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 16 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 relating to
* 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
ABOUT THE DBT-RA PROGRAM IN BIOTECHNOLOGY AND LIFE SCIENCES
The DBT has introduced the aforesaid program. The Secretary, DBT requested Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore to co-ordinate and administer the implementation of the said program. The program was started from December 2000 at a total project cost of Rs. 465.00 lakhs. The purpose of the fellowship program is to train scientists in frontier areas of research in Biotechnology at such institutions in India which are engaged in major biotechnological research activities.
1.Objective of the Program: To train post-doctoral students in frontier areas of research in Biotechnology and Life Sciences at premier institutions in India.
2.Number of fellowships per year: Up to 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.
3.Mode of Selection:
- Advertisement released in National English News Papers, including from North East, in the months of February and September every year: Selection done twice per year.
- Hard copies of Applications received in response to advertisements from all over India.
- Selected applicants are called for interviews/presentations in evaluation committees 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 received from candidates, who joined the program.
- Fellowships are released institute wise, with letters to candidates.
4.Renewal of Fellowships:
- All RAs, who joined in January/July Batches have to send their Progress Reports, UC/ES, recommendation letters from Guides, after completion of 1 year.
- Candidate moving from 1st year to 2nd year: Extension for 2nd year done by a committee based on hard copies of renewal documents.
- 2nd to 3rd year, 3rd year to 4th year & 4th year to 5th 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 in interviews 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. or 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.
6.Annual Calendar of the Program:
- Call for applications in News Papers & on IISc & DBT Web sites: February & September, each year.
- Screening of applications: April & October, each year.
- Selection of applicants by personal interviews in May & November in Expert Committee Meetings.
- Issue of Award letters: May & November.
- Acceptance of award letters by candidates: Upto the candidates (Last date: July 31 & December 31).
- Activation of fellowships: January 1 & July 1.
- Review of Progress of RAs: July & January.
- Extension of fellowship: July & January.
7.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.
- A mentor CANNOT have more than two 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 degree in science or engineering.
- Fellowships are awarded on a yearly basis.
- The Postdoctoral fellowship is a purely temporary assignment and is tenable for a period of 2 years.
- In exceptional cases, depending upon the progress of the research, the fellowship may be extended upto 5 years.
- Each fellow would be entitled to a stipend in the range of Rs. 36,000 – 40,000 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. 28,000/- per month till the award of the degree (designation: Project Assistant).
- The fellows would also be entitled to HRA and other benefits as per the DST guidelines applicable to research fellowship/ associateships.
- The fellowships cannot be availed at the same institution where the candidates have earned their Ph.D./M.D. degree.
- 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.
8.Format of the application: It is available at this website. The application with relevant documents should be speed-posted to the National Program Coordinator.
9.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
National Program Coordinator, DBT-Research Associateship Program
Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics
New Biological Sciences Building
Indian Institute of Science
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 080-2293 2998
Lab webpage: http://www.mrdg.iisc.ernet.in/arun-kumar/