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Ph.D. Program in Biology

The Department of Biological Sciences at Ashoka University invites students to carry out cutting-edge research through its Ph.D. program in Biological Sciences. Five broad thematic areas characterize our research


1. Biophysics and Biochemistry

2. Cell and Developmental Biology

3. Immunology and Synthetic Biology

4. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

5. Mathematical and Computational Biology


These thematic areas encompass the diversity in biological systems - in both length and complexity. State-of-the-art research facilities and a unique liberal arts environment allow Ph.D. students to work on inter-disciplinary research projects drawing on the expertise of faculty members within and beyond the Biology Department.



Labs of Principal Investigators listed below will have space for Ph.D. scholars in 2021


Sudipta Tung 

Sougata Roy 

Shubhasis Haldar 

Rama Akondy 

Krishna Melnattur

Kritika Garg 

Kasturi Pal

Basudeb Maji 

Balaji Chattopadhyay 

Anup Padmanabhan



For further details on the research of individual faculty members, please see here


A fixed number of attractive PhD fellowships will be offered by Ashoka University to support the PhD students (as per the rules and regulations). The fellowship includes a monthly stipend of INR 35,000 per month, a contingency grant of INR 20,000 and offers extensive teaching opportunities. 

The monthly stipend and annual contingency grant given to PhD students who receive other scholarships (from UGC, CSIR or a partner organization) will be decided based on terms covering the scholarship itself and as per the norms of the University.  

Students will also be offered housing on campus (depending on availability). In case on-campus housing is not available, Rs. 7000 pm rent allowance will be paid towards off-campus housing 



 Applications to the Ph.D. program are invited from candidates with

  • A masters degree in any basic science discipline, including biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, and mathematics; or BTech/MBBS MTech/MPharm in applied sciences such as medicine and engineering; and

  • Qualification in a national entrance examination such as JGEEBILS/ BINC/ INSPIRE/CSIR-UGC/ ICMR/ GATE/JEST/ DST. The scores obtained must be valid at the time of application. 

Application Process

To apply to the biology PhD program the applicants should complete an online application form. There are NO application fees.  

Online applications should also include  


1. A statement of research interests (maximum 2 pages)
The research statement should summarize your academic background and research training, indicating how the Ph.D program in biological sciences at Ashoka will enable you to realize your career goal/s. Interested candidates are encouraged to visit the department website  to understand the lines of research being pursued at Ashoka before writing the research statement.


2. Two letters of recommendation
It is most helpful if letter writers know you well and are able to evaluate and attest your prior research experience/ training and your ability to perform at the graduate level. We prefer that the letter writers email us the letters from their official email addresses and include a phone number where we can reach out to for any clarification.
Referees may email the recommendation letters directly to
The subject of the email should be  ‘Recommendation_<candidate’s name>’.

Application Closing Dates

Application Portal : Ashoka University Ph.D. Admissions

Deadline for application submission is 31st May 2021 (11:59 pm IST) 

Selection Procedure

The selection to the PhD program in the department of biology is primarily based on our evaluation of

  1. Your completed online application form and supporting documents including recommendations; and
  2. Qualification in a national level examination.

Candidates who wish to pursue a PhD in ecology and evolution may also be shortlisted via a written examination at Ashoka. Please note that candidates taking the written examination for the ecology and evolution program will not be considered for PhD studies in other research areas in the Biology (General) PhD program.


The selection process has three stages


Stage -1: Completed applications are reviewed by the faculty panel and short-listed for an on-site interview.

Stage- 2: Preliminary interview at Ashoka will be scheduled in the month of June. Exact dates will be communicated to the selected candidates
Stage-3: Applicants who pass the preliminary interview will attend the final round of interview.


Candidates selected to the PhD program will be intimated in person and their names will be advertised on the departmental website.

Important Note

1. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
2. Satisfying the eligibility criteria does not automatically guarantee selection to the interview.

3. Candidates with a 3-Yr bachelors degree are NOT eligible for the PhD program.
4. Individuals who hold a 4-yr bachelors degree such as BS or BSc(Hons.) in sciences, and wish to be considered for the PhD program, are requested to write to the program co-ordinator at to determine their eligibility.

  • Supporting materials such as letters of recommendation and statement of research interests may be sent to

  • All other enquiries regarding the program may be directed to the biology PhD program co-ordinator at


1.     Can I apply to the Biology Ph.D. program if I have not taken any national entrance examination?
Unfortunately NO. Selection to any of the thematic areas as part of the Ph.D. program in Biology requires qualification in a national entrance examination mentioned before such as JGEEBILS/ INSPIRE/ BINC/ CSIR-UGC/ ICMR/ GATE/JEST. These scores have to be valid at the time of application.  If you are not sure if your national examination is valid, please write to or


2.     I am keen to pursue a Ph.D., however, I am unable to decide which lab I wish to join at the time of application?

This is perfectly fine. You need not have identified a lab/mentor to join at the time of application. Once you are admitted into the Ph.D. program, you will have the option to carry out brief rotation projects in 2 or 3 labs of your choice. You may take this opportunity to experience the research in those areas and then make a decision on the lab to carry out your thesis research.


3.     Is it compulsory to submit letters of Recommendation?

Yes. It is an important component of your application dossier.


4.     How can I submit letters of recommendation?

You will have to fill in the contact email of your referees in the application portal. Make sure that your referee is aware of your application and the deadlines.


5.     How many Ph.D. positions are available?

There is no fixed number of positions available. The number of labs that can accommodate Ph.D. scholars every year varies.


6.     Are there any teaching opportunities during the Ph.D. training?
Yes. All candidates admitted to the graduate program have the opportunity to hone their teaching skills by participating in various undergraduate lecture and laboratory courses.


7.     Who are the participating faculty members in the biology department?


Biophysics, Biochemistry and Synthetic Biology:
Dr. Shubhashis Haldar
Dr. Basudeb Maji

Dr. Gautam Menon
Dr. Sougata Roy

Dr. Anup Padmanabhan

Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology:
Dr. LS Shashidhara
Dr. Anup Padmanabhan
Dr. Kasturi Pal

Dr. Sougata Roy


Genomics, Computational & Mathematical Biology:
Dr. Alok Bhattacharya
Dr. Gautam Menon

Dr. Sudipta Tung

Dr. Balaji Chattopadhyay

Dr. Kritika Garg

Dr. Sudha Bhattacharya

Ecology, Behavioural & Evolutionary Biology:
Dr. Shivani Krishna

Dr. Imroze Khan

Dr. Sudipta Tung

Dr. Bittu

Dr. Kritika Garg

Dr. Balaji Chattopadhyay


Immunology, Infection Biology & Epidemiology:

Dr. Rama Akondy

Dr. Imroze Khan

Dr. Anup Padmanabhan

Dr. Gautam Menon

Dr. Shahid Jameel

Dr. Balaji Chattopadhyay