TIFR
Department of Chemical Sciences
School of Natural Sciences

Ph.D. Program Guidelines

The Chemistry Subject Board (CSB) is responsible for running and monitoring the graduate programme in Chemistry across all centers of TIFR.   All graduate students in the Department of Chemical Sciences (DCS) at Mumbai and in the TIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences (TCIS) at Hyderabad, wishing to obtain degrees in Chemistry, are governed by the CSB rules and procedures. The CSB oversees the running of the Ph.D.  programme which is detailed below.

 

Ph.D. programme

Entry Requirements:  An M. Sc., M. Tech., B. Tech., B.E., M. Pharm or equivalent degree is the basic requirement for admission to the Ph.D. degree programme (B. Sc. graduates in any field of science are eligible for admission to the Integrated M.Sc.-Ph.D. programme)

All students are selected through the TIFR Research Scholars' admission procedure and admitted to the Institute as graduate students.

Expected Duration: 5 years

Fellowship and Contigency: Details of the Fellowship for Ph.D. students can be obtained here and details of the Contingency Grant can be obtained here

 

Course Structure

In addition to the information given below, also refer to Ph.D. Academic Timeline for further details

An academic year consists of two semesters (1st semester is August to December and 2nd Semester is January to May). During the first three semesters, a student will have to complete:

·       6 lecture courses (1 course lasts one semester)

·       A short course - taught in July

·       1 laboratory rotation course

·       2 short projects (Project A1 and A2)

·       A long project (Project B)

·       Research Methodology* course

Specifically, two short projects (Project A1 and A2, each 8 weeks long) will have to be carried out during the second semester of the first year. Under no circumstances will Project A1 and A2 be done with the same supervisor. In the second year, a second project (Project B) will have to be completed in the first half of the 2nd year.

The credits associated with this course structure are

Credit for the 6 courses:                                 24

Credit for 1 short course:                                  2

Credit for Lab rotation course:                        10

Credit for 2 projects (A1/A2 + B):                    24

========================================

Total credits:                                                    60

 

*The research methodology course is evaluated with a Pass or Fail criterion.

Therefore, by completing these courses and projects, the students will earn a total of 60 credit points. Upon successful acquisition of these credits, the student will be eligible to register for the Ph.D. degree in Chemistry.

Passing Criteria

The minimum passing mark in every course/project is 50%. Students who have not passed a particular course or a project will be required to repeat the same in the next available opportunity. Students failing in more than 1 course or project during the course work period will have to leave the graduate programme.  If a student fails to pass a course or a project even in the second attempt, he/she will have to leave the graduate programme.

The table below shows the conversion of numerical scores, which are given at the end of the courses or projects, to grade points or letter grades:

Numerical score out of 100

Grade points

Letter grades

Meaning

95-100

10

O

Outstanding

85-94

9

A+

Excellent

75-84

8

A

Very good

65-74

7

B+

Good

55-64

6

B

Above average

50-54

5

C

Average

0-49

0

F

Fail

 

Ph.D. Registration and Continuation

From the start of the second semester of the second year, the student is expected to start working on their Ph.D. research project full time. The Ph.D. research project can be a continuation of either Project A1, A2 or B or a new project – done in consultation with Ph.D. Supervisor that has been assigned. Students have to register for the Ph.D. degree as soon as they complete the requisite total of 60 credit points. This is normally done by the end of their second Year. Registration form is available here that has to be submitted to the University Cell.

Once registered for Ph.D., after the second year onwards, the student will also be required to give at least one departmental seminar before May 31 in each Academic year. Continuation to a subsequent year of the Ph.D. programme is contingent on the successful performance and evaluation of the student. This evaluation is done by the department every year in June (see below under “Thesis Monitoring Committee (TMC) and Annual Evaluation” for more details).

Selection of Ph.D. Supervisor

All students must decide his/her Ph.D. Supervisor before end of May of the first year and inform the Chemistry Subject Board accordingly (see Ph.D. Timeline). Choosing a Ph.D. Supervisor is a responsibility of the research scholars. Any Faculty member of TIFR can in principle serve as a Supervisor for the student, so long as the subject/project of the thesis is approved by the CSB.  A student can be registered with an academic staff member as a Supervisor who has at least six months of service left before retirement from the date of registration.  Faculty members who have less than six months of service before retirement can be a Supervisor only if a co-Supervisor is identified who would be responsible for the completion of the research project. The co-Supervisor is expected to take over as a regular Supervisor once the original Supervisor retires.  Allocation of the Ph.D. Supervisor will primarily be based on the choice of the student, but two students of the same batch wishing to join the same Supervisor for Ph.D. will not be generally approved.  The names of Faculty members who may accept a student in a given year will be informed to the students in the first year.  A Faculty member will generally accept only one student from a given batch.  A second student will be allowed to join a Faculty member who has already accepted one student of the same batch, only if there are no other Faculty members available as Supervisors for the student and the concerned Faculty member agrees to accept two students. If a student fails to select a Ph.D. Supervisor as per the guidelines of the Subject Board, then he/she will have to leave the graduate programme.

