PhD Admissions at IISC Bangalore - Frequently Asked Questions
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PhD Admissions at IISC Bangalore – Frequently Asked Questions

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is located in Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka state of India and was established in 1909.

The Institute which began with only two departments – Chemistry and Electrical Technology – today has more than 40 offices spread across over six primary divisions: (i) Biological Sciences, (ii) Chemical Sciences, (iii) Electrical Sciences, (iv) Interdisciplinary Research, (v) Mechanical Sciences, and (vi) Physical and Mathematical Sciences. It additionally has a brand new campus at Challekere in Chitradurga district in Karnataka. The institution has an undergraduate program, masters and PhD programs. Final Year students of graduation will carry out their own research-oriented projects for a period of six months that add credits to the grade point.

In connection with PhD programs, research scholars make up more than 70% for the whole student body at IIS. IISc Biological Sciences Research wing is comprised of :

  • Biochemistry (BC)
  • Central Animal Facility (CAF)
  • Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES)
  • Centre for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR)
  • Centre for Neuroscience (CNS)
  • Microbiology and Cell Biology (MCB)
  • Molecular Biophysics Unit (MBU)
  • Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics (MRDG)

There are also individual centers for brain research, genomics; scientific and industrial consultancy, and sponsored schemes and projects.

The research programmes further divided into

(i) Research programme – Doctoral (PhD) and Master’s (M Tech)
(ii) Integrated Ph D programme in Biological, Chemical, Mathematical and Physical Sciences disciplines.
(iii) PhD External Registration programme (ERP)

The program comprises of adaptable coursework, a temporary job composed of lab preparing (helps in unravelling the possibility to secure fundamental trials and recognition with cutting-edge systems for research), an exploration task to show the fulfillment of a high level of logical capacity pursued by innovative look into prompting a Ph D theory on a particular point.

Candidates seeking admission to the Ph.D. Program in the Indian Institute of Sciences shall have to satisfy certain eligibility criteria as discussed below:

  • Who all are expected to submit a NOC (No Objection Certificate)?

Those who are registering under PhD External Registration programme (ERP)- have to submit the NOC from the institution where they have committed academically.

The PhD ERP on the Institute affords possibilities to

(a) individuals employed in Research & Development Sector (Institutions and or Industries)

(b) Young teachers of all Engineering colleges/Universities including Agricultural, Pharmaceutical, Veterinary, Medical schools,/Universities recognized by suitable authorities organizations to pursue studies ranges in technology / Engineering.


  • What subjects will I be tested in the PhD Entrance Exam and what will be the difficulty level?

IISc is conducting an entrance test for Integrated PhD Programme-called Joint   Admission Test (JAM) -for Lifesciences either Biotechnology (BT) or  Biological Sciences (BL) have to be selected.

The difficulty level of the entrance test is actually based on the syllabi:

Importance of IIT JAM For B.sc Biotech, B.tech Biotech Candidates

Questions are as similar GATE pattern and fundamental concept understanding is the basic requirement in terms of physics, chemistry, mathematics, biochemistry, Microbiology, cell biology, and Immunology.

For each test paper in JAM, an All India Rank (AIR) will be allocated to all the appeared students dependent on the score.

For each test paper, an All India Merit candidates list will be prepared and published. This is based on two criteria (i) no of seats (ii) Score to prepare the merit candidate list in each community class. These competitors (from this time forward called Qualified Candidates) are qualified to apply for admission to any of the comparing scholarly projects accessible at IISc.

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For Regular research programmes candidates will be shortlisted based on their academic performance including the qualifying examinations like GATE/ CSIR-UGC NET for JRF/UGC NET for JRF/ DBT JRF/ICMR JRF/ JEST/ NBHM or any other National Entrance Test (if qualified).

The shortlisted eligible candidates will be called for an interview and the final selection is based on the performance of the candidate in the interview.


  • I have completed M. Phil. Will I be exempted from the Entrance Test?

No Only those who are qualified in exams like GATE/ CSIR-UGC NET for JRF/UGC NET for JRF/ DBT JRF/ICMR JRF/ JAM/JEST/ NBHM or any other National Entrance Test will be eligible to apply for PhD programme in IISc.


  • How is a research topic decided?

Applicants have to choose their preliminary research area based on the research interest or final year dissertation work according to the departments and centers in IISc and that options vary according to the research programme selected.

(i) Research programmes are allowed to indicate preferences for a maximum

of 3 departments/ centers/units in one application. For example, if your research interest lies on Heat Shock proteins you can choose departments Microbiology and Cell Biology (MCB) and Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics (MRDG) and Genomics center.

(ii) PhD (Integrated) programmes are allowed to indicate preferences for a  maximum of 2 disciplines.

(iii) External Registration programmes have only one option.


  • Hostel facility is Provided?

Yes,  Hostel facility is available, once you submit the application for PhD programme, have to apply separately for hostel accommodation as mentioned below. You should remember the Hostel application number or academic application number in order to continue or to make payment for previously filled application data.

Remember to keep the following items handy before starting to fill the application:

a. Academic application number (to continue application and make payment)
b. Hostel application number (to continue application and make payment)
c. An electronic copy of your photograph in .jpg format
d. Challan number and payment detail.

Online application for HOSTEL ACCOMMODATION at IISc may be an easy method. Confirmation of acceptance of the appliance is informed on-line when receiving payment acknowledgment from the bank.


  • What is the procedure of deciding a Guide or a Co-Guide?

Following criteria is pertinent for Full Time /Integrated PhD and IISc research supervisor for ERP research programmes.

