An insight into the basic science opportunities in India

DST-INSPIRE: “Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE)” is an innovative program sponsored and managed by the Department of Science & Technology for the attraction of talent to Science. The basic objective of INSPIRE is to communicate to the youth of the country the excitements of creative pursuit of science, attract talent to the study of science at an early age and thus build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science & Technology system and R & D base.
A striking feature of the program is that it does not believe in conducting competitive exams for identification of talent at any level. It believes in and relies on the efficacy of the existing educational structure for the identification of talent.

Hence, this is a golden opportunity for those who are really looking forward to exploring the scientific world through research. There is the provision of 1000 INSPIRE Fellowships every year to offer eligible students.

INSPIRE Fellowship, is offered to

i) An INSPIRE Scholar who has secured a minimum 70% marks or (or CGPA equivalent) in aggregate at M.Sc. or Integrated M.S./ M. Sc Course

ii) First Rank holders at University Level Examination (not at Autonomous College Level Examination) of the overall full-time post-graduate program in Science, Engineering/ Technology/ Agriculture/ Pharmacy/ other Applied Science streams and undergraduate in Medicine i.e. MBBS. However, University shall consider providing 1st Rank to a student having a minimum batch size of 10 students in the University Level Examination with a minimum aggregate of 70% marks of the entire course/program. Toppers in any subject specialization in post-graduation 2nd year are not eligible. 

Also, the Fellowship shall be tenable for a maximum period of five years till the completion of the Ph.D. program (i.e. up to the date of final defend of the Ph.D. Thesis), whichever is earlier. It takes around 4 months to process from the date of uploading documents.

The up-gradation of Fellowship status i.e. Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) to Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) would normally be considered after two years of INSPIRE Fellowship at JRF level through performance assessment on the progress made in the Ph.D. program.

VSERP: A TIFR Programme.


VSERP stands for “Visiting Students’ Research Programme”.

At TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research), research is carried out in frontline areas of all the fundamental sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics, as well as in the field of Science Education.  TIFR Scientists are world leaders in several fields and their published contributions to scientific knowledge are internationally recognized.  Over the years, the Institute has developed many new areas of research as well as training programs.

TIFR conducts annual summer programmes in which talented students are introduced to research activities in the areas of Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics. The selected students are expected to work on a research project under the supervision of a TIFR researcher. The programmes are held both at the Mumbai campus of the TIFR as well as at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), Pune during mid-May to early July each year.

Selection is purely based on the academic performance of the student, submitted a write-up and referee reports.  There is no selection test/interview. Selected students are paid a monthly stipend Rs. 7000/- per month and free shared accommodation on- or off- the campus is provided.

The scope of these summer programs can be such that it gives a student a good vision, experience, and exposure to the research world. It helps the keen students in developing better interests towards the field that they want to work in the future.

Noor Ashique

Noor Ashique is a MSc student at St. Stephens College, University of Delhi.


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