How to apply for DBT-Research Associateship Program 2020

Do you want to make a career in the research field? Are you looking for a fellowship? Department of Biotechnology has released the official notification of DBT-Research Associateship 2020 programme. "DBT-Research Associateship" 2020 for research in frontier areas of biotechnology & applied life sciences. In this article, you can read all the details of fellowship such as eligibility, duration, emoluments, selection method, application procedure and important dates etc.

About the fellowship

During December 2000, the DBT has brought the DBT-RA program whose implementation is coordinated and administered by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. The program was started with a total project cost of Rs. 465.00 lakhs. The purpose of the fellowship program is to skill scientists and researcher in frontier research areas in Biotechnology and Life Sciences at premier institutions in India where major biotechnological research activities are going on.

Program objectives

The main objective of this RA program is to teach post-doctoral students in frontier areas of research in Biotechnology and Life Sciences at leading institutions in India.

Who can apply?

In this DBT-RA program, only Indian Nationals can apply.

Educational Qualification

  1. The candidates must possess a PhD degree in Science, Engineering or MD or MS degree in any area of medicine.
  2. The candidates who have already submitted their thesis of PhD/MD/MS are also eligible to apply.
  3. The candidate should have keen research interests in Biotechnology and Life Sciences.
  4. He or she should have a good academic record.
  5. Persons already in-job are also eligible to apply. However, they must send their applications through proper channel.

Age limit

The maximum age of the applicants is 40 years, however, there will be an age relaxation of 5 years in the case of women candidates.


A stipend in the range of Rs. 47,000 – 54,000 per month will be paid to each fellow. Besides, HRA ranging from 8%-24% (depending on the city) will also be paid to the fellow and other benefits can be availed by the fellow as per the DST guidelines as applicable. A research contingency grant of Rs. 50,000 per year will also be paid to the host institution.


Duration of this Postdoctoral fellowship is 2 years. It is a purely temporary assignment. However, it may be extended up to a period of maximum 5 years only in exceptional cases.

Guidelines framed for implementation of the DBT-RA Program

  • Indian citizen, NRI or OCI cardholder can apply for this award.
  • The candidate must have obtained a PhD/MD/MS degree from a recognized university. However, those who have submitted their 5hesis but not received degree yet, are also eligible to apply. However, if selected they will be called "Project Assistant" and will be paid Rs. 28,000/- per month till the award of the degree.
  • A candidate can avail this fellowship only once in his/her career.
  • The fellowship is tenable only in India in any recognized academic institution, national laboratories and other recognized R & D institutions. All the administrative and infrastructural support must be provided by the host institution.
  • It is mandatory to work for fellows to select a different supervisor other than their PhD guides/co-guides.
  • Under this scheme, the fellow can not carry out his research work at the same institution where the candidates have completed their PhD/MD/MS degree.
  • A mentor can guide only two DBT-RA fellows at a time.
  • A mentor must hold a PhD degree in science or engineering and should hold a regular position in a research institute or academia /research in India.
  • Fellowships are awarded yearly.
  • A a regular employee who is applying for the award cannot avail the fellowship at their host institutions. However, they will be allowed to receive the salary and other benefits while availing the fellowship in institutions other than their parent institutions.

Total number of fellowships

There will be a total of 75 fellowships. However, the number of fellowships per year may be revised as depending on the utility of the program.

How to apply

  1. Interested candidates can apply for the DBT -RA program in response to the official notification available on the website of DBT and IISc Bangalore as well as leading newspapers.
  2. Application format can be downloaded from the website.
  3. The relevant documents should be with application.
  4. Selected candidates will have to produce a declaration stating that "If selected, they will not relinquish the RA ship within 2 years." However, they may be allowed to relinquish the fellowship only if accepting permanent employment in India.
  5. The application completed on all respect should be Speed-posted to the National Program Coordinator at the below mentioned below).

Selection method

  • The advertisement for this RA program is released twice every year in February and September in National English News Papers, including from North East as well as the website of DBT.
  • In response to advertisements, the candidates send their applications from all over India. After the screening of applications selected applicants are called for interviews or presentations before evaluation committees at IISc, Bangalore in May & November.
  • Then offer letters are sent to selected applicants in May/November.
  • Joining to the fellowship starts from July 1/January 1.
  • After receiving of Joining reports from candidates, who joined the program, fellowships grants are released institute wise, along with letters to the candidates.

Fellowships Renewal

  • All the Research Associates will have to send progress report and recommendation letters from their Guides after completion of one year from the date of their joining ( January/July).
  • Extension for 2nd year will be done by the committee after receiving and reviewing of the progress report of the candidates and recommendation letters from their Guides.
  • Similarly, the extension to next years 3rd year, 4th year & 5th year will be based on the Progress reports received from candidates & presentations in an evaluation committee.
  • There will be renewal interviews conducted by the committee. For January batch renewal interview is held in the next January and for July batch renewal interview in the month of next July.
  • Thereafter, the selected RAs in interviews are sent renewal extension letters and fellowships are released institute-wise.

What are the important dates?

  1. Release of official advertisement: Every year in February & September. Advertisement releases in English News Papers & on IISc & DBT official websites.
  2. Starts of screening of applications: Every year in April & October.
  3. Selection of applicants by personal interviews in Expert Committee Meetings: in May & November.
  4. Issuance of Award letters: in May & November every year.
  5. Acceptance of award letters by candidates: Up to July 31 & December 31 each year.
  6. Joining /starts of fellowships: January 1 & July 1.
  7. Review of Progress of RAs: in July & January every year.
  8. Extension of fellowship: in July & January every year.

Application submission deadline

The last date of application submission at IISc is April 05, 2020.

Contact details

  • Prof. Arun Kumar
    National Program Coordinator,
    DBT-Research Associateship Program
    Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics
    New Biological Sciences Building
    Indian Institute of Science
    Bangalore-560 012
    E-mail:; Tel: 080-2293 2998

For more information please visit the websites of Department of Molecular, Reproduction, Development and Genetics (MRDG) and DBT India.


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