PhD Biology is a minimum three-year doctorate level programme. The course deals with the study of microorganisms and their surroundings. It is the highest level of educational degree that one can achieve in Biology.
To be able to pursue the programme, one needs to have a master’s degree in the same field of study, from a recognized university. A minimum aggregate score of at least 50% is needed to apply for PhD Biology.
Admissions are held through entrance examinations and a round of personal interview. Each institute holds its own entrance examination that tests the candidates research methodology and basics of research along with general knowledge.
A number of institutes in India offer a doctorate level programme in Biology. Universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University, Indian Institute of Science, University of Hyderabad etc. The average course fee charged is between INR 2,000 to INR 5 Lakhs.
|NIRF Rank 2020||College Name||Admission Type||Average Annual Fees||Average Placement Package|
|1||Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru||Entrance Exam||INR 75,600||INR 18.2 LPA|
|2||Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi||Entrance Exam||INR 2,000||INR 7 LPA|
|6||University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad||Entrance Exam||INR 7,900||INR 6 LPA|
|8||Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal||Entrance Exam||INR 19,667||INR 12 LPA|
|13||Bharathiar University, Coimbatore||Entrance Exam||INR 10,633||4.2 LPA|
The aim of the programme is to gain new information about the chosen field of study and submit a thesis at the end of the study. Some topics that a candidate studies are Genetics, Microbiology, Biochemistry etc.
Upon graduation, one can choose to get admitted into higher studies programmes or seek employment. The top job profiles most PhD Biology graduates are hired as are Microbiologist, Product Manager, Natural Science Manager, Professor etc. The average placement package is between INR 25,000 to INR 85,000 monthly.
What is the PhD Biology Admission Process?
Most institutes admit students through an entrance examination score and a round of personal interview. Candidates need to submit a research proposal that states the research objective, methodology, aim, proposal etc. which is used during the interview. A guide to get admitted into a PhD Biology programme are as follows.
- Online registration: Registration portal opens up only during a specific date and it is advertised by the institute. The application form and all documents need to be uploaded through the portal.
- Fill up application form: Fill up the application form with all basic details like email id, phone number, past educational achievements, job experience, entrance exam score etc. Correctness is needed while filling the form.
- Upload documents: Upload mark sheets and all other required documents to the portal. Documents must be in a specific format and size as specified by the portal.
- Application fee: Pay a minimal application fee to process the application. Payment can be done using all major online payment methods.
- Examination: If the candidate passes the eligibility criteria, they can sit for the entrance exam. Download admit cards, prepare for the exams and sit for it. Results are announced in a couple of weeks.
- Personal Interview: If candidates are successful in qualifying the entrance exams, they are invited for a round of personal interview. They are required to bring their research proposals for the interview.
- Admission: Post the interview round, the list of candidates who have qualified will be informed. They can then take admission in the college by paying a small admission fee.
What is the PhD Biology Minimum Eligibility Criteria?
For a candidate to gain admission into the PhD Biology programme, certain eligibility criteria have to be fulfilled. The following general criteria can be applied to most colleges.
- Candidates must have a master degree in Biology from a recognized institute or university.
- A minimum aggregate score of 50% must have been scored.
- Entrance examination scores like IIS, BITS Pilani or UGC Net is required
- Candidates need to have a research proposal ready stating the research objective, process, methodology etc. This proposal will be used during a personal interview round.
Which are the Various PhD Biology Entrance Exams Held in India?
The universities in India accept national level and state level examinations during admissions. The following are the most commonly accepted exams scores.
- JAM: JAM or Joint Admission Test for M.Sc. is accepted for admission into PhD It is a national level exam, conducted by the IITs. A total of six subject papers are held in online format over 3 hour duration. JAM score is accepted at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore among other universities.
- JEST: JEST or Joint Entrance Screening Test is also accepted at IISc, Bangalore for admissions into PhD programmes. The exam is conducted by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in offline format. The exam duration is of 180 minutes and is held in over 37 cities.
