Tata Institute of Fundamental Research


Ph.D. Timeline


August PhD Students join
May Lab assignments
July Pre-project I thesis committee meeting


September Project I + Comprehensive part I (guidelines)
December Pre-project II thesis committee meeting
February Project II + Comprehensive part II (guidelines)
June If required, repeat comprehensive
July Register for PhD


  Thesis committee meetings once every year or more often as required by the thesis committee


January/February Pre-thesis seminars. These will be held on Monday in lieu of regular AWS
1 March Pre-thesis seminars complete
1 April Synopsis submission deadline
1 May Thesis submission deadline
31 July Degree end and PhD students vacate the hostel


1. The purpose of the pre-project seminar Thesis Committee meetings is to establish the breadth and depth required for the upcoming project seminars, and give critical input as appropriate. Thesis Committees MUST be formed by June 30th of the year you will present your Project I seminar.

2. Pre-project I Thesis Committee meeting: this will outline the extent of the reading required for the Project I seminar (also called Project Area Review seminar). Specific topics should be outlined.

3. Pre-project II Thesis Committee meeting: This MUST be held at least ONE MONTH in advance of the Project II seminar (also called Project Proposal Seminar). The Thesis Committee will critique the Project Proposal and suggest modifications as required. These must be incorporated in the Project Proposal Seminar.

4. Comprehensive Exam: This will be conducted in two parts, after each Project Seminar presentation, by the Thesis Committee with additional members co-opted, if necessary. The evaluation will be based on an assessment of the candidate's breadth, depth, and also ability to deliver the proposed research.

5. The purpose of subsequent Thesis Committee meetings is to ensure that the student is on track. The final meeting, in January of the year of proposed completion, is to assess whether the student pre-thesis seminar may be scheduled and whether the student will be ready to submit in a few months.

6. A minimum 2 year residence period after registration is required for award of the PhD degree.

7. The synopsis should be no more than 500 words. Its purpose is to allow prospective examiners to decide whether they are willing to serve as external examiners for your thesis. You should state the goal, the methods used, summarize the results and have a few concluding lines.