Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions
1. What fields of research can I do my PhD or IntPhD research in?
See the webpages for research in biology at DBS and NCBS. Students are allowed to join the laboratory of their choice after doing lab rotations during the first semester. Typically, no laboratory requires prior background in that particular field of research; strong interest and commitment are the only necessary factors. Background is acquired within a few months of joining your laboratory of interest. It is not unusual for students with background in *any* branch of Biology, Physics, or Chemistry, or even Medical, Dentistry, or Veterinary backgrounds, to join a laboratory in a completely different area. These students do very well. We encourage students to follow their interests, rather than consider themselves restricted because of their backgrounds.
2. I’d like to know about the written test. What is the syllabus? What is the Interview like?
The Biology PhD/IntPhD test is usually held on the second Sunday of December each year, at centers all over India. Details of how to apply for a Hall ticket will be available on our website www.ncbs.res.in or http://univ.tifr.res.in/gs2017/index.html
The test consists of multiple choice questions covering *basics only* in physics, chemistry, maths, biology. There is no guide book and no syllabus. No special knowledge or preparation is required. Revise your basics, that is all.
The Interview will be based on whatever area you are most interested and most comfortable in.
3. Are MBBS/ BVSc/ BPharma/BDS degrees eligible for the PhD/IntPhD programme?
Bachelors degrees in Professional courses are eligible for our Biology PhD programme, both at DBS (Mumbai) and NCBS (Bangalore). Students with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply, and do very well in our programme. Biology is an increasingly flexible field, where people switch areas even after their PhD, choosing to pursue post-doctoral research in completely different areas of Biology. Background is not a constraining factor in Biological Research.
4. I am a Chemistry (or Physics) MSc/BSc. I want to do PhD/IntPhD in Biology. Should I appear for both the written tests, Chemistry (or Physics) as well as Biology? I am worried that I will not do well in the Biology test.
You can sit for *either* or *both* of the tests, and we will use your best score.The Biology test has 4 sections on *basics* of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Maths. This is designed so that people from various disciplines can be selected according to their strengths. you will have to apply for two hall tickets and send two separate DDs (one with each application) if you appear for two exams. On the other hand you can appear for the Chemistry/Physics exam and indicate your interest on your answer sheet in being considered for the biology programme.
5. Can I think of the IntPhd programme as an MSc programme (ie plan to submit an MSc and leave in 3 years?)
The Integrated PhD programme is designed for students who already have a strong interest in research and wish to complete a PhD. Only students with a commitment to research are selected for this programme.They are expected to complete a PhD. The M.Sc degree is awarded together with the PhD at end of the Int.PhD programme. Hence leaving with an M.Sc, after 3 years is not feasible.
Students who are interested in applying to our PhD or IntPhD programmess are welcome to email any of our current students via our web page, and ask what you need to know.
If you email faculty members directly, you may not get a reply if the information you need is already contained in our website! This is not because we are not interested in talking to you, but because we get thousands of applications, and it is not possible to answer individually questions that are already answered here.
6. Are Electronic & Computer Science B.Techs eligible for Integ. Ph. D program? Or this program is intended for B.Tech Biotechnology students?
We look for candidates with diverse backgrounds in science or engineering for our PhD program. Computer Science graduates are encouraged to apply.
7. Is the research mainly focused on Biological problems only or is there any technological aspects involved for which we need to know the basics of Biology?
PhD students with backgrounds in non-biology fields are encouraged to maintain expertise in their primary areas of training. We provide coursework in biology for such students, to initiate them into the landscape of biology. There are many examples of students who have done interdisciplinary projects linking physics/math/CS/Engg topics to their work. However, of course we expect the topic of research to have relevance to a problem in biology.
8. Will an average non-Biology grad be able to match the core Biological students in terms of course work?
There are many examples of students without college-level training in biology who have been able to handle our coursework requirements.