers a grant of 50 lahks over two years.

At SreePVF, we are passionate about supporting research and innovation in a wide range of fields, and we are committed to making a real difference in the lives of people around the world.

Biomedical Sciences

The Sree Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Research Grant in Biomedical Sciences was introduced in 2019, and has since completed two successful rounds of competition. Since 2020, the program has shifted its focus towards supporting “bench to bedside” translational research, which aims to bridge the gap between fundamental scientific discoveries and their application in clinical settings for the benefit of patients. This new approach reflects our commitment to funding innovative research projects with the potential to improve healthcare outcomes and advance medical knowledge.

A stringent selection process has been put in place to identify the awardees:

  1. Initial scrutiny for eligibility, remit and other grant specifications.
  2. Screening by the Selection Committee for external review based on the following criteria:
    • Translational value of the proposed research, how soon can the translation benefit humans
    • Novelty of the proposed work; does it enrich the field?
    • Feasibility of the proposal based on the expertise of the PI and the collaborators
    • Vigor and rigor of the proposed experiments
    • Competitiveness with-in the cohort
    • Value of the proposed research outcomes for betterment of human health
  3. Peer-review of selected applications by both national and international experts in the field.
  4. Interviews of short-listed candidates for final award

Selection Committee

A Committee of eminent scientists have been constituted to help the Foundation in reviewing the applications.

Chair: Professor D Balasubramanian,  L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad

Members of the Committee:

Professor Dipankar Chatterji, Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore

Professor L S Shashidhara,  Ashoka University, Sonepat.

Professor V ChandrasekharTata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad

Dr Ghanshyam Swarup, Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology , Hyderabad

Dr Gullapalli Nageswara Rao, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad

Dr  Chadalawada Nageswara Rao, Sree PVF Foundation, Vijayawada

Dr Chadalawada Sudha, Sree PVF Foundation, Vijayawada


Secretary: Dr Ponnari Gottipati, Grants Manager, SreePVF Foundation


Principal Investigator: Dr Vidita Vaidya, Tata Institute of fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai

Collaborator: Dr Ullas Kolthur-Seetharam, TIFR

Title: Modulation of mitochondrial metabolism within limbic brain regions following early life stress

Summary: Early adversity and trauma are major risk factors for an altered health trajectory, with enhanced risk for psychiatric diseases. This remains an important public health concern for India, and a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms that result in life-long changes in neural circuits following early stress has important preclinical and clinical implications. It is our expectation that through this work we will generate novel information on the essential role of specific aspects of mitochondrial metabolism and function in mediating the influence of early adversity in the development of increased risk for adult psychopathology and altered trajectories for age-associated dysfunction. We anticipate the identification of novel targets that are suitable for the development of therapeutic interventions (ranging from biotechnological, nutritional and pharmacological) designed to target mitochondrial pathways as novel ways to treat anxiety and depression, as well as with implications for aging-associated pathology.


Principal Investigator: Dr. Vandana Sharma, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH), Hyderabad

Collaborator: Dr. Mahati Chittem, Dr. Veenith N Balasubramanian (IITH)

Title: 3D Imaging based Vein Intrusion Guide System for Pediatric and Geriatric

Summary: We propose to demonstrate and commercialize the proof of concept of a novel 3D Vein Viewer module that not only images the peripheral vein mapping underneath the human skin but also determines the depth of the vein vessel from the top of the skin with micro-meter accuracy. The standard technique for peripheral IV Intra-Venous access involves a clinician using a tourniquet to engorge veins, followed by palpation to identify a suitable vein and finally insertion of the catheter needle. This often results in many cases of false trials and multiple needle penetrations into the body. Near Infrared Radiation NIR penetrates deeper into tissues a few centimeters and provides 2D images of the subcutaneous vascular network. The maximal likelihood estimate of the depth of is obtained through our recently patented technique of integration of Mie-Scattering with imaging. To account for physiological variations such as skin tone in the population, we also introduce an in-vivo optical coherence tomography (OCT) based mapping of the skin. A single compact, mobile device combining such state-of-the-art optical technologies forms our proposed vein locator which would aid medical staff in reducing the bruising and damaging among patients especially among infants and the aged during IV therapy.