- UGC NET: UGC NET or University Grants Commission National Entrance Test is accepted in some of the top universities in the nation for admission into PhD programmes. The national level exam is held in an online format over 180 minutes. Over 7 lakh candidates sit for the exam annually.
|Exam Name||Application Deadline||Examination Date||Exam Mode|
|IIT JAM||2nd week of October 2020||2nd week of February 2021||Online|
|JEST||2nd week of December 2020||3rd week of February 2021||Offline|
|UGC NET||June 30th 2020 (Extended)||To be announced||Online|
Also, check the entire list of the colleges providing PhD Biology in India.
PhD Biology: How to prepare for entrance exams?
The entrance exam syllabus is different from exam to exam. However, a general syllabus can be drawn. To prepare properly for the PhD entrance examinations, the following tips will be helpful.
- Brush up on all basic subject matter taught at the bachelors and masters level. Basics of the chosen area of research can be revised.
- Research basics, methodology, techniques etc. must be studied thoroughly. The more complicated topics need not be studied.
- Prepare a research proposal that states the research aim, objective, methodology etc. which will be used during the personal interview round.
- Read daily news, affairs of the nation and the world daily. Questions will be asked in most entrance exams.
- Download and print past exam papers. Practice the exams in a timed manner and understand the syllabus and the questions pattern.
How to get admission in a good PhD Biology College?
There are a number of institutes in the nation that offer PhD Biology programmes. To help understand how to secure a seat in a top ranked college, the following tips can be read through.
- Keeping track of application dates, examination dates etc. is necessary. It is easy to miss any changes in the dates. Access the university’s website for all updates.
- Read through all knowledge taught at the master level and the basics of the chosen area of research.
- The research proposal must be revised and prepared with care. The material must be known inside and out.
- Get help from a mentor or a friend for mock interviews. Look through videos of interview tips and get help from seniors in the same field.
PhD Biology: What is it about?
Students eager to learn about the millions of microorganisms surrounding us pursue PhD Biology. It helps to learn about life from the start. The details of the PhD programme in Biology has been described in details below.
- This is a three-years to five-years duration doctorate level programme in Biology and other related areas of study.
- The eligibility criteria for admission is to have a master degree in the same area of specialization. A minimum aggregate score of 50% is sufficient from a recognized university for admissions.
- Admissions is done through entrance examinations and personal interviews. Candidates need to prepare a research proposal stating an outline of the research.
- Some areas of study that a PhD Biology candidate covers during the programme are cell and molecular Biology, Ecology, Evolution, Computational Biology etc.
- Candidates get to gain information about report writing, research methods, data clean up and presentation, thesis preparation etc. as part of the programme.
PhD Biology Course Highlights
PhD Biology is about studying and researching the various aspects of microorganism such as their genes, surroundings, etc. Here is a quick highlights of the course tabulated below that will help you to understand what the course is about.
|Full Form||Doctor of Philosophy in Biology|
|Course Level||Doctoral programme|
|Course Duration||3 years (minimum)|
|Course Structure||Semester/Year wise|
|Eligibility||Candidates should have a master’s degree in the Biology or relevant field from a recognized institute with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks.|
|Admission Process||Entrance Exams|
|Course Fees||INR 2,000 to 5 lakhs|
|Starting salaries||INR 3 LPA to 10.2 LPA|
|Major Areas||Cell and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Evolution, Computational Biology|
|Job Positions||Sr. Research Associate, Research Biologist, Environmental Staff Scientist, Clinical Lab Scientist, Sr. Microbiologist, Product Manager, Natural Science Manager|
|Major Recruiting Industries||Educational Institutes, Medical Research Centres, National Conservation Centres|
|Recruiters||Paramount Diagnostics & Research Center, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., HCL|
Check out the best PhD science colleges in India to pursue a PhD Degree.
Why Study PhD Biology?
To study a doctorate level programme in any stream requires a lot of effort from a candidate. Reasons to pursue the degree will differ from each individual’s goals and aims. The top reasons why it should be pursued are as below.
- Career options: The career options after earning a degree in PhD Biology is unlimited. One can work as Research Associate, Research Biologist, Environmental Staff Scientist, Clinical Lab Scientist, Sr. Microbiologist, Product Manager, Natural Science Manager and more. The career choices also differ as per the chosen area of specialization.
