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Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Faculty Corner

Prospective Faculty - Why IISc

Institute Overview

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was started in 1909 through the pioneering vision of J.N.  Tata. Since then, it has grown into a premier institution of research and postgraduate education, with more than 2000 active researchers working in almost all the frontier areas of science and technology. It is one of the oldest and finest centers of its kind in India, and has a very high international standing in the academic world as well.  IISc is renowned for its academic freedom, focus on research excellence, and quality of faculty and students.  At a broad level, it operates in a very similar manner to the premier international research schools, with both faculty hiring and promotions based on rigorous assessment from leading international experts in the area. Similarly, student selection is based on highly-competitive examinations (such as GATE or CSIR or UGC) and/or detailed technical interviews.

At present the Institute has 37 major departments and centers which are organized in 5 different Divisions: Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Electrical Sciences, Mechanical Sciences, and Physical & Mathematical Sciences. Co-existence of various departments at the single campus gives a unique opportunity for researchers to participate in interdisciplinary research within as well as across various disciplines.

Apart from the excellent infrastructure available in the individual departments, the Institute offers several centrally located facilities for researchers. Notable among these are the library and the computer center. The  J.R.D. TATA Memorial Library, popularly known as the Indian Institute of Science Library, is one of the best science and technology libraries in India. Started in 1911, as one of the first three departments in the Institute, it has become a precious national resource center in the field of Science and Technology. The library spends over six crores of rupees annually towards the journal subscriptions which is unparalleled in India. The Supercomputer Education and Research Center (SERC) provides state-of-the-art computing facility to the faculty and students of the Institute. The Center is conceived of as a functionally distributed supercomputing environment, housing leading-edge computing systems, with sophisticated software packages, and connected by a powerful high-speed network. The computing facilities are connected to the Internet and are accessible from the world over.

The institute campus is spread over 400 acres of land situated in the heart of Bangalore city. Various facilities such as faculty housing, banks, post-office, central school, and health center are located in the campus to meet requirements of faculty and their families Recreational facilities such as the gymkhana, tennis courts, jogging tracks, swimming pool and faculty club, are also available on the campus

Institute Focus

The main emphasis of the Institute is on research, and it expects the faculty to initiate and carry out research programs of a quality that is on par with international standards. The Institute continuously strives to provide the required support and the entire setup (including administration) is geared for facilitating the pursuit of excellence. The Institute offers complete freedom to the faculty to pursue his/her research interests. The Institute caters exclusively to  graduate programs. As a result, the direct contact hours spent in teaching are fairly low. A faculty member is required to teach about two 3-credit courses during an academic year an in many cases the teaching load is even less..

The Institute faculty receive research funding from various government agencies such as Aeronautical Research Development Board (ARDB), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR),  Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO),  Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Ministry of Information Technology  (MIT),  Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Source (MNES),   Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), and Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO).  Research collaboration and fundings are also possible from industries. A representative list of companies with which IISc faculty have research interaction include Boeing, Cadila Pharmceuticals, Daimler Chrysler, General Electric, General Motors, Hindustan Lever Limited, Indian Immunologies, Intel,  IBM, Microsoft, Nokia, Nortel, Pratt & Whitney, Sir Dorabji Tata Centre, Texas Instruments etc. The research projects are handled through the Center for Sponsored Schemes and Projects (CSSP) or  the Society for Innovation and Development (SID). The Institute provides a handsome seed grant to all the new faculty members to assist in setting up laboratories etc.

The research work is primarily carried out by the students and all the students  are paid scholarships by the institute. In addition, faculty can recruit project assistants/post-doctoral fellows through individual projects. The Institute also permits the faculty to undertaken consultancy work, which is handled either by the Center for Scientific and Industrial Consultancy (CSIC) or  the Society for Innovation and Development (SID). The Institute encourages collaborative programs with various international universities and research organizations. Such collaborations allow exchange of visitors for enhanced cooperation. The Institute has set up an International Relations Cell (IRC) to handle these matters. Our academic calendar consists of two semesters, August-December and January-April. The period, May-July, is considered as vacation period during which faculty can undertake short/long term visits within India or abroad.

Facilities and Benefits

The appointment of the young faculty is made at the Assistant professor level and follows assistant/associate/professor structure. The evaluation is done at the end of 6 year period for possible promotion. The salary structure is as prescribed by Government of India with additional facilities such as house rent allowance (if residing outside the campus), medical facilities for faculty and family, pension scheme etc. The faculty can supplement his/her income through consultancy. The Institute grants one year sabbatical leave (with salary) after every six years of service and also sponsors one conference visit within India every year and travel for one international conference once in 3 years.

Relocation expenses are covered up to institute-specified limits. This is currently Rs. 75,000 for candidates travelling from within India and Rs. 1,25,000 for candidates travelling from other countries. In addition to a start-up research grant of a few lakhs of rupees, the Institute gives an annual contingency grant for books, stationery, etc., travel support (this is currently Rs. 3 Lakhs for a sliding period of three years) for attending International Conferences, This is typically supplemented by travel support from industry partners and government agencies. Reimbursement (currently 75%) of annual membership fee of an international professional body, full funding for attending one national conference per year, loan for purchase of computers, etc. The faculty and their families are covered by  an attractive Contributory Health services Scheme. Modest on-campus accommodation is also provided to new faculty.

For additional information, check the respective department website.