DBT-RA PROGRAM IN BIOTECHNOLOGY AND LIFE SCIENCES
Post-doctoral training is an important opportunity in career development of a researcher for refinement of skill set, gaining knowledge and learning of methods for independent scientific investigation. The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India has recognized the importance of Post-Doctoral training in career development and initiated DBT-Research Associateship Program in Biotechnology way back in 1999. The objective of DBT-RA Program is to train and nurture young researchers, scientists and generate critical mass of trained manpower in modern areas of biology and biotechnology and build a robust postdoctoral base for growth of Biotechnology sectors in the country.
The Government of India, Ministry of Science and Technology, established the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in the year 1986 to give a new impetus to the development of the field of modern biology and biotechnology in India. In the last several years of its existence, the Department has promoted and accelerated the pace of development of biotechnology in the country. Through several R & D projects, demonstrations and creation of infrastructural facilities, a clear visible impact of this field has been seen. The Department has made significant achievements in the growth and application of biotechnology in the broad areas of agriculture, health care, animal sciences, environment, and industry. The following are the mandates of the Department:
- Support R & D and manufacturing in Biological Products
- Identify and setup Centres of Excellence for R & D
- Promote large scale use of Biotechnology
- Integrated Program for Human Resource Development
- Establishment of Infrastructure
- Facilities to support R & D and production
- Serve as a nodal point for the collection and dissemination of information related to biotechnology
- Promote University and Industry Interaction
- Evolve Bio Safety Guidelines
- To serve as a Nodal Point for specific International Collaborations
- Manufacture and application of cell based vaccines
- Responsibility for Autonomous Institutions
1.Number of fellowships per year
~75 Fellowships would be awarded every year. Depending on the utility of the program, the number of fellowships to be awarded per year may be revised.
2.Mode of Selection
- Advertisements are released in National English News Papers, including from North East, in the months of February and August every year: Selection done twice per year.
- Online applications from eligible candidates are submitted.
- Screening of applications is done to short-list applicants for interviews and presentations.
- Short-listed applicants are called for interviews/presentations in Selection committee(s) in May & November. The Interviews are held at IISc, Bangalore.
- Selected applicants are sent offer letters in May/November.
- Date of Joining from July 1/January 1.
- Joining reports are received from candidates, who joined the program.
- Fellowships are released institution wise, with letters to candidates.
3.Renewal of Fellowships
- All RAs, who joined in January or July (January or July Batches), need to send their Progress Reports, UC/ES, and recommendation letters from Mentors, after completion of 1 year.
- Candidate moving from 1st year to 2nd year: Extension for 2nd year done by a committee based on copies of renewal documents.
- 2nd to 3rd year & 3rd to 4th year: Based on the Progress reports received from candidates & presentations in an evaluation committee.
- January batch renewal interview in the next January.
- July batch renewal interview in the month of next July.
- Selected RAs are sent renewal extension letters.
- Fellowships are released institute wise, with letters to candidates.
- The applicants should hold a Ph.D. degree in Science, Engineering or M.D./M.S. degree in any area of medicine with research interests in Biotechnology and Life Sciences and a good academic record.
- Those who have already submitted the Ph.D./M.D./M.S. thesis are also eligible to apply.
- The applicants should preferably be below the age of 40 years, and 45 years in case of women candidates.
- Persons already employed are also eligible to apply. However, their applications should be routed through their employers.
5.Annual Calendar of the Program:
- Call for applications in News Papers & on IISc & DBT Web sites: February & August, each year.
- Screening of applications: April & October, each year.
- Selection of applicants by personal interviews in May & November in Selection Committee Meetings.
- Issue of Award letters: May & November.
- Acceptance of award letters by candidates: Upto the candidates (Last date: June 15 & December 15).
- Activation of fellowships: January 1 & July 1.
- Review of Progress of RAs: July & January.
- Extension of fellowship: July & January.
6.Guideline Framed for Implementation of the DBT-RA Program
- The applicants should be an Indian citizen, NRI or OCI card holder.
- The candidate must have obtained PhD/MD/MS degree from a recognized university. Candidates, who have submitted their PhD/MD/MS thesis, but have not received the degree yet, are also eligible to apply.
- The candidates should preferably be below the age of 40 years, and 45 years in case of women candidates. Persons already employed are also eligible to apply. However, their applications should be routed through their employers.
- DBT-RA fellowship can be availed only ONCE by a candidate in his/her career.
- The fellowship is tenable only in India in any recognized academic institution, national laboratories and other recognized R & D institutions. The host institution must provide administrative and infrastructural support.
- Fellows are NOT allowed to work with their PhD guides/co-guides.
- The fellowships CANNOT be availed at the same institution where the candidates have earned their Ph.D./M.D./M.S. degree.
- A mentor CANNOT have more than 2 DBT-RA fellows at a time.
- A mentor must hold a REGULAR academic/research position in a recognized institution in India, and should hold PhD/MD/MS degree in science, engineering or medicine.
- Superannuated faculty (e.g., Honorary Professors, Emeritus Professors/Scientists, and DBT Distinguished Professors) could also mentor as long as they can demonstrate that resources and labs are available to them.
- Fellowships are awarded on a financial year basis.
- The Postdoctoral fellowship is a purely temporary assignment and is tenable for a period of 2 years only.
- However, in EXCEPTIONAL CASES, depending upon the progress of the research, the fellowship may be extended upto 4 years.
- Each fellow would be entitled to a stipend in the range of Rs. 47,000 – 54,000 per month and a research contingency grant of Rs. 50,000 per year, payable to the host institution.
- Candidates who are yet to be awarded the Ph.D./M.D./M.S degree but submitted the thesis, if selected, will be paid Rs. 35,000/- per month till the award of the degree (designation: Senior Research Fellow).
- The fellows would also be entitled to HRA (8%-24% depending on the city) and other benefits as per the GOI guidelines applicable to research fellowship/associateships.
- Candidates who are already in regular employment cannot avail the fellowship at their host institutions. However, there will be no restriction on them to receive the salary and other benefits while availing the fellowship in institutions other than their parent institutions.
7.Format of the application
Online application is available at the following website: http://ra.dbtindia.gov.in/dbtraStaticHome.html.
8.Declaration from the candidate
If selected, the fellow will not relinquish the RAship within 2 years. However, they may be allowed to relinquish the fellowship only if accepting permanent employment in India.
Prof. Arun Kumar, Ph.D.
National Program Coordinator,
DBT-Research Associateship Program
Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics (MRDG)
Biological Sciences Building
Indian Institute of Science
Tel: 080-2293 2462