NCRA-TIFR is the premier Indian institute for research in Radio Astronomy, and offers exciting opportunities for cutting-edge research in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Radio Astronomy Instrumentation and Algorithms. Areas of research at NCRA-TIFR include solar physics, theoretical cosmology, quasars, active galactic nuclei and radio galaxies, nearby galaxies, the interstellar medium, pulsars and neutron stars, the Milky Way, galaxy evolution, the epoch of reionization, and fundamental constant evolution, as well as techniques of synthesis imaging and image processing. NCRA-TIFR has built and operates the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope, which is the biggest and most powerful radio telescope in the world at low radio frequencies.
NCRA-TIFR conducts a regular doctoral research programme for students interested in pursuing a career in research in astronomy or radio instrumentation; the Ph.D. degree is conferred by the TIFR Deemed University. Students are selected for the doctoral programme via three main avenues, the Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST), the IUCAA-NCRA Admission Test (INAT), and the TIFR entrance test (conducted by TIFR-Mumbai). All three selection methods are based on a written test and two interviews. The three exams are typically conducted every year in early December (TIFR test), early January (INAT) and mid-February (JEST), with the interviews in March of the following year (TIFR), early January (INAT) and late June (JEST). Besides these, NCRA also pre-selects Research Scholars from our Visiting Student Research Programme, conducted every summer in Pune.
Before registering for a Ph.D., NCRA-TIFR students are required to satisfactorily complete the Graduate School. This consists of a set of Physics and Astronomy courses in the first year (in the first two years for students in the Integrated Ph.D. programme), followed by six months of research project.
Research Scholars should have completed their M.Sc., B.E/B.Tech. or B.Sc. degrees before joining NCRA-TIFR. Students from the Physics, Electronics, Astronomy or Applied Mathematics branches of the M.Sc. degree are eligible for NCRA-TIFR's Ph.D. programme., while students with a B.Sc., B.E. or B.Tech. degree are eligible for NCRA-TIFR's Integrated Ph.D. programme.
NCRA-TIFR Research Scholars in the Ph.D. programme are paid a monthly stipend of Rs. 25,000/- for the first two years. In the case of Research Scholars in the Integrated Ph.D. programme, the monthly stipend is Rs. 16,000 in the first year, followed by Rs. 25,000 in the next two years. For both Ph.D. and Integrated Ph.D. students, the monthly stipend is raised to Rs. 28,000/- once the students complete the Graduate School requirements and register for a Ph.D. degree. Research Scholars also have an annual contingency grant of Rs. 32,000/- per year, tenable up to 5 years, as well as an travel grant for international travel to participate in conferences or research collaborations. Research scholarships are renewed annually, based on a review of the student's performance. Research Scholars in the Ph.D. programme are expected to complete their doctoral studies within five years of joining the institute, while students in the Integrated Ph.D. programme are expected to complete their doctoral studies within six years.
Graduate School norms:
Detailed guidelines governing the Research Scholar programme are available here.