FAQs - Postdoctoral Fellows Association

What is the pay for a postdoctoral fellow?

Pay varies according to the type of fellowship or grant that you hold, or your PI has put you on. Currently, at the very least it is Rs 24,000 + 30% HRA, per month (if you live off-campus). If you obtain an independently funded fellowship (visit our Research and Development Office - RDO page for opportunities), pay can be much higher. Postdoc income is taxable and usually, it is not inflation-adjusted.

Do I have to secure independent funding before joining?

Typically, you do not. Currently postdocs are provided a bridging appointment, till they get their own funding. You could also be in your PI’s grant for the interim or long term. It is important to discuss this with your PI at the time of interviewing at NCBS.

What funding opportunities exist for postdocs?

There are internal and external opportunities for funding, which are competitive. The RDO website maintains a list of Fellowships and grants that junior researchers can apply for. The RDO office is also able to advice on what would be suitable based on your research and CV. Visit the RDO page for more information.

How are postdocs evaluated?

Depending on your funding, you will be required to submit documentation regarding your progress and your contract term will vary. However, regardless of funding, you will have to present your work annually, at the annual work seminar (AWS). This happens every Monday and you will be notified of your turn in advance.

Where can I stay?

There are two options: 1) a studio apartment or hostel room in Mandara, the student’s hostel or 2) off-campus. There are advantages and disadvantages. Mandara is located in another neighbourhood (Yelahanka) from the campus. It is 20 min ride away. If you don’t drive or own a vehicle, staying at Mandara puts you at the mercy of the shuttle that goes back and forth (shuttle timings). Outside Mandara, there are plenty of shops within walking distance for groceries and mundane items. Please be cautioned that the number of studio apartments is severely limited at Mandara.

The neighbourhood around campus is well developed. The key localities are called Sahakara Nagar and Canara Bank Layout. These are within walking distance. The shuttle bus makes a few stops along its route in Sahakar Nagar.

To locate a suitable place, contact the administrative office for assistance (like names of real estate agents, temporary stay at guest house, and eventually support with the deposit). Real estate agents typically charge one months’ rent as their fee. The deposit is typically 10 months’ rent. It is advisable NOT to commit to a residence till you have seen it.

When you first arrive, it would be possible to get guest house accommodation on campus. However, the duration of stay and reservation would have to be done with sufficient prior notice, as these rooms are in great demand.

What are the living expenses like?

Accommodation: A one bedroom apartment in Sahakarnagar is in the range of Rs 8,000 – 10,000/ month. A two bedroom can be from Rs 12,000 – 15,000/ month. Apartments usually have a maintenance fee component that landlords do not advertise. Be prepared to pay Rs 1500 – 2000/ month as maintenance. Also, many landlords require 10 months deposit as part of the rental agreement. The institute can assist with the deposit on a case by case basis. Electricity, internet and cable together are around Rs 1000/ month.

Eating on campus is subsidized, and on average it would be about Rs 75/ day.

Groceries for two will be in the range of Rs 700 – 1000/ week.

Eating out in the campus neighbourhood is inexpensive. For two, expect the bill to be between Rs 300 – 500.

I don’t drive. How do I get around?

The campus is serviced regularly by two shuttle buses: one to Mandara Hostel, and the other to IISc, Malleshwaram. These are complimentary services (shuttle timings). From GKVK main gate, frequent public buses connect the campus with the city and the International Airport (most convenient are the G- and BIAS- buses). The main gate is about 3kms from the campus. Autos are popular for short distances but our campus is not located in a convenient location for them, so they will hesitate to drive you here or ask for extra money. Sahakara Nagar is well connected with public transport. Most people take the shuttle bus to Mekhri circle and then take public transport into town.

Sahakara Nagar is a middle class neighbourhood, with lots of shops and restaurants that are about 1km from the campus.

Cabs may be booked through the front desk (reception), but require sufficient prior notice.

What are the work timings?

There are no fixed timings; as a postdoc you are expected to plan your work according to your science. At present, there is no contract for a postdoc, thus terms of reference regarding leave and working hours are not set. If you require special accommodation with regard to time, please speak with your PI at the time of interview.

Will my children have access to day care?

YES. There is a day care facility on campus called Dolna. They admit children from 4 months of age onwards; a strict upper limit for admission does not exist. Dolna has teachers as well as care-givers to take care of most of the needs of the kids. Dolna is managed by a committee that includes PIs and administrative staff. It is a well structured crèche and is open from 8.30am to 6.30pm on weekdays. On Saturdays, the crèche functions from 9.00am to 4.30pm. For more information on the crèche: Dolna.

I am not an Indian national. What immigration rules should I be aware of?

Non-Indians need a visa to be able to work and stay for longer periods in India. Most common and practical visa class, is a research visa (valid for a year, with multiple entries to the country). Another possibility is a work visa, but this requires a yearly salary >25k USD. One has to apply for the right visa before entering the country. DO NOT come with a tourist visa and try to change the status in India.

After arrival in Bangalore, one has to register at the FRRO (Foreign Regional Registration Office). But no worries, the administrative office helps with all the formalities.

Do I get health insurance?

Regardless of your position (on your own grant/ bridging appointment) on campus, you will receive health insurance. The premium for this is automatically deducted from your pay. You will have to inquire with administration as to the details. There is a doctor available (general practitioner) on campus, M – F, during working hours. An appointment is not necessary, but recommended. Your family members and you can avail the services of the on-campus doctor.

Are there extra-curricular activities?

The campus, at any given time, is host to either a scientific activity (symposia, conference, courses) and non-science activities like volleyball, football etc. We have a fully equipped gym and swimming pool. Sign ups for various competitions go out regularly. We are located on one edge of the sprawling University of Agricultural, GKVK campus, and thus have access to plenty of green space for walking and running. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy the campus.

I am going to join as a postdoc – what documents should I have?

There are certain administrative processes that are followed to join officially as a postdoc.


- Copies of your undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD degree certificates.
- Four passport photograph
- One stamp size photograph

A medical check-up is mandatory. Please visit the medical officer on campus; you will receive a list of tests that have to be undertaken. These are normally carried out at a diagnostic centre that services campus (currently Shah's Diagnostic Centre in Mathikere) and thus, you don’t have to pay for it. Take a letter from admin saying that the institute will be paying for this. Be aware that the reports are picked up the medical officer’s team. Once the report has arrived, meet the doctor and collect a letter stating that you are medically fit. This will have to be submitted to admin.