IISER Pune
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH (IISER) PUNE
where tomorrow’s science begins today
An Autonomous Institution, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India
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FAQ 

 
 
[These are unofficial FAQs prepared by our faculty to help prospective applicants]
 
 
FAQ for Other Faculty Applicants
Are there open positions? Are you accepting applications?
Yes we have open positions. We do not have a fixed number of positions to fill and will be recruiting as and when we find suitable candidates. Applications are accepted throughout the year.
 
What positions are available to faculty applicants?
Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor. See below for non-faculty (but academic) positions.
 
Eligibility?
We will consider people who have a Ph.D. in any of the natural sciences, mathematics or an allied discipline. Applicants with teaching and Post-Doctoral research experience of minimum 3 years in relevant areas (experience criteria may be relaxed for exceptional candidates) may apply. Both theoreticians and experimentalists are welcome. Interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches are encouraged. All government rules regarding reservation in respect of SC/ST/OBC/PD will be followed.
Profiles of our current faculty reflecting the diversity of interests are available here.
 
Do I have to teach?
Yes! IISER Pune is a research institute that also trains undergraduates and postgraduates. The IISERs have been established specifically to bridge the gap between teaching-only universities and research-only institutes. We recruit candidates who are committed to research-driven teaching.
 
What is the teaching load?
Teaching is integral to the concept of IISER. From this point of view, teaching is not a ‘load’ but a part of our job description. The teaching component typically constitutes 20 - 25% of one’s time. Faculty members are encouraged to develop innovative ways to promote research-based learning. We are also developing a Teaching Assistant system as a part of our Ph.D. programme.
 
What about research?
IISER Pune is primarily a research institute. You are expected to spend most of your time (75 - 80%) engaged in research-related activities.
 
When should I apply? How early should I apply?
Applications are welcome throughout the year. The entire process can take anywhere from a few months to a year. It makes sense to apply a year in advance of the date you wish to join.
 
How do I apply?
We now have an online application system. Applications sent by email/post will no longer be accepted.
You will require:
  i) CV including a list of publications.
  ii) A research proposal looking at the next 3-5-10 years not exceeding 4 pages.
  iii) Short statement of teaching interests and philosophy.
  iv) Contact details of referees (at least 4 for Physics and Mathematics and at least 6 for Chemistry and Biology). We will write directly to your referees, with very specific questions.
 
What next?
Your package will go through a preliminary internal screening. It may normally take 6-8 months. If shortlisted, we will contact you and invite you to visit and give a research seminar (we will take care of local hospitality).
 
What happens during my visit?
Your visit will involve meeting a section of our faculty and delivering a research seminar. You will also meet the divisional Coordinator and/or the institute Director. Apart from your potential in setting up an exciting research programme, we are eager to know how you will enrich the IISER Pune community in terms of research, teaching, mentoring, etc. This will also serve as an opportunity for you to see IISER Pune. You will be given a tour of our existing facilities and our plans for the future.
Please bring with you, a list of requirements for the next 0-3-5 years necessary for establishing your research programme. We will discuss your wish-list during your visit. You can also append this to your research proposal in your application package.
 
What are you expecting from the research seminar?
Apart from listening to what you have been doing, we also would like to get a flavour of your future plans. We would suggest something like a 10 minute introduction, 30 minutes for ongoing work and 10 minutes for future plans.
Please note that the audience will be diverse. There will be faculty from all areas of science represented at IISER Pune and trainees including, undergraduates, Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows.
 
Then what?
The faculty will discuss your application. If they are enthusiastic, we will guide your application through a selection committee with external reviewers. If your application is successful, you can expect to receive an offer letter within a month of the selection committee meeting.
 
What about funding/start-up money?
IISER Pune is committed to generously support new recruits during their initial stages and to provide all possible opportunities to enable a productive research programme. This apart, we strongly encourage and support applications for external funding from national and international agencies. We are happy to sponsor candidates (who have indicated acceptance) for fellowships and other funding schemes prior to their joining.
It is advisable to have a list of requirements and approximate expenses for the next 0-3-5 years ready for discussion at various stages of your application.
 
What kind of salary can I expect?
We follow Govt. of India rules. The Gross salaries (including House Rent Allowance and Travel Allowance) currently applicable are given here
In addition, telephone and broadband expenses are reimbursed up to Rs. 1500 per month. A cumulative amount of 3 lakhs (1 lakh/year) per 3-year block for attending international conferences, purchase of books, certain contingencies, etc. is also available. Medical insurance and a pension scheme are available as per Central Government rules for an employee stationed in Pune.
 
