Externally Funded PhD Programme in Biology, Chemistry, and Data Science

This programme is meant for Professionals from R&D Organisations and Industries.


  • The educational qualifications remain the same as for the regular candidates. (Master's Degree in Science/ B.Tech/ M.Tech/ B.Pharm/ M.Pharm/ BS-MS degree with minimum 60% aggregate marks [marks relaxation for reserved category students])
  • Only persons engaged in R & D work in Technical / Scientific Institutions/ Industries or R & D Establishments are eligible.


The candidates must be officially sponsored by their employing organisations. This sponsorship should be obtained at the time of submitting the application itself. In the absence of this, the application will be rejected.

Age: No age restriction

Parent Organisation Guidelines

  • It is recommended that the Organisation/Institution must be in existence for at least 5 years for sponsoring candidates to the Externally Funded PhD Programme. Exceptions can be made based on recommendations from the Senate.
  • The organisation should identify a person from the same establishment/laboratory in which the candidate is employed and he/she will be a point of coordination on behalf of the organisation.
  • The candidate must attend the comprehensive examination, oral examination and any other student evaluation meeting set up by IISER Pune.
  • Travel expenses to attend various meetings conducted at IISER Pune in this connection will be borne by the organisation.
  • The thesis is a public document, and shall include all the work carried out by the student for the PhD degree.
  • All material included in the thesis of the candidate can be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals / conference, the organisation must waive the right to deny permission for publication, for reasons of confidentiality or for any other reason, for any material contained in the thesis.
  • The MoU with the sponsoring organisation should have specific details related to IP rights.

Research Supervisor from IISER Pune

  • The applicant should identify a Research Supervisor from the concerned department at the time of submitting the application itself.
  • There can be a Co-supervisor from the industry side; however, the principal supervisor will be from IISER Pune.

After Admission

  • Candidates admitted to the programme must continue to remain in the same organisation and place of work until the research work is completed. If the candidate is transferred or joins a new organisation before the submission of the thesis, then sponsorship from the new organisation to be considered.
  • On admission to IISER Pune, the candidate is required to spend a minimum of one term or two terms of continuous residence at IISER Pune right after admission to complete the required coursework.  Otherwise, the registration is liable to be cancelled.
  • The courses to be taken by the candidate during the residential period will be finalised by the Research Supervisor from IISER Pune as per the academic requirements.
  • The candidate is required to spend at least 8 weeks every subsequent year in consultation and interaction with the research supervisor from IISER Pune. At the end of two years, the candidate must qualify the Comprehensive examination.
  • The candidate is required to submit a report of the progress of work done through the research supervisors from IISER Pune and the organisation strictly at the end of every 6 months. All half-yearly reports should be submitted through the Research Supervisor at IISER Pune to the Deans. Failure to comply with this will result in cancellation of the registration.
  • Candidates must obtain prior permission from IISER Pune before going abroad as part of their work.


The programme is open for the Biology, Chemistry and Data Science Departments, with the last date of application being June 30, 2024. Please write to dean.acad@iiserpune.ac.in with a cover letter. Please confirm your eligibility and sponsorship before applying. Candidates should already have identified a research supervisor at IISER Pune before applying.

To apply, please write to dean.acad@iiserpune.ac.in with a cover letter.

Please visit the research webpage of the respective departments for further information.

BiologyChemistry | Data Science