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Guidelines for Research Proposals

As one of the key methods to achieve the above-mentioned objectives, the Foundation invites research proposals from interested individuals and capable organisations. The Foundation funds the cost of the approved research proposals after evaluating the scope of the research study. This document sets out the guidelines and rules for the submission of the research proposals and implementation of the approved research proposals funded by ICAI ARF.

(1) The Eligibility Criteria


  1. The applicant must be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India with a research aptitude having at least 10 years post-qualification experience either in the practice of the profession or as an employee with a reputed manufacturing/service organisation; or
  2. The applicant must be holding a post-graduate degree from a recognized University and must have at least 10 years research and/or teaching experience; or
  3. A reader/associate professor of a recognised university or an institute of national repute.
  4. A research scholar who is pursuing a PhD or other curriculum of a recognized University/ Institute of a high repute.

Applications from persons having an experience less than as stated above might also be considered on the basis of merit.

National/state level reputed research institutes/organizations, which are either actively engaged in research or promote education/research in the areas of accounting, auditing, finance, economics, information technology, taxation, trade law services and allied areas etc. may apply for the research project.

(2) Eligible Research Projects
Projects will be supported to the extent that they are strategic in nature, have a strong research dimension, inter alia, by involving qualified research scholars, associations and institutions. The ICAI ARF has identified certain research projects, which are given below:

  • Management Control Systems
  • Internal Audit Practices of MNCs & Indian Corporate Entities
  • Global Financial Reporting Practices
  • Harmonization of Accounting Standards
  • Employees Stock Options V/s Cash Awards
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Environmental Audit
  • Energy Audit
  • Systems Audit
  • Human Resource Audit
  • Forensic Audit
  • Accounting Control Systems and Accounting Frauds
  • Conversion of Stock Exchanges into Corporate Entities
  • Mutual Funds
  • Management of Treasury Business
  • Intellectual Capital or Knowledge Management Audit
  • Accounting hazards in E Commerce/Business
  • Capital Budgeting Practices in Global Organizations
  • Value Chain Analysis
  • Activity Based Costing
  • Dividend Practices
  • Goods & Service Tax
  • Inflation and Growth
  • Insurance and pension
  • MPLADs (Member of Parliament local area development scheme)

The above list does not indicate that an impending applicant must propose for the projects included in the list given above. Applicants may apply for other projects also provided that the subject selected is contemporary and relevant in the current environment.

(3) Duration
The duration of research project should not exceed 18 months from the date the project proposal is approved by ICAI ARF unless a longer period is otherwise justified.

(4) Costs to be taken into Consideration for Grant
ICAI ARF would provide the grant for eligible costs only. The eligible costs are those costs:

(i) which are necessary for carrying out the research as proposed by the applicant and approved by ICAI ARF, and should comply with the principles of sound financial management, in particular value for money and cost-effectiveness; and

(ii) which have actually been incurred by the researchers during the implementing period for the research.
Subject to the above-mentioned conditions, eligible costs include:

  1. the cost of staff assigned to the research, corresponding to actual salaries and other remuneration-related costs; salaries and costs must not exceed those normally borne by the researcher, as the case may be;
  2. travel and subsistence costs for staff taking part in the research, provided they do not exceed those normally borne by researcher, as the case may be
  3. costs arising directly from the requirements of the assignment (dissemination of information, evaluation specific to the action, audit, translation, printing, etc.).

It is necessary that the applicant submits a budget for the costs to be incurred for the research project. The budget need not give the actual or the most accurate figures but must be near to the actual expenditure likely to be incurred. It may be noted that ICAI ARF would examine the budget in detail before the proposal is approved. If the checking of budget reveals certain issues/questions, an applicant may be asked to provide the response before the proposal is approved. The sanction of the budgeted amount would be at the sole discretion of ICAI ARF and it reserves the right to reduce the proposed budget.

(5) Copyright, Patent, etc.
Any copyright or intellectual property right or patent, etc. arising out of the research work done would vest with ICAI ARF. The ICAI ARF would, however, duly acknowledge the researcher.

(6) Monitoring
The ICAI ARF would monitor the implementation and progress of the research projects approved under this project facility. The applicant (researcher) may, at any point of time during the project, be requested to provide the details the work done/remaining, the draft of the project/publication, etc, so that ICAI ARF may evaluate the implementation and progress. If ICAI ARF feels that the project is not being carried out as mentioned in the research proposal or the progress made by the researcher is not satisfactory, the ICAI ARF may consider withdrawal of the project from the researcher. In such a case, the work already completed would be the property of ICAI ARF.

(7) The expected outputs of the projects include

  • Research Paper/Publication
  • Dissemination of best practices and launching/implementation of the results, policy-oriented seminars, workshops and exchanges.
  • Capacity building of the members of the profession and of the targeted beneficiaries as may be agreed in the project.

(8) How to Apply

The applicants should complete the application form available at www.icaiarf.org. Only complete applications submitted in the prescribed format shall be considered by ICAI ARF. Submitting an incomplete or illegible application will delay its processing and may lead to its not being considered. Giving false information shall affect the candidacy negatively. If the applicant is admitted to the research programme on the basis of false information furnished, it will lead to expulsion from the research programme. Application should be submitted to ICAI ARF, C/o The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, ICAI Bhawan, Post Box No. 7100, ICAI Bhawan, Indraprastha Marg, New Delhi – 110 002. Alternatively, the application may be sent by e-mail at arf@icai.in.

Applicants are free to use extra sheets wherever required to give the complete information.

Research Chair

As one of the many initiatives, the Board of ICAI – ARF has decided to institute research chairs on the topics of high relevance, for example, Accounting and Accountability in Government, Corporate Governance, Financial Reporting, Corporate Social Reporting, Environmental Accounting, Audit Committees etc. The scope and horizon might vary depending upon the need and relevance of specific industry or the sector of the economy. To begin with, ICAI –ARF has decided to set up three chairs.

Infosys Fellowship Research Programme

The Foundation has got itself approved from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha Vishwa Vidyalaya, New Delhi to enrol Research Fellows in accordance with the rules and regulations of the University in this regard. The Fellows will conduct research in the above mentioned fields (accounting, auditing, etc.) and would be awarded a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) by the University. ICAI ARF has entered into an agreement with M/s. Infosys Technologies Limited whereby M/s. Infosys Technologies shall provide financial assistance by way of fellowships to the deserving candidates pursuing research activities.


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