What do we mean by a Principal Investigator (PI) ?
The PI designation indicates that she/he has to perceive, design and take the lead role in implementing a PROPOSAL. This is not the same as the usual Research Assistant positions in research projects. The PI has to work out a detailed proposal based on the ongoing KCHR projects or independent of them. The KCHR projects need to be treated as broad guidelines or ideas to draft your own proposals. In short, PI is the leader of the proposal she/he designs and executes. Among other things, she/he should consult experts from different disciplinary and experimental backgrounds and decide whether she/he alone can carry out or whether co-investigators are needed for the timely and successful implementation of the proposal.
As a PI you also have the responsibility of meticulously maintaining the accounts to the satisfaction Auditors of the KCHR Finance section’ the Statutory Auditors of the KCHR and as well as the Accountant General of India (Kerala). This would be a new experience, but you are likely to enjoy this as a training to create good models in public life.
Do you mean my proposal can have others involved on a remunerative basis?
Yes, it all depends on how you design your proposal. If you feel absolutely necessary to have additional human resource for optimum outcome from the project, you can propose remuneration up to a maximum of Rs.10,000/- per month to such persons. Remember, it is imperative that the proposals clearly designate their duties and responsibilities, and fix the targets of physical output. The proposal should be cost-effective and framed as a cultural mission. The task you take up should be treated as a rare opportunity to learn about your cultural heritage. This should be done with great integrity and social commitment.
Would you explain the ‘multi- , inter- , and trans-disciplinary ‘methods?
The multi-inter and trans - disciplinary methods mean involvement of the other related disciplines that may add value to the outcome of a research project. Such approaches to knowledge generation demand re-defining of existing uni-disciplinary methods or even unlearning some. The KCHR expects the projects to a comprehensive as possible, and to make proper use of insights, methods and skills from other disciplines.
What is a measurable physical target?
This may vary from project to project. Your proposal is an attempt to help document, conserve and study the historical heritage of Kerala. If you accept this as a commitment and objective, it follows that the physical output should be clearly targeted on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You will be required to work hard in a sustained manner. You should expect to work for 12- 16 hours a day.
For instance, let us assume that your proposal is to digitize historically relevant documents, out of print books or photographs of a Panchayath Ward, within a period of five months. You should have a proposal which indicates the volumes of the digitized material on a daily/ weekly basis. To prepare a proper proposal you may require considerable research, fieldwork, surveys, and discussion with technical experts. This will need rigorous charting on a time scale. The digital repository may have to be supplemented with physical outputs in the form of publications – both print and digital - , visual/audio recordings, art works, museums, conservations etc.
Does KCHR provide funds to purchase equipments?
Yes. Provided you justify the requirement logically and scientifically and the experts who scrutinize the proposal accept the spending of precious public funds as worthy expenditure.
You should also have solutions or suggestions regarding the disposal/reuse of the equipment after the completion of your proposal – like offering it to a needy public institution like a village library, or school on a secondhand price, or identifying other responsible options. Once the expenses and related solutions are approved you will have to execute a bond with the KCHR.