Will IITM set me up for a career in research?

IIT Madras is renowned worldwide for its research-based academic programs, which have been quite successful in building a thriving research culture. Many undergraduate core courses help you develop a solid foundation to do research later. These courses often discuss active research questions to pique your interest in that domain. Along with the core courses, the graduate-level courses are designed to help students pursue a research career. Most of these courses have course projects and presentations that give you a taste of academic research.

As a B.Tech student, there are a lot of research opportunities ranging from UGRC to Young Research Fellowship (YRF) and Bachelors’ Thesis (BTP). If you are a Dual Degree (DD) student, you also have a compulsory final-year project where you get to work on a research problem for the entire duration of your final year. Working with renowned professors at IITM and their collaborators also helps you build a solid profile to pursue an MS/PhD in top universities.

About the YRF: The Young Research Fellow program is a unique program with a mission to encourage highly motivated undergraduate students to embrace the vibrant ongoing research environment at IIT Madras. This year-long program is designed to provide immersive scientific exploration opportunities for the students. The participants can choose and execute research projects in any academic department or centre of excellence at IITM, purely based on their interests and aptitude. The respective faculty member will closely guide the students to ensure a successful and rewarding research endeavour.

UGRC: This is an exciting opportunity allowing students to pursue independent research under the guidance of a faculty member. In short, a student should first sign up with a faculty member with a specific proposal of what (s)he expects to accomplish during the semester. The supervisor should ensure that the proposal entails an amount of work appropriate for the credit received. A report, due at the end of the course, should also serve as a useful experience in documentation and technical writing. A B.Tech student can sign up for a maximum of three such courses throughout their program. Students can register for a maximum of one undergraduate research project per semester. Here are some pointers for navigating UGRC by Prof. Uday Khankhoje.

Institute of Eminence: IIT Madras has also been formally recognised as an Institute of Eminence (IoE) under the GoI scheme. This prestigious recognition is a testament to the institute’s commitment to excellence in higher education and research. With its new IoE status, IIT Madras has embarked on a journey to establish itself as a world-class teaching and research institution, focusing on a wide range of contemporary fields. A total of 68 research initiatives belonging to 21 identified technology clusters are presently underway. Here is an overview of the various clusters and initiatives.