- Pay range: For a doctorate candidate, the pay range is high. Job experience and the skill set of the candidate also come into play with deciding the final pay rate. Pay will also differ from industry to industry. If one is lucky to secure a job in an international organization, the pay will be higher.
- Contribute to Biological advancements: Biologists contribute a lot to humanity in terms of the work they do. They study viruses, bacteria in human beings and animals to understand how they spread and how to control them. Their work is also significant to environmental protection.
- Educate future students: Among the plethora of career options available, one can choose to also work as teachers or professors to college level students. There is no greater work than to educate the next generation of Biologists who will go on to contribute more to the field.
M.Phil. Biotechnology vs PhD Biology, which is Better?
The nearest course to PhD Biology is M.Phil. Biotechnology which can be confused between by most candidates. To help students get a clear idea of what each programme offers, a comparison between both is needed. A side by side look between both is as follows.
|Parameters||MPhil Biotechnology||PhD Biology|
|Overview||MPhil Biotechnology is a one year postgraduate course in biology. It is a combined study of biological science and engineering.||Doctorate level programme that lasts minimum three years. Deals with the study of microorganisms and their habitat.|
|Focus Area||Focus on basics of research, relying on research work of other researchers||Focus is on finding out new and original data and information in chosen field, through intensive research|
|Eligibility Criteria||Master degree in same field of education with at least 50% aggregate score||Master degree in biology with at least 50% aggregate score|
|Admission Criteria||Entrance Exam||Entrance Exam|
|Average Course Fee||INR 3,000 to INR 2 Lakhs||INR 2,000 to INR 5 Lakhs|
|Average Placement Package||INR 2 LPA to INR 20 LPA||INR 3 LPA to INR 10.2 LPA|
Which are the Top PhD Biology Colleges in India?
The top ten colleges in India, that offer PhD Biology programme, as per NIRF’s 2020 ranking list for top universities, are as below:
|NIRF Rank, 2020||College Name||Average Annual Course Fees||Average Placement Package|
|1||Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru||INR 75,600||INR 18.2 LPA|
|2||Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi||INR 2,000||INR 7 LPA|
|6||University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad||INR 7,900||INR 6 LPA|
|7||Calcutta University, Kolkata||-||INR 9.6 LPA|
|8||Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal||INR 19,667||INR 12 LPA|
|13||Bharathiar University, Coimbatore||INR 10,633||INR 4.2 LPA|
|15||Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani||INR 60,442||INR 8 LPA|
|21||Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi||INR 1.28 Lakhs||INR 5.1 LPA|
|22||University of Madras, Chennai||9,503||INR 2.8 LPA|
|26||Panjab University, Chandigarh||15,667||INR 4.7 LPA|
PhD Biology College Comparison
Among professional goals, candidates also wish to be admitted in the top college offering the programme of their choice. To help candidates choose between the best PhD college in the country, a comparison of the top three colleges, as per NIRF’s ranking list for 2020 has been put in the table below.
|Parameters||IISc||JNU||University of Hyderabad|
|Overview||It is a public, research university offering courses in management, science, engineering etc.||JNU is a public central university from New Delhi. It was established in 1969.||This is a public research university from Hyderabad, established in 1974. It has been consistently ranked high by ranking agencies.|
|Rank||NIRF: 1||NIRF: 2||NIRF: 6|
|Average Fee||INR 75,600||INR 2,000||INR 7,900|
|Average Placement Package||INR 18.2 LPA||INR 7 LPA||INR 6 LPA|
What is the PhD Biology Syllabus?
The structure of a PhD Biology programme is a mix of classes and research work. Research work and preparation of the thesis takes up most of the course work. The syllabus for a PhD Biology will be dependent on the chosen specialization. Some areas that candidates can choose as the area of research are in the table below.