The allocation of each student is based on the following conditions :

a) The research inclination and the preferred topic in IISC

b)The requirement of the department to maintain the equal dispersion of students among Research Supervisors

c)Students choose the topic of research based on the guidance of the research supervisor.

Research Supervisors for ERP Research Program: The selected students work under the supervision of no less than one research director from the Institute and one from the supporting association.


  • How many Guides One can work with if Selected?

A student can work with only one guide during his tenure.


  • I need to approach the potential supervisor myself?

Yes, you can approach the supervisor before submitting the official application for IISc. According to the research interests, you can find your own guide and approach them through the mail by requesting the availability of PhD positions there.

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Once you get approval from the respective Professor you can select the Department or center mentioned by the Professor in an ONLINE application form. This will help you in choosing your own guide based on your research interest.


  • Any criteria for Exemption from the Coursework?

There won’t be an exemption from coursework for Full time or Regular PhD

A student should enlist for a set of courses which will comprise the Research Training Program (RTP), as exhorted by the Research Supervisor(s), with the endorsement of the Departmental Curriculum Committee (DCC). These are named RTP courses.

A student can drop courses with the endorsement of the Research Supervisor(s). However, even in such cases, the time mentioned ( PhD candidates need to finish their RTP in one year and a half year., i.e., the individuals who join the PhD program specifically after a BE/B Tech degree, can take at most two years to finish their RTP.) Any postponement must be affirmed by SCC (Senate Curriculum Committee).

Integrated PhD Students can get an exemption from Core course rather coursework.

Within 15 days of registering for a core course, a student may apply to the coordinator of the Integrated PhD Program seeking exemption from it on the basis of his/her prior background. This option is available to all students except for those in the Division of Chemical Sciences. The student will be given a written examination, in accordance with the schedule indicated below, based on the approval of the coordinator.

An exemption is granted if the student secures a ‘B’ or a higher grade in this examination. The student will be given the same grade in the course like the one obtained in the written examination, the credits will count towards the degree requirements, and they will be used for the computation of the TGPA/CGPA. If an exemption is not granted, the student should continue to attend classes as a regular student. An exemption is permitted for up to a maximum of 6 credits during the entire period of studentship.


  • Is a transfer to/ from another University possible during the course of PhD program?

Full Time/Integrated PhD– Not applicable

ERP Research Programme– Applicable, If the candidate changes the place of work or leaves the organization, the registration will be canceled, irrespective of the stage of research work (except in cases where the thesis
has already been submitted).

If the research supervisor from the organization leaves the organization or changes the place of work, the candidate should apply to the SCRC for a change of guide along with a CV of the proposed organization guide and permission letter from the Organization.


  • Publishing a research paper before submitting the thesis for award of PhD degree is mandatory?

  1. Not mandatory according to the norms for PhD, the thesis can be published or copyrighted.
  2. For the award of PhD degree, with the prior approval of the Council, the Senate shall lay down from time to time:
  3. the requirements before submission of the thesis,
  4. the procedure for assessment and evaluation of the thesis by thesis examiners,
  5. the procedures for the conduct of the oral examination,
  6. the guidelines for consolidating the reports for consideration of the Senate
  7. conditions and procedures of evaluation for revised and resubmitted thesis,
  8. including the guidelines for consolidating the reports on the re-submitted thesis.

  • Am I expected to teach while pursuing PhD at this Institute/University?

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Regular PhDs – Not mandatory

Registration by Full-Time Staff Members of the Institute -would be engaged in teaching.

M.Tech (Research students) have to teach for 8 to 10 hours (per week) as assigned by the Institute.


  • Will I be selected for the written test/interview if I meet the eligibility criteria?

Yes, that would be decided by the number of students applied and the overall rank you gained out of the pool for initial selection of interview. Based on the interview performance you have the opportunity to grab the admission.


  • How many seats are there for PhD admission this year?

Integrated PhD: Each year, the Institute admits 50 to 60  students (15-18 students in each branch of Sciences ( Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Physical Sciences and 12 to 15 in the Mathematical Sciences) under this program.

The Institute awards about 250 PhD and M Tech (Research) degrees, consistently.


  • What do I need to do other than filling up the online form?

Once the online form is submitted you will be getting the PDF of your application, that you have to save and keep for your own records to check the status of your application.


  • Do I need to post a print out of the application form? Do I need to post a copy of my certificates, mark sheets, etc.?

Not required since the required documents (Mark sheets of 10th Std, 12th Std/Diploma, UG Degree and/or PG Degree, qualifying exams, photograph, signature copy, and community certificate) are already been submitted ONLINE.


  • I have done my M.Sc in botany, but I have a research project proposal in Microbiology, will I be eligible?

Yes, you can because interdisciplinary research areas are admissible, for example, if the project is on plant-microbe interaction, Microbiology of nodule formation or even plant pathogens that better complements your research as well as core coursework.

Moreover, any interdisciplinary work is eligible to apply if you meet other eligibility criteria for PhD admission.

Indian Institute of Sciences is one of the cultures of excellence in terms of research quality, in terms of output and in terms of commitment in the perspective of doing real science for the betterment of society with environmental sensitivity. The institution provides opportunities for the research students to explore, discuss and develop their hypothesis, ideas into research discoveries and IISc is awarding 250 young scientists every year. Students who get admission would be externally competitive and excel in academics and career.

About the Author
The above list of facts about PhD Admissions at IISC has been compiled by one of our most efficient faculty at Biotecnika, Vijayalakshmi Pandian. Being a University Gold Medalist in Microbiology and with decades of teaching experience, she posses an immense plethora of knowledge pertaining to Biotech PhD Entrance Exams & Procedures. More such useful content will be penned down by her in future too.

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