May 2, 2018

India's Science and Engineering Research Board launches visiting PhD program with Purdue

From May 1 to June 30, Purdue will be accepting applications from students enrolled in PhD programs in India to conduct research with faculty at Purdue.

The Overseas Visiting Doctoral Fellowships (OVDF) program is funded by India’s Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), the country’s equivalent to the U.S. National Science Foundation. Purdue is the only U.S. university that has a specific partnership agreement with SERB to receive visiting doctoral fellows. The Indian government has agreed to fund up to 25 visiting PhD students at Purdue, and most are expected to arrive on campus in January 2019. The visiting doctoral students will work in a Purdue faculty member’s laboratory for approximately 12 months under the program. SERB’s investment of approximately $30,000 per scholar per year amounts to a total financial commitment of up to $750,000 annually.

In January 2017, Purdue and SERB signed a Memorandum of Understanding designed to deepen research linkages between Purdue and Indian institutions of higher education. In line with SERB’s mission, OVDF students must be enrolled in Indian institutions in PhD programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (including medicine, pharma, agriculture and related STEM disciplines) to participate.

The OVDF program is intended to strengthen institutional partnerships between Purdue and higher education institutions in India by fostering collaborations between research groups. Toward these goals, a qualifying PhD student must be jointly nominated by a Purdue faculty member and his/her advisor at the Indian partner institution. The interactions between the participating faculty should include an established or evolving research collaboration between the research groups. Joint service on the student’s thesis committee or joint supervision of the thesis are also strongly encouraged.

In addition to providing a living stipend for students during their stay at Purdue, SERB also will cover round-trip airfare for the student as well as airfare for both the Purdue faculty member and the Indian faculty advisor to visit each other’s laboratories once during the research period.

 “The Visiting Doctoral Fellowship program provides a concrete mechanism to deepen research collaborations between Purdue and Indian strategic partner institutions,” says Suresh Garimella, executive vice president for research and partnerships. “Purdue officially designated India as a top strategically important country for the University, and we are committed to long-term engagement. Programs like this allow us to cultivate and sustain partnerships needed to conduct world-changing research -- tackling challenging issues that transcend our borders and ultimately contribute to the global community at large.”

Purdue has established its own procedures to vet OVDF applications. Complete program information and application materials are available online.

Source: Heidi Arola, managing director for global partnerships in the Office of Corporate and Global Partnerships,

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