An inter-disciplinary multi-institutional project wins the SreePVF grant in Biomedical sciences this year for their project “Biomimetic hydrogel for the treatment of blinding corneal diseases”. The team comprises basic science researchers to applied biomaterial experts to clinician scientists drawn from IIT, LVPEI and CCMB, all from Hyderabad. As part of this Rs 3 cr grant, they propose to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a novel and proprietary biomimetic hydrogel (patent pending) along with unique mesenchymal stem cells derived from the human eye for the treatment of corneal wounds.

The Committee that evaluated the project said “The beauty of this project is, even while adopting cutting-edge technology, it promises a simpler alternative to corneal transplantation. The use of biological material derived from discarded human cornea as injectable hydrogel is a novel, innovative, cost-effective and easily implementable solution to a problem that affects millions world-wide. This project provides hope to not only all patients with corneal blindness, it also specifically targets a large proportion of patients who otherwise carry poor prognosis for corneal transplantation. The team has already shown that the technology works in animal models and the grant provides them with an opportunity to carry out the much needed bed-side translation.”

Principal Investigators: Dr Falguni Pati, Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad

Dr Sayan Basu, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad

Dr Vivek Singh, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad

Dr B Kiran Kumar, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad

Title: Biomimetic hydrogel for the treatment of blinding corneal diseases

Summary: Loss of corneal clarity or transparency is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment affecting millions worldwide. Corneal opacification is not medically reversible and corneal transplantation is the current standard of care for those with severe disease and vision loss. However, corneal transplantation has its limitations with respect to long-term graft survival, prolonged use of topical or oral immunosuppressive medications and life-long clinical follow-up. There is also, unfortunately, a huge gap between the demand and supply of donor corneal tissue worldwide, which is further complicated by the lack of adequate eye-banking networks, especially in the developing world. With advancements in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, many possible alternative approaches to corneal transplantation have emerged in the recent past. These include biomimetic hydrogels, stem cells and gene/molecular therapy. Of these, biomimetic hydrogels have shown the greatest promise.

We have developed a unique biomimetic corneal hydrogel (from discarded human corneas that do not meet optical standards for clinical transplantation) which can be used to treat corneal scarring and keratoconus, major causes of corneal blindness in developing countries like India. This study proposes the clinical grade manufacturing and pre-clinical validation for regulatory approval, and phase 0/1 clinical trials to establish the safety and efficacy of this novel and proprietary material embedded with stem cells derived from the human eye.


Sree Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Research Grant 2022
For Biomedical Research

Agricultural Sciences

In 2021, SreePVF expanded the Sree Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Research Grant to include the agricultural sciences. The grant aims to provide last-mile funding for novel and sustainable solutions that benefit small and marginal farmers in India. The grant program offers up to Rs. 50 lakh to researchers for a maximum duration of two years. Through this grant, SreePVF seeks to support innovative research proposals that can make a positive impact on the farming community and help address the challenges faced by farmers in India.

The major criteria for evaluation of the project proposals is scientific novelty and innovation, readiness to deploy solutions for small and marginal farming community at the end of project duration, sustainable solution(s) featuring innovation, relevance to farming community, cost effectiveness and easy accessibility. 

All submitted project proposals are screened for shortlisting in a two-step process.