|Areas of research||Summary|
|Microbiology||This involves studying microscopic organisms like viruses, bacteria, fungi etc. to find out how they cause diseases and discover cures for such diseases.|
|Biochemistry||This area of Science studies how Chemistry can be used in Biological processes at the cellular level. Researchers find out the Chemistry of living beings at the microscopic level.|
|Genetics||Generics is the study of genes, variation in genes and heredity in organisms. Researchers try to identify which traits get passed on from parents to children.|
|Immunology||Immunology is the branch of Science that studies the immune systems of living beings. Studying, diagnosing, treating and finding out cures for immune diseases fall under this branch.|
|Cell Biology||Cell Biology is the study of cells in human beings, animals, plants etc. Biologists studying cells help develop vaccines, create genetically modified plants and animals etc.|
|Molecular Biology||This branch of Science studies how and why certain traits in genes are present or not present in living beings. Research is done at a molecular level to gain a deeper understanding of all living beings.|
Also, check out the top PhD courses to pursue in India in 2020
What are the PhD Biology Job Prospects and Career Options?
PhD Biology candidates are hired in both Government organizations and private laboratories alike. The industries where one can look into to be hired are Educational Institutes, Medical Research Centers, Zoos and National Parks, National Conservation Centers etc.
The starting salary range for candidates is on the higher range. The final pay will depend on the candidate’s potential, skills, job experience etc. One can expect a pay range of INR 25,000 to up to INR 85,000 monthly initially. The job positions or profiles candidates are hired into are Microbiologist, Environmental Lab Scientist, Natural Science Manager, Professor, Research Associate etc.
|Job Role||Job Description||Average salary||Top Recruiting Agency|
|Microbiologists||A microbiologist studies bacteria, algae and fungi to understand how they cause diseases and how the environment is affected.||INR 2 LPA to 4 LPA||Pfizer, Alpha Pharma Healthcare India Pvt. Ltd.|
|Natural Science Manager||A natural science manager works in the role of a supervisor who overlooks the work of biologists, scientists, chemists and physicists etc. regarding research and development, testing etc.||INR 3 LPA to 6 LPA||Bharat Biotech, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd.|
|Research Biologist||Research biologists study all the natural elements in our environment in order to understand them better. Often they work in one specific specialization.||INR 2 LPA to 4 LPA||Serum Institute of India Ltd., Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd.|
|Professor||Professors gain employment in the educational sector and help educate the next generation of biologists.||INR 2 LPA||Institutes and universities across India|
PhD Biology: Future Scope
A PhD is the highest degree one can earn in India. Most candidates are hired to work immediately on completion of the degree or are already working while completing the degree. The employability chances are high for a doctorate degree holder and finding a suitable job will be easy for most. Nevertheless, if one chooses to explore alternative options of studies, the following can be looked into.
|Overview||MBA or a PGDM holder is hired into work in the management level of organizations. Candidates get to learn the best management practices, people skills and a plethora of other professional skills during the duration of the programme. For people with job experience or a higher degree like PhD an entrance exam score is not required and a fast track programme of one year duration, Executive MBA is also available.||Law is a popular area of study for many candidates. One can get to work as lawyers, judges, legal advisory in courts, private and Governmental organizations etc. For people with a prior degree, the standard bachelor’s level law programme is of a shorter duration.|
|Duration||2 years||3 years|
|Average Course Fee||INR 2 to INR 5 Lakhs||INR 1 Lakhs to INR 2.5 Lakhs|
|Average Placement Package||INR 3 LPA to INR 20 LPA||INR 4 LPA to INR 18 LPA|
|Best Institute||IIM Bangalore, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Calcutta etc.||National Law School of India, National Law University etc.|
PhD Biology FAQs
Ques. What is the minimum duration of the programme?
Ans. The minimum duration is three years.
Ques. What is the eligibility criteria for the programme?
Ans. Candidates need to have a master degree in the same field of study with at least 50% aggregate score. An entrance exam score is also needed.
Ques. What are the entrance exams that are accepted?
Ans. The accepted entrance exams are JAM, JEST, UGC NET etc.
Ques. What is the difference between MPhil and PhD?
Ans. MPhil is based on the study of other’s research work while PhD is about researching new work and data.
Ques. What is the admission process for the programme?
Ans. An entrance exam score and a personal interview round is held where candidates are required to bring in their research proposals.
Ques. What are some job profiles one can get hired into with a PhD Biology?
Ans. Some of the common job profiles one gets hired into are Research Associate, Research Biologist, Environmental Staff Scientist, Clinical Lab Scientist etc.