What is the campus like?
IISER Pune is located on a 98-acre plot of land, generously made available by CSIR-NCL. The campus has 37,000 sq. mt. of academic space and 80,000 sq. mt. of residential space. It is modern, with green, energy efficient and environmental friendly buildings, conforming to GRIHA 4 star rating. In addition to a modern lecture hall complex, research laboratories and main academic building, the campus houses students’ hostels, guest rooms, and a central dining place. A modern outdoor and indoor sports complex, faculty and staff housing, and a 128-room guest house designed as a mini convention centre are under construction.
 
Do you offer non-faculty academic positions?
Yes. We have a number of non-permanent positions available. These range from IISER fellows, Post Doctoral Fellows to Teaching Assistants. For further details, please write to:
Biology: Prof. Sanjeev Galande (sanjeev  at  iiserpune.ac.in)
Chemistry: Dr. Aloke Das  (a.das  at  iiserpune.ac.in)
Humanities and Social Sciences: Dr. John Mathew (john.mathew  at  iiserpune.ac.in)
Mathematics: Prof. A. Raghuram ( raghuram  at iiserpune.ac.in )
Physics: Dr. T. S. Mahesh (mahesh.ts  at  iiserpune.ac.in)
Earth and Climate Science: Prof. Shyam Rai ( shyamsrai at iiserpune.ac.in)
 
Where can I get answers to other general questions about pursuing an independent research career in India?
Various sources on the internet discuss diverse aspects of Higher Education and Academic life including, salaries, ethics and science politics. For a flavour of such “from the trenches” reports and analysis you may want to visit http://www.nanopolitan.blogspot.com or www.giridharmadras.blogspot.com.
 
 
FAQ for Faculty Applicants to Physics
 
Are you currently accepting applications?
Applications are invited in all areas of experimental, computational and theoretical Physics (and interdisciplinary areas).
Applications will be processed immediately after the following deadlines each year: February 1, May 1, August 1, November 1. Applications that miss any one of these deadlines will be processed soon after the next one.
 
What positions are available?
Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor, commensurate with profile and experience.
 
What are the eligibility criteria?
A Ph.D. in any of the physical sciences, mathematics or an allied discipline. For Assistant Professor, a minimum of 3 years research experience after the Ph.D, and a truly outstanding, internationally competitive research profile. For higher grades there would be additional expectations such as greater research experience, global recognition in the field and experience in guiding Ph.D. students.
 
Will an excellent research profile guarantee that I am short-listed?
Not necessarily.  The screening and short-listing process takes into account several factors. Preference may be given for applicants in areas where we would like to increase our strength, while the bar could be considerably higher for areas in which we have recently hired or are already strong. We receive a large number of applications each year and only around 5-7% are short-listed.
 
What happens once I am short-listed?
The short-listing process may include a short Skype interview. If short-listed, you will be invited to visit IISER Pune for a minimum of two days to deliver a seminar on your work and interact with our faculty members. The visit dates will be at mutual convenience. We will arrange your accommodation on-campus and take care of local expenses, but unfortunately we do not have funds to cover international travel.
 
Should I visit once before I apply?
You are welcome to visit at any time by identifying a faculty member at IISER willing to host the visit. However the selection process still requires you to visit for a seminar and discussions after short-listing.
 
What happens after my visit?
The application will be processed further and in a few truly outstanding cases, will be put up to a Selection Committee. The candidate will then be asked to appear before this Committee (in person or over Skype).
 
If I am offered a faculty position at IISER, will I have to teach?
Yes. IISER Pune is a research institute that also trains undergraduates and doctoral students. The IISERs have been established specifically to bridge the gap between teaching-only universities and research-only institutes. We recruit candidates who are committed to research-driven teaching. The Physics Programme has a clear policy to ensure a moderate teaching load that does not get in the way of anyone’s research. Our faculty members typically get to spend as much as 75 - 80% of  their time on research-related activities.
 
How do I apply?
We have an online application system. Applications by email, or hard copies, are neither required nor accepted.
You will have to submit:
  i) CV including a list of publications.
  ii) A research proposal of around 2-4 pages highlighting future research plans.
  iii) A short statement of teaching interests and philosophy.
  iv) Contact details of 3-4 referees who can write on your behalf. If you are short-listed and asked to visit, you will also be advised to contact them at that time to directly send us their letters.

 

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