  1. Each proposal is evaluated by at least two Committee Members for in-depth evaluation
  2. The major criteria for primary screening are:
    • Scientific novelty
    • Utility to farmers including cost of deployment
    • Readiness level of technology for deployment upon project completion
    • Reasonability of time line
    • Expertise of applicant for fulfilling project objectives as well as reasonability of budget
    • Green technology
  3. Interview of Short-listed proposals for final award

Review Committee

Five eminent scientists from the field of Agriculture in India constitute the review Committee

Chair: Dr Ramesh V. Sonti, Professor & Chair, Biology and Dean Faculty, IISER, Tirupati; Former Scientist and J. C. Bose fellow at CSIR-CCMB, Hyderabad; former Director, NIPGR, New Delhi

Members: Dr L. Shashidhara, Distinguished Professor, Ashoka University, Sonpet; Professor, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune

Dr Alok Kalra, Former Chief Scientist and Acting Director (now Consultant), Central Institute of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, P.O. (CIMAP), Lucknow

Dr Navin Sharma, Director, International Agriculture Consulting Group; Former Head, Resources and Planning at Bangalore Life Science Cluster; Former Director, World Agroforestry Centre (Nairobi); Formerly at Unilever and ITC

Dr M. Sujatha, Director (A), ICAR-Indian Institute of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad

Staff: Coordinator and Communication – Dr Amit Das, Startup Cofounder, former Scientist at DuPont Knowledge Center, Hyderabad


Principal Investigator: Dr Jagadis Gupta Kapuganti, National Institute of Plant
Genome Research (NIPGR), New Delhi

Title: Novel and cost-effective technology to prevent post-harvest losses of fruits

Summary: Fruits are crucial in daily diet but are most perishable and vulnerable to rapid decomposition and spoilage. It was estimated that approximately 20-25% of harvested fruits spoil before consumption, farmers are losing lot of their income, hence technologies are required for prevention of spoilage. Currently available technologies such as refrigeration technologies are not cost effective and lack of proper infrastructure hence there is need for cheaper technologies. Using innovative method of stimulating nitric oxide pathway from leaves such as mango leaves, banana leaves, in this proposal we would like to develop and deliver special devices for low- and marginal-income fruit farmers to prevent the postharvest losses such as mangoes, banana.


Project 1: Novel edible coating material for the postharvest quality improvement of perishable fruit crops.

Principal InvestigatorDr. Koushik Mazumder, National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute, Mohali, Punjab

Collaborators: Dr. Manoj Kumar Patel, CSIR-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, Chandigarh

Summary: The absence of postharvest treatment options and processing methods along with traditional storage on farms and infestation by microorganisms and pests, are the major factors responsible for the highest rate of postharvest losses in fruit and vegetable in India. Due to the limited availability of cold chain facilities especially during storage and transportation, the development of coating materials to prolong the shelf life of fruits and vegetables is a high priority in this research area. The present invention relates to the development of edible composite coatings based on polysaccharides from agricultural by-products. The coating technology is simple and can be applied even at the farm level; so that spoilage during transportation and marketing can be reduced. Furthermore, an advanced electrostatic coating system for edible coatings would be optimized, reducing the processing cost for coating application at a commercial scale.

Project 2: Artificial Intelligence based modeling of major pests in Rice crop to promote Forewarning advisory services in Andhra Pradesh.

Principal Investigator: Dr. P. Lavanya Kumari, S. V. Agricultural College, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Tirupati

Collaborators: Dr. I.Parama Siva, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University Agricultural Research Station, Nellore

Dr.U. Vineetha, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University Agricultural Research Station,

Dr.A,Veeraiah, Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University Krishi Vignana Kendra , Kadapa

Summary: Weather-based automated forewarning advisory services for major pests in rice will be established permanently at each Agricultural research station of Southern Zone of Andhra Pradesh using artificial Intelligence (ANN approach). These services will be very useful to forecast the pest well in advance. The respective precautions or management practices will be suggested to the farmers to reduce the yield losses due to unexpected pests. Further, validation and updation of the constructed forewarning models will be done each year with the help of newly added real-time data so that accuracy in forecasting the pest will be increased.

Sree Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Research Grant 2023 – Special Call For Translational Agriculture Research