The department of biotechnology (DBT) has several programs for scholarships/fellowships at the post-graduate, doctorate and the post doctorate level.
The DBT has started a novel "DBT-Junior Research Fellowship" for pursuing PhD in any university/institute. It has launched "BET" or "Biotechnology Eligibility Test" on the lines of the National Eligibility Test (NET) for pursuing research in frontier areas of biotechnology and applied biology. The selected candidates can avail the DBT-Junior Research Fellowship.
The Fellowship will be initially for a period of three years extendable for two more years based on performance. The Fellowship as JRF/ SRF will be in the range of Rs 8,000-9,000 per month and a research contingency of Rs 30,000 per year. The BET will be a written admission test, which will be conducted in April at centers in Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Jorhat (Assam).
The students should have cleared the MSc/MTech/MVSc. (in biotechnology/bioinformatics) from any university approved by AICTE/UGC, MSc in Molecular Human Genetics. (BHU), Neuroscience (Jiwaji University) in order to be eligible to appear for this exam.
Post-doctoral fellowship program
The restructured DBT post-doctoral fellowship program is being implemented through the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, since April 2001. The selected fellows can opt to work in universities and R&D institutions of their choice. Under this program, post-doctoral fellowship of Rs 11,000 per PDF per month in the first year and Rs 11, 500 per month in the second year and a contingency grant of Rs 50,000 per PDF per annum is provided for the two-year period.
Biotechnology Overseas Associateship
The DBT has been pursuing the Biotechnology Overseas Associateship program to facilitate the availability of skilled scientists in adequate number. The program provides an opportunity to scientists for conducting advanced research or undergoing specialized research training in overseas research institutions/ laboratories in the priority areas of Biotechnology. The Overseas Associateship is awarded under two categories: long-term (for a period of one year) and short-term (for a period of three-six months).
The DBT provides biology scholarships to the top students in biology at the CBSE 10+2 level examination. Each scholarship award comprises a cash award of Rs 15,000, a gold plated medal and a certificate of merit. Every year 25 scholarships are awarded. Selection of the 25 students is made from the merit list provided by CBSE who are pursuing higher education in biology or related subjects after 10+2.
Junior Research Fellowships
Besides the scholarships offered by the DBT, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research holds national level joint CSIR-UGC Examination (NET) normally twice every year, one in June and another in December. This examination determines the eligibility of Indian nationals for the award of Junior Research Fellowships (JRF) in science including biotechnology. Many of the state universities also offer scholarships/assistantship to students in this area of study.
Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award
The award has been instituted by the DBT as an attractive, career-orientation scheme to identify and nurture outstanding young scientists with innovative ideas and desire to pursue research in frontier areas of biotechnology. The award will consist of financial support for a project of three years duration besides a component of cash award/fellowship for the awardees.
In addition, during the DBT Foundation day celebrations held in March 2006, Kapil Sibal, the Union minister for science and technology and earth sciences, announced a series of initiatives to enthuse students for higher studies in life sciences.
This package includes assistance of Rs 50-60 lakh to select undergraduate colleges in life sciences. The ministry plans to support 20 undergraduate colleges across the country, one per state, for high quality teaching in life sciences. There is also a proposal to award 1000 undergraduate scholarships of Rs 500 per month for meritorious students from economically weaker sections to pursue career in life sciences. In addition, there will be a fellowship of up to $2,000 per month for post doctoral students wanting to do research in the high tech areas of stem cell technology and nanobiotechnology. There will be about 25 such special overseas fellowships.
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