 

Thesis Monitoring Committee (TMC) and Annual Evaluation

Every Ph.D. student will have a thesis monitoring committee (TMC), to be constituted by the thesis Supervisor, after they register for the Ph.D. programme. This committee will consist of the thesis Supervisor and at least two other Faculty members. The student should have regular interactions with the TMC and a formal report of the thesis committee on the progress of the student will be required for consideration of extension of the Research Scholarship of the student at the end of each academic year. As already mentioned above, each registered Ph.D. student will also be required to give at least one Departmental Seminar before May 31 of each Academic year.

 

Submission of Thesis

The minimum period between the date of joining (Registration done usually by end of second year (see Ph.D. Timeline) and the submission of the Ph.D. synopsis will be 2 years.  After all the research work has been completed and student has a minimum of one first-authored paper in a reputed journal, then the student is eligible for (a) submission of his/her synopsis, (b) submission of thesis and presentation of a viva defence.

Synopsis and Thesis

Each Ph.D. student, upon completion of their research work, has to submit a synopsis document and give a department synopsis seminar. The details of the procedure for the Ph.D. synopsis can be found here. This document has to be submitted at least 10 days before the synopsis seminar along with the Synopsis submission document. The synopsis seminar will be a department seminar and it will be evaluated by 5 Synopsis committee members (TMC members + 2 additional members co-opted by CSB in consultation with the thesis supervisor). The synopsis will be graded and after the successful synopsis presentation and correction of the synopsis document (to be done within a month of the synopsis seminar), then the student can submit the document to the University Cell.

If, for any reason, the student delays the submission of synopsis beyond the recommended period of one month, the presented synopsis and the seminar may be declared null and void, and the candidate would have to write a fresh synopsis and give a fresh seminar. Prior approval has to be sought from the CSB convenor if the student anticipates taking more than one month for the synopsis submission.

Once the synopsis document has been successfully submitted to the University Cell, then the student will be allowed to submit a Ph.D. thesis. The maximum time between the synopsis seminar and the Ph. D. thesis submission is six months.

If an extension is needed for thesis submission (beyond the six month deadline), then prior approval from both CSB and Dean GS has to be obtained. This request is to be made before the termination of the six month deadline.

The thesis must be a PDF document, legibly typed on A4-size pages in 12 pt font size, with 1.5 spacing and with 1 inch margins. Apart from text, it may contain figures, tables, sections of computer code and a detailed bibliography. In addition, it should incorporate

(i)      A duly signed Copy Right Form by the candidate and by the Research Supervisor.                

(ii)     A title page according to the format given here.

(iii)  A list of the candidate’s publications, where it is clearly indicated which publication(s) contain(s) material incorporated in the thesis.

(iv)    The thesis should also contain a separate categorised statement mentioning which parts of the scientific results presented in the thesis are carried out by collaborators.

(v)      The thesis needs to be submitted along with the Thesis submission form.

For evaluating the theses, the CSB will constitute a committee of two external members and the thesis Supervisor for Ph. D. theses.  For this purpose, the University Cell will approach the Supervisor for recommending the names of 5 external experts, and forward the same to the CSB (from which two names will be selected).  The final names of experts selected by the CSB may not be the same as those recommended by the Supervisor.  The Convener, CSB, will send these names to the University Cell, who will coordinate with these experts for the thesis evaluation process.  The Supervisor will not have any knowledge of the names of the externals experts. Further details of the thesis submission can be obtained here.

A Viva will be held after the thesis has been evaluated. One of the external examiners will be present for the Ph.D. Viva.

Post Ph.D. Viva

A Provisional Certificate can be given to the student within one or two days after the Ph.D. Viva-voce examination has been cleared successfully.

The award of Ph.D. is ratified by the TIFR Academic Council, chaired by Director, TIFR, in its next meeting. After this ceremony, the candidates may collect their signed Ph.D. certificates from the University Cell.

Candidates who are unable to collect their certificates from the University Cell in person may receive their certificates by post, at the address provided by them on the submission form.

The Ph.D. degrees are formally announced by the Dean of Graduate Studies on the next TIFR Founder’s Day (October 31) in a solemn ceremony.

IF A STUDENT FAILS TO MEET ANY OF THE TIMELINES MENTIONED ABOVE, THEN THIS VIOLATION WILL CARRY A PENALTY AS DETERMINED BY THE CSB.

A STUDENT MAY APPROACH ANY MEMBER OF THE TMC PREFERABLY (OR ANY OTHER FACULTY MEMBER) FOR ANY GRIEVANCE DURING THE ENTIRETY OF HIS/HER PH.D. TENURE.

Code of Conduct

The students must refrain from any kind of academic misconduct. The following acts constitute an academic misconduct: copying of answer sheets either in examination or home-work assignments, absenteeism from classes, fabrication or falsification of data/results, plagiarism, etc.  By no means is this list exhaustive.  The acts listed above and any act that is not listed here but perceived as an academic misconduct by the CSB will invite disciplinary action, including expulsion of the students engaged in such acts.