IIT KGP launches post-doctoral research programme for professionals

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Kolkata, March 20 (IANS) In a first of its kind initiative, IIT Kharagpur on Tuesday launched a post-doctoral certification programme for Ph.D. working professionals from India and abroad, with an aim to ignite the research talents and provide them with a platform and recognition for their skills.

The ‘Certificate for Excellence in Research’ (CER), a non-residential course, would enable professionals with a doctoral degree in diverse fields such as engineering, science, management, law or humanities to pursue a structured research programme without hampering their professional commitments.

“In India, the brightest minds with excellent prospect in research often tend to go for high paying jobs after obtaining their Ph.D degrees. So the open ended research by the most qualified people is not happening in the country.

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“The certification programme aims to tap in this segment of people who are adept at research and utilise their knowledge base and skill sets acquired through professional experience to bring out practical solutions,” IIT Kharagpur Director Partha Pratim Chakrabarti told media persons here.

“There is a post doctoral mechanism in the US but there is no life long research continuity mechanism anywhere. So we are now trying to put that into a certification to enable people acquire a recognition. We are looking for high quality output coming out from these professionals,” he said.

The programme has been opened up for applicants from Tuesday itself.

About its uniqueness, Sunando Dasgupta, Faculty in-charge of the certification programme, said the distance mode of the course would allow the researchers the flexibility to appear once in a year at the institution to demonstrate the progress and get a satisfactory grade to continue further, that is unavailable in any post doctoral fellowship.

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He said the applicants would have to present a project proposal that needs an approval from a host faculty who would help in the research. There would also be multiple internal and external evaluation processes to maintain the quality of the research.

“We have defined several matrix by which the performance of the researcher can be evaluated. For example, every researcher has to publish at least two articles in very good quality journals with the host faculty in order to be eligible for the certificate.

“We have purposely kept a flexibility of two six years for the course completion as time for people working somewhere else would be a challenge,” Dasgupta said.

The programme would have a semester registration fee of Rs 20,000 and induct the applicants in two sessions in January and July every year along with the admission of Ph.D students in the institution.

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“We are hoping to have at least 50 researchers enrolled in the first session. The institution has a faculty pool of 700. So getting 700 professionals to research under this certification programme is our long term goal,” he added.

–IANS

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