The Institute for Intensive Research in Basic Science of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, now offers an integrated Ph.D. programme in cutting-edge areas.

The Institute for Intensive Research in Basic Science, started by Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, in 2009, is in its formative years. Now it is taking more strident steps, starting an integrated Ph.D. programme, probably by mid-October, to take forward the effort of delivering quality education even while retaining its interdisciplinary character. The institute already has a five-year integrated, interdisciplinary MS programme.

I. Ibnusaud, Director of the institute, says the primary aim of the five-year programme is to identify talented and dedicated graduates with a keen sense of scientific enquiry and to motivate them to pursue high-priority research in the frontier areas of science.

The programme, the first such by a university in Kerala, is being introduced in a way similar to such programmes at institutions of national repute such as the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Dr. Ibnusaud says.

The course is expected to help spread high-priority research using regional resources in cutting-edge areas. The emphasis will be on offering interdisciplinary research within biological, physical, chemical and mathematical sciences. Since the institute is in its formative years, certain interdisciplinary areas will be given priority.

The programme will consist of a flexible course work and an internship-type laboratory training giving ample opportunities for the students to acquire basic experimental skills and familiarity with advanced techniques for research and research projects to demonstrate attainment of a high degree of scientific ability followed by advanced research on a specific topic leading to a Ph.D.

“The students entering the programme are expected to save a year or two, on an average, unlike those who go for the two-year Master’s course and then embark on a Ph.D. programme. Course work and research are complementary in the envisaged programme, and candidates are expected to complete both in five years,” Dr. Ibnusaud says.

Just eight seats

Eight students will be admitted to the programme for the present. Those with a degree in Chemistry, Physics, Biology or Mathematics may apply. Or those who have a BE, B.Tech., B.Pharm., medical or paramedical degree or a science-based degree, including in Agricultural Sciences, with minimum 60 per cent marks, may apply. The candidate should have studied Mathematics either in Plus Two or at the degree level. Those in the final year of the qualifying course and awaiting results may apply, but they should be qualified at the time of admissions. The deadline for submission of applications is September 17. The selection procedure consists of a thematic objective-cum-comprehensive test followed by a final selection camp, lasting nearly a week, to test aptitude for scientific research and experimental skills.

Fellowships will be provided to the students for five years. While the sum will be Rs. 6,000 a month for the first two years, Rs. 10,000 will be paid every month from then on, equivalent to fellowship provided by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and the University Grants Commission for research.

In addition to the course requirements, the students will be required to make scientific contributions in at least three national-level conferences, one preferably an international conference, related to their research work. The students will be allowed to present their pre-synopsis seminar only after the acceptance or publication of at least one article in international journals of repute, preferably with an impact factor of not less than one.

Application forms can be downloaded from www.iirbsmgu.com or www.mgu.ac.in. The registration fee Rs. 600 (Rs. 300 for those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes). The fee can be paid by way of a demand draft drawn in favour of the Finance Officer, Mahatma Gandhi University, payable at Mahatma Gandhi University campus branch of the State Bank of Travancore (code no. 669).

Applications, along with the demand draft, will have to be mailed to the Director, Institute for Intensive Research in Basic Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Priyadarshini Hills P.O., Kottayam, Kerala, India – 686 650.