The awards named OPERA awards (for “Outstanding Potential for Excellence in Research and Academics”) are to facilitate and incentivize new faculty to join BITS and excel in research and teaching.
The award is in the form of a “joining bonus” paid over 5 years, plus funds to kick-start their R&D and professional development. The award will help compensate new faculty (or provide R&D funds) at par with the best institutions in India.
The award carries a grant of Rs. 3 Lakhs per year for 5 years, subject to a performance review at the end of 2 years. The award is given to facilitate and incentivize new faculty to excel in research and teaching.
The amount will be revised upwards to Rs. 3.60 Lakhs pa from April 1, 2016 and to Rs. 4.20 Lakhs per annum from April 1, 2019. The award may be renewed for one or more years, but only as an exception.
From the grant, the faculty may (at his/her option) take home up to Rs. 15,000 pm as honorarium, and use the balance for any academic purpose that helps him/her to initiate research and grow professionally (including support to research students/staff, undertake domestic or international travel to attend a conference, or procure equipment, supplies or books, etc.). The limit on honorarium will grow to Rs. 18,000 pm from April 1, 2016 and to Rs. 21,000 pm from April 1, 2019.
To be considered for the award, (a) he/she should be one who is being considered for appointment as Assistant, Associate or full Professor or one who joined BITS on/after Aug 2011, and (b) he/she has the potential to excel as a teacher and researcher.
Preference will be given to faculty in those disciplines where BITS has a challenge in inducting or retaining faculty. (Presently, this includes engineering, mathematics, management, humanities, and economics and finance).
To be considered for the award, a faculty member should have a PhD from an institution of high repute and has the potential to excel in research (as evidenced by publications in journals of international repute), and in teaching (as evidenced by contribution to curriculum/lab development and student feedback in courses, where applicable). A faculty member who joined on/after Aug 2011, should have been consistently assessed as “exceeds expectation” in teaching and research in the last 2 years spent at BITS.
A Selection Committee consisting of (a) Vice Chancellor (or his/her nominee) as Chairman, (b) one or more experts from outside BITS nominated by Vice Chancellor, (c) one or more campus Directors, and (d) Dean, Faculty Affairs will decide on the awards. In case such an award has been established from donation, it would be necessary to obtain the donor’s concurrence on the awardees.
- While there will be no change in his/her responsibilities, it is expected that he/she will make special effort to excel in teaching and research.
- Normally the awards will be decided at the time faculty is selected with a view to attract and incentivize faculty to join BITS.