Ph.D. Admissions


Here is some information that might be useful to prospective students.

What programs at IISc are appropriate for me?

Students generally pick departments that are closest to their undergradaute major. While this is probably ok, you might miss out on some really exciting research going on in other departments. e.g. While ECE and DESE might seem like a very good choice for students from ECE  background, they might want to explore departments such as Physics and CeNSE. There is a lot of device physics that happens in these departments that might be of interest to you. So make a list of broad areas that you are interested in and then look up the websites of the departments.

What are the modes of entry in IISc?

Here is link that provides a snapshot of various options.

What are the background requirement for PhD in CeNSE, IISc?

Most of our students are from Physics, ECE, Mechanical Engineering and Material Science or engineering background. However, we also have students (very few) with background in biology/biotechnology.  Centre is open to having students from different backgrounds but we do expect these students to have fairly strong background in mathematics.

Here is a list of our students. You might want to check their backgrounds.

Why are there two options (NE and NA) for CeNSE PhD program?

CeNSE  administers two PhD programs. Both the programs are interdisciplinary in nature but there are minor differences.

NE Program:

The NE stream is direct admission to the Ph.D. program of the Centre run by its faculty. Research Areas: Nanomaterials and Nanostructures, Nanoelectronic Devices, Nanoscale motion, Nano-Biophotonics, Nanophotonics, Plasmonics, Sensor Systems and Computational Nanoengineering.

Students admitted under this program typically have the choice of picking the advisor to work with after their admission. The advisor/s is/are one or more  faculty members of CeNSE. We typically have more positions available in NE program compared to the NA program. e.g. last year we admitted 12 student in NE as opposed to 5 in NA.

NA Program:

NA program is also administered by CeNSE. Two or more faculty members from any department in IISc can propose research topics that are related to nanoscience. The students are recruited only for those specific projects and in most situations cannot change the project or the advisor during their Ph.D.

Should I choose NE, NA or both?

It depends on what you are looking for. NE offers flexibility in terms of choosing topics and advisor while NA offers the topics upfront, so you have a clear idea of what you would be doing for your PhD.

If you are keen on doing nano science, you might want to pick both NE and NA.

If you are not sure what you want to work on and would like to explore a little bit after admission then NE might be a better option.

If the idea of working with two faculty members from different department interests you, you might want to pick NA. But you need to find out if the research topics being offered are of interest to you or not. e.g. If you are interested in working on nanomaterials and the research topics being offered in NA are only about protein detection, you might not want to opt for it.

What is the admission process like?

I’ll talk only about the process followed at CeNSE. Based on the GATE( or any other mode of entry) we invite a certain number of applicants for interviews. Based on the performance during the interview we admit anywhere from 10 to 20 students. The numbers vary depending on the requirements of faculty members.

Interview process can last from 5 to 30 minutes. The length of the interview has no bearing on the outcome. Interview panels have been impressed in 5 minutes and sometimes evaluating a candidate takes time. Panel member typically try to access whether you have a reasonable grasp of your undergraduate subjects and mathematics. If you have done an undergraduate project or have some research experience, panel tries to see if you understand those topics.

How should I prepare?

Brush up on basics undergraduate courses. e.g. Students from ECE background should have reasonable understanding of circuits or Physics student are expected to have some knowledge of quantum mechanics. You are not expected to have expertise in all your undergraduate subjects but atleast good basic understanding of some of these areas.

Also, brush up on your mathematics.

If you have more questions, put them in the comments and I’ll try to respond to them.

52 thoughts on “Ph.D. Admissions”

  1. Dear Sir,

    Do we have option for Direct PhD at CeNSE after B.Tech with no work experience?
    I am Mechanical Engg. with final year project on Characterization on Thin Films and I am looking forward to have PhD on that topic. What will you suggest me? Am I eligible for CeNSE?
    Hoping for the positive reply.
    Thank You.

    With Regards,
    Rutvik Lathia

  2. Dear Sir,

    Am I eligible if I have drop after MTech, but have valid GATE score? Is it mandatory or preferable to have fellowship for PhD selection?

    Please guide.
    Thank you,

  3. I thank for helpful work of giving information about the matters. i am requesting you to reply/adivce for the following.
    I did my BE(ECE) and masters from state level college with average percentage of 65 %. my doubt is, IS the past academic history of the candidate influence’s the selection of candidate for PHD in (Nanoscience & Nanotechnolgy) field at IISC?

  4. Respected sir ,
    I am Nadeem Karim shaikh 2nd year mtech aerospace student at IIT kharagpur ,
    I want to know about what is criteria for admission for PhD at CeNSE ?mtech Cgpa or gate score ? And what is cutoff in either case for physically handicap category

    1. For M.Tech students criteria for interview is either GATE score or CGPA. If you don’t have valid GATE score then CGPA is used.
      I don’t know the cutoff.

