May 3, 2021

Purdue-India Partnership inviting nominations of doctoral students from India for extended research visits at Purdue

The Purdue-India Partnership is announcing the call for applications for the 2022 Overseas Visiting Doctoral Fellowship (OVDF) Program, open through June 1. The program, which annually brings 25 doctoral students from India to Purdue for 12 months focused on research, requires co-nomination by a Purdue faculty member.

These visiting scholars from Indian institutions must be enrolled in PhD programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (including medicine, pharma, agriculture and related disciplines). Purdue faculty who are interested in receiving an OVDF scholar are encouraged to visit for complete program information. Nominations are made jointly by a faculty member at Purdue and one at an Indian institution.

The program is defined in a Memorandum of Understanding between Purdue and the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of India, which sponsors the visits. Purdue University has a long-standing strategic focus on higher education collaboration with Indian institutions and researchers. The University’s alliance with SERB is a key pillar of the Purdue-India Partnership. This alliance has resulted in 50 fellowships for visiting PhD students through the OVDF program since Purdue and SERB signed an MOU in 2017.

“The OVDF program is intended to build long-term R&D linkages and collaborations between Purdue faculty and accomplished scientists and researchers in India,” says Heidi Arola, director of the Office of Global Partnerships. “Engaging in world-changing research is core to Purdue’s mission as a land-grant university, and as articulated in the Purdue Moves. The research projects to which the fellows are contributing are helping Purdue set itself apart as a leading institution that is dedicated to tackling global challenges. It is inspiring to see the dedication and passion that these young researchers have for their work and the strong and sustainable ties that they are building with Purdue that I am certain will endure beyond the end of the fellowship period.”

More about the program

Purdue is the only U.S. university to host the OVDF program. Annually, SERB supports just 35 doctoral fellows from leading Indian institutions through this prestigious and competitive program; 25 of them are destined for Purdue and 10 for the University of Alberta in Canada.

Several projects from this year's cohort involve seeking solutions to mitigate pressing global issues from the standpoints of engineering and science. Projects span the breadth of Purdue’s many disciplines; the 2021 cohort includes fellows from 16 different Indian institutions working in 14 different Purdue departments.

Examples of project topics: Understanding Tropical Cyclones; Studying the Impact of Climate Change on Agricultural Productivity; Investigating Viral and Protein Interactions in the Zika Virus; Modeling for Urban Floods; and Developing Protocols for Scaling Bitcoin, just to name a few. The diversity in topics is mirrored in the diversity of its participants. The 2021 cohort is 56% female. Overall, Purdue has received visiting scholars from 28 leading Indian institutions through the program.

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