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The i3c BRIC-RCB Ph.D. Programme in Biosciences

 

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Clinical research courses

The i3c BRIC-RCB Ph.D. Programme in Biosciences

A need was felt to establish a nationally cohesive, interdisciplinary Ph.D. programme in biosciences to expand the scale of generating highly skilled, globally competitive human resource. It was envisioned that the trained human resource produced through this programme would be better equipped to provide bioscience-based pioneering solutions to contemporary problems relevant nationally and globally. The main objective of the proposed programme would be to foster greater academic and research interaction among the institutions of the DBT BRIC (iBRICs), RCB and ICGEB, and to increase the professional networking opportunities for the Ph.D. scholars.

Key Highlights
• The collaborative initiative between the Institutions of BRIC (iBRIC), RCB and ICGEB aims to promote excellence in biotechnology research and education in India.
• The programme provides extensive learning opportunities in the fields of life sciences and biotechnology through classroom and online teaching, workshops and hands-on training in high- end technology platforms.
• It offers an interdisciplinary Ph.D. programme in Biosciences to students with a Master's degree in Life Sciences as well as Medicine graduates & BTech/BE in non-biological sciences.
• It includes a three-month immersion programme, supported by a generous additional grant, to expose students to real-world challenges and aims to foster a culture of innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship among young scientists.
• Following the course work and the immersion program, the scholars, based on their respective areas of research interest, would join the various institutions in BRIC (iBRICs)/ RCB/ ICGEB under suitable supervisors to conduct their doctoral research.

Participating Institutions
• Regional Centre for Biotechnology
• International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
• National Institute of Biomedical Genomics
• Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine
• National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute Biotechnology
• National Institute of Plant Genome Research
• Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology
• National Brain Research Centre Admissions
• National Centre for Cell Science
• National Institute of Animal Biotechnology
• Institute of Life Sciences
• National Institute of Immunology
• The Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics
• Institute Of Bioresources And Sustainable Development
• Translational Health Science and Technology Institute

Eligibility & Selection
The new i3C BRIC-RCB Ph.D. programme is expected to include highly talented students from backgrounds in the broad fields encompassing biotechnology, medicine and engineering. There will be two proposed tracks of entry into the programme.
Track I
Indian students with an MSc/ MTech in any of Life Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, MPharm, MVSc, MBBS or an equivalent degree are eligible to apply. An aggregate score of 55% or an equivalent grade in the preceding qualifying degree examination is an essential qualification (with a 5% relaxation for SC/ST/OBC- NCL/differently-abled (PwBD) allowed as per extant statutory norms). Four-year undergraduates from all of the above disciplines are also eligible as per UGC guidelines. All applicants must have a five-year valid national level fellowship such as the DBT-JRF, CSIR-JRF, UGC-JRF, ICMR-JRF, or similar.
Track II
Undergraduation in any branch of engineering from non-biological sciences (BTech/ BE) or medicine (MBBS) with 55 % aggregate marks in the preceding qualifying degree examination is an essential qualification (with a 5% relaxation for SC/ST/OBC- NCL/differently-abled (PwBD) allowed as per extant statutory norms). Age limit: 30 years on the application deadline.


No of seats : Track I - 70, Track II - upto 10.
Reservation of seats : As per GoI guidelines.

Selection Process
Only online applications will be accepted at https://i3cbricphd.rcb.ac.in/, which includes payment of an application fee of Rs. 500/-, if applicable. SC/ST/PwBD/EWS candidates are exempted from payment of the application fee. The selection process is likely to be as per the following schedule : 
Intimation to shortlisted candidates for 1st interview (online) : June 7, 2024
First interview (online) : June 12-13, 2024
Announcement of results for candidates selected for 2 nd interview : June 15, 2024
Second interview (at RCB, in person) : July 1-2, 2024
Declaration of final results : July 3, 2024
Interaction of selected and waitlisted candidates with iBRIC+ institutions (in person at RCB) : July 3-5, 2024
Deadline for selected candidates to accept offer by email and pay fees online : July 7, 2024
Offers sent to waitlisted candidates : July 8, 2024
Deadline for waitlisted candidates to accept offer by email and pay fees online : July 11, 2024
Registration, enrolment and fellowship activation of all scholars who have accepted the offer (at the respective iBRICs)  : July 12-22, 2024
All scholars report to RCB for orientation and commencement of the coursework : August 1, 2024


The selected students will be required to activate their respective Ph.D. fellowships directly through their respective parent iBRIC+ institutions. During the scholars' stay at RCB in the first semester, RCB will provide the monthly attendance record to the respective institutions to facilitate fellowship disbursement from the funding agencies. Selected students will be housed at RCB-administered accommodation for the first semester, during which all campus facilities available to RCB students will be made available. These include twin shared, off- campus leased accommodation, transport to and from the campus, meal facilities, access to campus medical and counselling facilities, and access to library, IT, and sports facilities.

Curriculum Structure and Requirements
The courses offered in the first semester at RCB (~August to December) will be taught by RCB and iBRIC faculty members and external experts. Students will be expected to complete fourteen mandatory credits during the coursework. The overall structure of the course is outlined below: 
Students will be expected to complete the courses is outlined below:
• Instrumentation-powered research methodology (4 credits)
• Biostatistics and Data Science (3 credits)
• Science communication and ethics (2 credits)
• Translational Research and Entrepreneurship (2 credits)
• Immersion programme (3 credits)
As part of the coursework in the instrumentation-powered research methodology, training modules will be provided on foundational lab training and high-end instrumentation facilities at the Advanced Technology Platform Centre (ATPC) of RCB and iBRIC facilities. The purpose of this module is to acclimatize scholars with training in fundamental lab techniques as well as expose them to the latest advanced technology platforms being used in modern biosciences, such as protein purification, optical imaging, flow cytometry, mass spectrometry, data analysis, and genomics. These modules will be taught by qualified technical personnel recruited for this purpose. These training modules represent a novel component of the doctoral coursework pioneered through this programme. 

Immersion Programme
The 3-month mandatory research immersion programme (field internship) in the broad areas of medical biotechnology, social biotechnology, animal biotechnology, and agricultural biotechnology will follow the first semester of coursework. Students will be evaluated appropriately for them to earn the designated credits for this course. The programme will be supported by dedicated funds of INR 1.50 lakh per fellow to meet the costs associated with the immersion programme. 

Monitoring Ph.D. research progress
The supervision of the thesis will be conducted by the designated Ph.D. supervisor at one of the iBRICs/ RCB/ ICGEB. A thesis committee (student advisory committee, or SAC), constituted for each student as per RCB norms, will regularly monitor the research progress. An annual conclave will be held for scholars and supervisors at iBRICs/ RCB/ ICGEB in rotation. Each registered scholar will be required to participate in two such conclaves, most likely during the third and fifth years of their Ph.D. tenure. Students will present posters and/or make make oral presentations of their research work. Participating students will meet the expenses related to attending the conclave from their respective fellowship contingency funds.

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