An Autonomous National Institute, Government of India, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology
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Admission Procedure 2014 July | Download Application | Guidelines | List of students shortlisted for PhD interview

Why a Ph.D. from RGCB?

RGCB prepares individuals who have a deep and genuine interest in discovery science to shape the translation of biotechnology through academic research towards applications for a knowledge economy, business development and science of tomorrow. RGCB in 2014 will work out of three campuses, the present one focusing on discovery science, a second one for innovation and the third - a biotech park in Kochi focusing on translation and partnership with industry. This is the only institute of its kind in the country. Previous RGCB PhD's have all done impressive work and received excellent placements (details can be viewed here). Guided by an expert faculty, a rigorous fundamental science course work and a host of innovative academic programs, the RGCB PhD program is made even richer by its place in Thiruvananthapuram, capital of "Gods own country". Applications are invited twice a year and advertised in selected national newspapers and on the RGCB website.

Admission Procedure for July 2014
(PhD Program in Disease Biology & Biotechnology)

Minimum Eligibility for applicants

  1. Post graduate degree in Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Agriculture Sciences, Medical Sciences, Veterinary Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Chemical Sciences
  2. General category applicants must have First Class or above in all examinations from 12th grade plus a valid Research Fellowship from UGC/CSIR/ICMR/DBT/DST-INSPIRE/KSCSTE and should be less than 28 years of age as on 01 January 2014. SC/ST candidates with a valid fellowship need to have only 50% marks, will be eligible for age relaxation as per rules, and are exempt from processing fees.
  3. Candidates with other fellowships are advised to contact the Dean to confirm eligibility
  4. Candidates awaiting final exam results can also apply. However only those candidates with a valid pass certificate will be allowed to appear for the selection interview
  5. Candidates without valid fellowships need not apply.

Application format


Applications must be in the prescribed format (to download application click here .)


Completed applications along with the required fees may be submitted to the Director, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thycaud PO, Thiruvananthapuram 695014, Kerala, India on or before June 9, 2014.


Names of candidates called for the selection interview will be displayed on the RGCB website on June 11, 2014 and will also be notified by email the same day.


Short listing will be done after a selection interview on June 23, 2014 and final selection of candidates after Faculty Interaction, to be held from June 24 to 27, 2014.


The PhD program will begin on July 16, 2014.


