InterDisciplinary Research Program @ IIT Madras

Welcome to the Interdisciplinary Research Programme at IIT Madras

List of Candidates Selected for Jan 2021 Admission (click here)

About the IDRP Program

The Interdisciplinary Research Programme (IDRP) was introduced in IIT Madras in the year 2013 with the aim of creating a platform for encouraging research scholars from any relevant background to perform research in certain specialised areas without the restrictive academic boundaries of departments. Hence, this programme was initiated with the following broader objectives.

  • Promoting interdisciplinary research work and scientific discussions among IITM faculty to perform cutting edge research in Science and Technology

  • Performing directed research in the country's top priority areas

  • Developing future interdisciplinary faculty and scientists by training PhD scholars in interdisciplinary areas

Full time faculty members of two different departments of IIT Madras define interdisciplinary research projects. The student selection is done for specific projects; the student is guided by both these faculty. Selection and admission typically happen twice a year.

How do you know whether you need to apply directly to a department or to the IDRP program?

This section should help you answer this question.

Interdisciplinary work at IIT Madras is carried out by many professors, in ALL departments. Therefore, a candidate does not have to apply to the Interdisciplinary Research Programme (IDRP) to carry out inter-disciplinary research.

The IDRP has been set up to enable students to join a department NOT matching their UG degree.

Here, are three cases highlighting how students interested in carrying out inter-disciplinary work, at IIT Madras, can do so.

I have my own IDRP project, where should I apply?

1. Find the department that most closely matches your proposal.

2. Go through the faculty profiles to find out the professor(s) that work in areas related to your proposal.

3. Email them with a brief summary of what you would like to do, to find out if they are interested in working on that problem.

4. If you get a positive reply, you can apply directly to that department for an MS or PhD degree. Nearly all departments allow candidates with diverse backgrounds to apply for their research proposals.

5. If selected, choose the faculty that you discussed your work plan with, as your research advisor.

I am interested in inter disciplinary research but do not have my own project, where should I apply?

Go through the faculty profiles in the areas of interest to you. This will give you an idea of the interdisciplinary research that each faculty does (nearly ALL faculty do some ID work!).

Case 1: If your UG degree matches the departments of interest:

1. You can write to the faculty explaining your background and interests.

2. Apply directly to that department for an MS or PhD degree.

3. If selected, choose the faculty whose work interests you, as your research advisor.

Case 2: If the research areas of interest is different from your UG degree:

YOU are meant to apply to the Interdisciplinary Research Programme (IDRP).

1. Go through the project proposals that will be listed on the Interdisciplinary Research Programme (IDRP) website .

2. The projects are open ONLY to students whose UG degrees do NOT match the departments of the two guides offering the proposal (this is because such students can apply through those departments directly).

3. Select two proposals that interest you.

4. Apply to the Interdisciplinary Research Programme (IDRP).

5. Students who meet shortlisting criteria and pass the entrance exam will be interviewed for those two proposals.


Best wishes

Shiva Nagendra SM (Coordinator), Shanti Bhattacharya, Sivarama Krishnan

Sathyan Subbiah (Ex-Officio)

IDRP Committee

IIT Madras, Chennai 600036

What's so interesting about IDRP? Hear our scholars speak!

Gargi Mitra

Ajay A P

Prasanna

Jagadeeshwar

Click here for information about ongoing interdisciplinary research projects in IITM.

"The challenges we face are not solvable by people remaining in their single discipline silos"

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