Department of Biological Sciences, TIFR - Mumbai

DBS-TIFR interviews for the GS-2020


List of Students Selected for PhD Interviews


List of Students Selected for MSc/Int.PhD Interviews


The interview format requires that students arrive in Mumbai no later than Sunday morning (Day 0; reporting time at TIFR is 12:45 pm), and plan their departure from TIFR on Thursday (Day 4) after 6pm in the evening.  Changes in dates/times of the interview are typically not permitted. Candidates attending the interviews are expected to make their own arrangements for stay in Mumbai. TIFR does not provide accommodation for candidates/accompanying persons at the time of the interview.


Labs that are open for MSc admissions in GS-2020 are:

Kolthur, Koushika, Narasimha, Ray, Sonawane, Vaidya

Labs that are open for PhD/IntPhD admissions in GS-2020 are:

Dasgupta, Kolthur, Koushika,  Narasimha, Ray, Sonawane, Vaidya 

NOTE 1: the interview will include a one-on-one interaction on the last day with three to four faculty members that the student is interested in joining.  It is therefore important that applicants look at the websites of the open labs prior to coming for the interviews.

NOTE 2:  Candidates who already have their qualifying degree for the PhD program (MSc/BTech/any 4 year professional degree) at the time of the interviews, and who are very sure of their choice of lab, MAY be permitted to join the lab as early as April 15th, subject to their clearing all the rounds of the interview and acceptance by the relevant faculty member.  The lab rotations will be waived for these candidates.


There is a single interview for the MSc and IntPhD programs. Please look at the FAQs on our website (M.Sc. and Int. Ph.D.) and note that these two programmes have different goals. Candidates may be considered for both and yet have a preference for one programme. During the first interview, you will be asked to choose which of the following five options applies to you:

MSc only/ MSc preferred/ both equal/ IntPhD preferred/ IntPhD only

In particular, we would like to know if you are clearly only interested in one or the other program, and why, and will ask you this in your interview.  Note that the MSc program does NOT include housing (but includes a stipend of Rs. 20,800, all inclusive) per month intended to help with housing costs and other expenses).  The IntPhD program includes housing in the TIFR student accommodation and standard stipends.  There are other differences in the two programs so please read the websites.

MSc students are offered admission to a particular lab based on their interests as stated during the interviews and an assessment of their performance.  The MSc program begins on July 1st every year.

PhD and IntPhD students will join the program in late July (date will be specified in your admission letter from the University Cell), and will be assigned to a lab after a series of lab rotations.  PhD students who have already completed their MSc degree at the time of their interviews may join a lab in April itself if they clear all the stages of the selection process (see “NOTE 2” at the top of this page).


Sunday (Day 0):  Lab visits

Introduction to the research of all the open labs, and lab visits to any 4 labs of your interest (please read the website and come prepared with your choices; you will be given an opportunity to change your choices after the intro talks).

Important: (1) Please do not carry heavy backpacks or documents on Day 0.  You will be on your feet visiting labs and there is no place to store your backpacks.  Large backpacks will not be permitted during the lab visits.

(2)  You will need ONLY your call letter plus ID card to enter TIFR.  No other paperwork or documents or marksheets are needed.  Please ensure you have an early lunch or carry a substantial snack.  Water/tea/biscuits will be provided during the course of the afternoon. 

(3)  The reporting time is 12:45.  You will be allowed in to TIFR from 12:30 onwards.  Please do not arrive too early.  The time taken to come by taxi from various locations in Mumbai can be estimated using Googlemaps, which is fairly accurate about travel timings.

Monday and Tuesday morning (Days 1 and 2):  First round of interviews.

Candidates will be interviewed by parallel committees.  At the end of your 1st interview you will be asked for a new list of up to 4 labs of your interest (from the list of open labs).  This list can be different from the labs you visited on Day 0.  For MSc students it is particularly important that you list your choices carefully since selected students will be directly assigned to a specific lab based on the choices they declare.

On Tuesday (Day 2) evening, a notice will be posted on our website and notice boards regarding students who have been shortlisted for the second round.  IF YOU ARE NOT SHORTLISTED FOR THE SECOND ROUND, YOU DO NOT NEED TO STAY FOR THE REST OF THE INTERVIEWS, YOU MAY LEAVE.

Tuesday (afternoon) and Wednesday (Day 3):  2nd round of interviews.

From Wednesday (Day 3) morning, candidates will be interviewed by parallel committees.  At the end of your 2nd interview, you will again be asked which 3-4 labs of your interest (from the list of open labs).   Late evening on Day 3, a notice will be posted on our website and notice boards regarding students who have been shortlisted for the final round of individual meetings.  IF YOU ARE NOT SHORTLISTED FOR THE INDIVIDUAL MEETINGS ROUND, YOU DO NOT NEED TO STAY FOR THE LAST DAY, YOU MAY LEAVE.

Thursday (Day 4):  1-on-1 meetings with faculty.

Shortlisted students are asked to report in B333 at 10 am.  The schedule of meetings with 3 to 4 faculty members, whom they have identified during their 2nd interview, will be given.  These meetings will take place in the respective labs in DBS.  Applicants will meet with the faculty member and discuss possible projects. Applicants are free to discuss their ideas, get clarifications to any questions, meet the lab members, ask about techniques etc.  This is decided by whatever suits the applicant and the faculty member.



You will get your admission offer by phonecall within a couple of weeks of the interviews (for MSc) and by the end of April (for PhD/IntPhD).  The phonecall will be followed by an email.  It is important that you give us ALL RELEVANT contact numbers/email addresses and write clearly on the cover sheet you are given before your 1st interview. 


TIFR is adjacent to a high security Naval base area.  Security precautions have to be followed at all times.  Suitcases and baggage of students or accompanying parents are not allowed into TIFR. Accompanying persons are also requested not to wait outside the TIFR gate (which is adjacent to the Navy entry gate), but to spend their day away from the TIFR campus, and return to TIFR at 6 PM on the day of the interview.