Rajiv Gandhi Centre For Biotechnology Ph.D. Admission

An Autonomous National Institute, Government of India
Department of Biotechnology, Ministry for Science & Technology


Last date for receipt of application  : 05.06.2009

Intimation of interview call (by e-mail)  :10.06.2009

Date of Selection Interview   : 01.07.2009 & 02.07.2009 (to be confirmed)

Why a Ph.D. from RGCB?

RGCB prepares individuals who have a deep and genuine interest in discovery science to shape the translation of biotechnology through academic research towards applications for a knowledge economy, business development and science of tomorrow. Previous RGCB PhD's have all done impressive work and received excellent placements ( see list of PhDs passed out from RGCB ). Guided by an expert faculty and a host of innovative academic programs, the RGCB PhD program is made even richer by its place in Thiruvananthapuram, capital of "Gods own country".

Admission procedure

Applications are invited twice a year (normally in November and June) and advertised in all national newspapers and on the RGCB website. Vacancies that are available in different laboratories and interdisciplinary programs will be put up on the website.

Minimum Eligibility for Candidates

  1. Postgraduation in Life Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Agriculture, Veterinary Sciences and medicine graduates.
  2. Applicants must have a consistently first class academic track record (no less than 60% aggregates) and a valid research fellowship from UGC, CSIR, ICMR and DBT (Category A only). Candidates with other fellowships are advised to contact the Dean to confirm eligibility.
  3. Candidates awaiting final exam results can also apply. However only those candidates with a valid pass certificate will be allowed to appear for the selection interview.
  4. Candidates without valid fellowships need not apply
  5. However candidates with MBBS, MD, MTech, MVSc. MPharm and MSc (Agriculture) can apply even though they do not have a research fellowship. if selected, they will be supported by institute fellowships. They will be encouraged to obtain a suitable fellowship after joining.

Selection Procedure

  1. Short-listed students will be invited to RGCB for a selection interview. No TA or DA will be paid for attending the interview. Candidates will be ranked at the selection interview on a total mark of 100. Candidates will be evaluated in their subject of specialization, knowledge of research methodology, instrumentation and laboratory calculations, overall knowledge in applications of biotechnology, general research aptitude and ability to comprehend & solve research questions as well as presentation & communication skills
  2. Each selection committee member makes his or her own evaluation. The average of all such evaluation sheets will be consolidated and a rank list prepared by the office of the Director. Only students scoring over 70% will be offered admission to RGCB's PhD program irrespective of the number of vacancies and number of applicants.

Orientation Courses and Training Schedules

  1. All students selected for the RGCB PhD program will have to undergo a mandatory orientation and training program for 3 months from February to April 2009. This will include courses and training in Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), Radiation and Biological safety, current developments in Molecular Medicine and Disease Biology as well as Plant Biotechnology. The training schedule will also include sessions in theory and handling of laboratory instrumentation.
  2. Candidates will be assessed at the end of the orientation courses and certificates issued to successful candidates.

Rotation in laboratories

  1. Laboratory rotations are required for exposure to opportunities at RGCB and to give the student an idea of ongoing programs in the laboratories before making a commitment for PhD dissertation work. This also facilitates personal interaction between the candidates and prospective mentors.
  2. Students are to spend one week in all labs that have vacancies. This allows for evaluation by both the student and the mentor. Candidates and advisers give in their respective choices to the Office of the Director, where the choices will be processed and the final allotment made.
  3. Orientation courses and lab rotations run in parallel. Course work will be from 10 am to 12.30 pm and rotations in the afternoons.

Activation of Research Fellowship and PhD registration with University of Kerala

  1. Students who successfully pass the course work and obtain the certificates will only be eligible for activation of research fellowships and PhD registration currently with the University of Kerala.
  2. Once the students are allotted to the respective laboratory, procedures for constitution of the Mentoring Committee and its first meeting will be initiated.
  3. The student will have to present a PhD dissertation proposal to the and get approval to submit application to the University of Kerala before the prescribed deadline.
  4. Students are expected to submit the thesis before completion of the fellowship tenure of 4 years. Extension beyond this time will be given after recommendation from the MC.
  5. Students not completing their PhD within four years (or an additional 6 month extension if approved by MC) will also lose the right to continue staying in institute accommodation.

Constitution and Functioning of Mentoring Committees (MC)

  1. Each PhD student has to establish a Mentoring Committee (MC) to provide timely and continued advice. The MC helps to set logical goals for the completion of the dissertation and monitors progress toward completion of degree requirements.
  2. RGCB has set forth specific and stringent guidelines to ensure that every student obtains maximal benefit from this system.
  3. The student's MC is formed in consultation with the student and the student's dissertation advisor. The committee will have three members in addition to the dissertation advisor, who will be the coordinator. One of the members can be from other institutes. The Director will approve the constitution of MC. Each student bears primary responsibility for setting up the MC and ensuring that it meets in a timely fashion.
  4. The MC will meet once in 6 months every year till submission of dissertation.
  5. At the first meeting of the MC, the student will be asked in detail of his and her interests and goals. A discussion will be initiated as to possible topics that could be given as the PhD dissertation problem. The student then has to come back at a second MC meeting as soon as possible with a proposal prepared in the DBT project format, with a power point presentation. If the committee approves the proposal, the student may proceed to submit the application to the University of Kerala. If the proposal is not acceptable to the committee, the student will be only able to submit it at the next PhD session of the University
  6. The coordinator of the MC will file reports of the committee meeting in the prescribed format. The report signed by all committee members immediately upon conclusion of the meeting will be submitted to the Director. A copy of the report will be also given to the student. All reports will be kept in a student file maintained by the RGCB Projects Management Division, which will be made available to the MC at its last meeting before submission of the dissertation.
  7. Students will be allowed to submit yearly reports to their fellowship funding agencies, assessment for up gradation to SRF, etc only if approved by the MC.
  8. The student will be allowed to submit the dissertation to the University of Kerala only if approved by the MC at its last meeting. Hence at this meeting, the student will make a final pre-submission presentation. Students must have at least one published peer reviewed paper by this time.
  9. The dissertation must show original treatment of a fitting subject, contain a scholarly review of the pertinent literature, give evidence of independent research, and be clearly, logically, and carefully written.
  10. The PhD dissertation is expected to contain a substantial amount of independent research work of publishable quality. In addition to chapters of research, each dissertation must contain introduction and conclusion chapters that present the themes of the dissertation and summarize the accomplishments. In some cases the student may have done all of the work in the dissertation while often portions of the dissertation result from collaborative research. In all dissertations containing collaborative results, the dissertation should indicate concisely the individual contributors to the work.
PhD Application Form