  5. I am a MSc Physics from NIT Trichy, I have qualified GATE 2018, but not with a good ranking, it’s 1915. Even though I have already applied through IISc admission portal. But I am planning to prepare again for csir n gate to get good ranking and get into cense. Joining cense is my dream, since I am from Bangalore I am aware of the dept. My doubt is whether I can do both experimental and computational work together or I have to choose either only. I have experience in experimental work in nanomaterials n I also have interest in computational material science. Though I don’t know much about the field, my love towards mathematics and programming skills are attracting me. Please suggest me something in this regard. I want work only in Cense. Thank you

    1. CeNSE faculty are predominantly involved in experimental work. However, most of them would do some computation or numerical calculations to support the experiments. It should be possible to chose a topic that involves experimental as well as computational work.

  6. Sir,
    What are things i has to improve myself before becoming eligible to be a part of CENSE?
    means what are basic knowledge i has to first learn to apply for the various positions of preliminary steps at CENSE? and also requesting for what are the Exams i has to pass ? and how should be my approach to enroll for PHD, in the research fields of IISC? I hope for positive reply from you.

  7. sir.
    i am physics pass out with specialisation in electronics. i am very keen to join cense as a phd scholar. I have qualified csir net jrf 2017 and gate 2018. i want to what are the chances of admission in jan. 2019 session as on centre it is mentioned that typically admissions are made for july session.

    1. It is not yet clear whether there would be a mid-year admission this year. There would be announcement if the Centre decides to conduct one.

  8. I am Sayan Ghosh,studied BME (M.TECH) and B.Tech(EE).My masters Research Areas are related to Neuro electronics,EEG Signal processing and machine learning.I have seen that research on Neuro electronics is going on at CenSE. Is there any Phd vacancy on this particular area in this january-2019 session?.

  9. Hello Sir, I am completed my this year and I am going to write gate in 2019, What is the gate cutoff score required for doing Direct Phd from CENse department, and also what is the percentage and eligibility required for written test and interviews.

    1. Higher the gate score the better! I am not privy to the precise information.
      As of now there is no written test.
      Interview I have already covered in the post.

  10. Is it mandatory to have a research paper even after a valid gate score or not ,,,, please answer this…?

  11. Sir
    I’m a MTECH student in nanoscience and technology in DTU. MY research area is related to graphene and carbon quantum dots. I have given GATE in 2017 and have a valid gate score. How much cutoff do I need to have to apply for PhD in CENSE. Can I get selected based on my CGPA aswel?

    1. We do invite candidate with master degree (M.Tech/ME) based on the CGPA.
      I am not privy to the actual cutoff of gate score or CGPA.

  12. sir,
    I have done btech from mechanical engg. I want to apply for direct phd. Can you please tell me important topics for interview?

  13. I Passed UGC-NET in Electronic Science in 2018 with Percentile 93..10 and Gate-RC 2019 with AIR 12473, do i could get any Positions like JRF or Project Assistant in the research areas of NE program, how i has to approach the concerned faculty , Hoping for you kind reply.

  14. Sir,
    I am an MSc graduate, i would like to know if it is possible to join for PhD without qualifying GATE exam? Is there any chance I could do a PhD after working as a project assistant at cense??

    1. There are other options such as NET, Inspire.
      Working as project assistant doesn’t necessarily imply you’ll get PhD admission in CeNSE.

  15. sir
    I had done Msc physics from IITb 2018. I have UGC0NET-JRF 2019 and GATE–a2019 in Physics as well.. I want to do a Ph.D. from the cense department also called for an interview on 18 November 2019. will you take a PhD student this time? I am interested and want to work with you. what sort of question will they ask in the interview most probably?
    I hope for your kind reply.

    1. I’ll probably take one student this semester.
      I have already answered the question about interview here. Please brush up on basic undergraduate courses.

  16. Sir, I am a postgraduate in physics from NIT Meghalaya. Also , I have a research published paper. Sir, I am Looking for a project position in your esteemed department. How am I suppose to apply will you please guide me in this regard.

  17. Respected sir,
    I’m a MSc student of Nanoscience and technology at the University of Kalyani, Currently my final semester Dissertation is going on. Am I eligible for the PHd programme at CENSE??
    Looking forward for positive reply. Thank you.

    Pankaj Adhikary

  18. Hello sir,
    I have completed my B.Tech in Nanotechnology under VTU , and I did 2 months internship at NNFC, CENSe and working as Project Associate at IISC and I have 6 months experience working in clean room and published some research papers. I would like carry out my higher studies at CENSe but I don’t have any gate score because we don’t have any gate paper for nanotechnology. Is there any chance to join CENSe for higher studies. plz let me know, I have to continue my studies.

    1. GATE is required for PhD/MTech. If you are from some central universities/IIT/NITs and have CGPA above some cutoff value, you can apply without gate score.

  19. I am Avinash Shaw, M.Tech student at School of Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Jadavpur University. I recently applied for PhD position in CeNSE, IISc Bangalore. Now I called for interview on 26th May.
    I have a quary regarding application form that is in admission portal it shows that upload signed version of interview undertaking document.
    Please help me at this issue. Which document should I upload there?
    Thank you,
    Avinash Shaw

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