PhD Student Selection: July 2014

Guidelines for Candidates

  1. Total number of PhD student vacancies does not in any way imply that all will be filled.
  2. Short-listing as a potential PhD student at RGCB will depend on performance of the candidate at the selection interview
  3. Only those students who in the opinion of the selection committee are eligible to work at RGCB as a PhD student will be shortlisted. To be shortlisted, candidates have to score at least 70% marks in the selection interview.
  4. The selection committee will evaluate students in the following areas. Maximum mark distribution is given in brackets.
    • Knowledge in Subject/ Specialization (40)
    • General knowledge, awareness, research aptitude, ability to comprehend research questions, logical and creative thinking (30)
    • Research Methodology and Instrumentation (20)
    • Presentation and Communication skills (10)
  5. Final selection as a PhD student will be decided only after consent is obtained from the above stated faculty scientists on suitability of shortlisted candidates to work in their research program.
  6. RGCB's PhD Program is affiliated to Manipal University. The University expects the PhD program to be completed in three years although this is extendable by a year. The current university fee structure for the first year is Rs. 23,500 and then Rs. 12, 000 for subsequent years. There is a provision in RGCB to meet 70% of the fees from institute research funds The RGCB Director, may also sanction additional funds in specific deserving cases.
  1. After candidates have been shortlisted by the selection committee, there will be presentations to all the shortlisted candidates by each one of the concerned faculty scientists who plan taking PhD students. The presentation will include profile of their laboratory, research programs, the scientist's ideology on implementation of a PhD in the laboratory, etc. The faculty member may use this meeting to discuss research interests and views of the shortlisted candidates.
  2. The shortlisted candidates will then give options to visit all the laboratories taking PhD students for further interaction with faculty scientists and other laboratory personnel. The Dean's Office will allot specific times in consultation with concerned faculty scientists. This interaction can continue for a period up to June 27, 2014.
  3. In these interactions, the candidate and the faculty member can have detailed discussions on the work that the faculty member is interested in, his/her philosophy of choosing the topic and guiding a PhD student including how much handholding the faculty member will provide.
  4. The faculty member will explain the functioning of the laboratory and give a chance to the candidate to talk to other members and PhD students of the laboratory so that the candidate is given an opportunity to assess the working atmosphere of the laboratory. This is not expected to be a single interaction and the candidate may have to go back several times to the laboratory of interest.
  5. After these discussions should the faculty scientist not be keen to work with the candidate, this will be appropriately informed. This will then allow candidate to talk to other faculty members whose work is also of interest to him/her.
  6. The candidate will also tell the faculty member about his interest in the laboratory and also inform him/her of the candidate's first choice to join if the faculty member decides to opt for him/her.
  7. In this system, it must be clearly understood that a faculty member may not find a candidate who is suitable just as it can also happen that a student may not find an appropriate laboratory. This is inevitable.
  8. Candidates are encouraged to interact with as many different laboratories as possible before zeroing in on a particular individual.
  9. In the few days of interaction, candidates should ask serious and incisive questions ranging from science, track record of the laboratory, chances of students getting peer reviewed publications, work habits, support systems and expectations. Candidates must keep in mind that a PhD program is a protracted one going on for at least 4 years and hence choice of a mentor is a decision that will influence permanently the candidate's future career.
  10. Following these procedures, the student and the faculty member will sign a letter (format will be provided), which will clearly state that they accept each other. This letter will be forwarded to the Director/Dean to take appropriate decision. The decision of the Director/Dean will be final and binding on all concerned.
  11. Details of laboratories taking PhD students and names of mentors will be made available to the candidates on the day of the selection interview.
PhD Course work
  1. As a mandatory requirement towards accomplishing the doctoral degree, all scholars will need to undergo a formal course work. The first part will be a fundamental science course work of six months duration. Advanced courses will be prescribed in the second year
  2. Teaching for the fundamental science course work will commence from July 20, 2014. Course work will encompass the following subjects:
    • Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    • Developmental and Cell Biology.
    • Disease Biology.
    • Molecular Biology & Genetics
    • Laboratory Technology & Biotechniques
    • Microbiology and Immunology
    • Research Methodology & Ethics
  3. The teaching faculty for the curriculum includes RGCB Faculty Scientists as well as distinguished international and national professors.
  4. Course work will be a combination of didactic lectures, assignments, seminars, teaching, Interactive sessions and qualifying exams.
  5. Scholars will be awarded, recognized and rewarded for their performance. All students will receive a detailed transcript of their course work and grades attained.
  6. Details of subject wise contents, credits and exit examination will be provided after admission.


As a reward for sustained hard work and productivity, research fellows working in various research projects at RGCB will be allowed to register for PhD as per the following guidelines and conditions.

  1. The research fellow (or project fellow) must have a post graduate degree with a minimum of 55% marks aggregate or equivalent. He or she must also meet all eligibility conditions prescribed by the concerned university.
  2. The research fellow must have worked in a project at RGCB for a minimum of 18 months.
  3. The research fellow must have one peer reviewed research publication as first author in an international journal with a minimum impact factor of 3. The work must have been done at RGCB. Co-authorship is not acceptable for PhD admission.
  4. If the publication is a review paper it must include significant data generated from the concerned RGCB laboratory, a matter that will have to be approved by the Director.
  5. It will be the responsibility of the PhD mentor and the research fellow to provide for funding for the PhD program including fellowship for the potential PhD student. RGCB management will have no role in this
  6. The research fellow can only do the PhD program with the mentor in whose laboratory/project the fellow works, subject to approved vacancies with the respective faculty scientist. PhD registration with other RGCB faculty scientists is not permitted.
  7. A three member committee comprising the Director (or his nominee), the Dean and the mentor will meet with the research fellow before finalizing approval for the PhD registration.
  8. The PhD student will have to follow all prescribed academic procedures and institute regulations applicable to RGCB PhD students.
  9. The Director reserves the right to take a final decision on the matter.