The success of a faculty member depends also on their students. IIT Delhi is well regarded for its students, but part of the responsibility of a faculty member is to filter in the best of the best. Undergraduate students are admitted solely through an entrance test. These students are exceptionally well prepared. UG students can and do participate in research, sometimes on their own volition, sometimes to build a portfolio, and sometimes to earn design credits. Seek them out. However, the bulk of research assistance comes from PG students. IIT Delhi offers admission to Master’s students and PhD students. In addition to PG student scholarships, post-doctoral fellowships are also offered by the institute. Student and PDF selection is effected by the academic units. Participate in the selection process and seek the best out. Most academic units hold selections at the end of each semester, and you should expect emails about the process. PhD is a long-term commitment to research and a good PhD student will inevitably also help you achieve greater heights. Some academic units also have an MS (research) program, which is a research focused master’s program. You should seek out the details of applicants and recruit the best. The unit’s research committee (DRC/CRC/SRC) or the PhD coordinator should be able to help. Each academic unit has its own policy about how the students and PDFs are assigned to individual faculty members – talk to your head.
Fellowships are also offered directly by the government of India through competitive exams. These can be JRF (Junior Research Fellow) and SRF (Senior Research Fellow). Candidates who have already earned JRF or SRF are treated similarly to institute scholarship in the admission process. On the other hand, some scholarships are also parts of research grants received by faculty members. If a PG student is admitted by an academic unit and placed with a grant for fellowship, it is incumbent upon the student to participate in the research supported by the grant. Note that the grant must have a remaining duration of at least two years for a new PhD student to be funded by it. The sanctioned project must also have a provision for JRF or SRF. Other than PG students, PIs may also hire full-time staff to help carry out the project’s objectives, if provisioned in the budget.
The scholarship of a PhD student is currently up to ₹35,000 per month and that for MS(R) students is ₹12,400 per month (these amounts are revised from time to time). For a student assigned to a project, this scholarship amount is required to be paid from the project’s funds. Unlike many universities in the West, the tuition or medical insurance of the students is covered by the institute.
As a PhD/MS(R) supervisor, you should be aware of student progress milestones like comprehensive examination. proposal evaluation, thesis synopsis presentation, thesis submission, etc. PhD and MS(R) programs require a student research committee (known popularly as SRC) to be formed in the very first semester. This committee is formed by the academic unit’s standing research committee and includes the supervisor and other supporting experts in the area of the thesis. SRC oversees the progress of the thesis. It does not have a research supervisory role, but the student is expected to meet this committee once a semester.
Hiring Research Staff
Many faculty members initially hire prospective students as project staff. If they are satisfied with the work, the staff member can be encouraged to apply for full time or PhD or MS(R) if they satisfy the minimum requirements. In addition to this, there is a provision to hire research staff on a three-month contract. Many faculty members use this provision to evaluate potential candidates. Excelling candidates may then be encouraged to apply for a longer contract, which follows a broader selection process. (See IRD website website --> Information to Faculty)
Separate from lecture-based courses, most programs require projects. These are listed as courses with 0-0-X structure. Each faculty member usually supervises several student projects each semester. The evaluation of these project courses is done by committees within each academic unit constituted for this purpose. These projects courses are often good vehicles for research.
To foster research & development among UG students, IRD offers summer undergraduate research award (SURA) to UG students after their second year under faculty supervision. Look out for students interested in SURA and for emails about it sent by the IRD unit around March. There are other summer fellowships offered by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS) with summer research fellowships through which undergraduates can be engaged for research over the summer vacation. (See IRD website --> Information to Students.)
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