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IIMB welcomes new batch of pre-doctoral students

The NSR-Predoc program, unique to IIMB, focuses on inclusion and aims to increase the social diversity of management academia in India

8 MAY, 2023: Twelve students – eight women and four men, from different parts of India, were welcomed to the sixth batch of the NS Ramaswamy Pre-doctoral Fellowship programme at IIM Bangalore, this afternoon. As part of the one-year certificate programme, they will be mentored by internationally-acclaimed faculty members at the institute. They will get the opportunity to engage with both current and former PhD scholars, and receive expert guidance in writing research proposals. They will experience student life at the IIMB campus. 

The twelve NSR Pre-doc fellows will pursue their studies in areas such as Decision Sciences, Entrepreneurship, Information Systems, Public Policy, Production & Operations Management, OB&HRM, Economics, Strategy, and Marketing. 

The students said they were excited about receiving academic training that would help them enrol for a PhD programme in their fields of interest that range from Media & Communication to Entrepreneurship. 

The N.S. Ramaswamy Pre-doctoral Fellowship (NSR Pre-doc), launched in 2018 by IIM Bangalore, is a one-of-its-kind programme which helps participants prepare for a doctoral degree.

The programme is specially designed around the needs of doctoral-level students and helps them navigate the process of applying for a doctoral degree. Once they have successfully completed the programme at IIMB, they are equipped to take tests and interviews in universities where their research areas match.

Know more about the programme structure, design, delivery and expected outcomes here.

In his welcome address this afternoon, Professor Anil B Suraj, Chairperson of the NSR Pre-doc Fellowship programme, said IIMB was proud to deliver this pioneering programme. 

IIMB Director Professor Rishikesha T Krishnan welcomed the twelve students. “I am happy to see your varied background and valued experience,” he said, noting that the programme aims to act as a bridge to help participants enter a good PhD programme. “We have a good record in terms of many of our Pre-doc students getting admission to good PhD programmes in India and abroad. This is an important year in your lives as it will help you improve your credentials in applying to a doctoral programme. Use your time wisely and well. Go beyond the structured activities and leverage the larger facilities, especially the excellent library, great databases and the sports facilities here. Work closely with your mentors, build your network here with PhD students, attend seminars by different areas and collaborate on projects,” he said, wishing the students a productive year at IIM Bangalore.

Describing the NSR Pre-doc Fellowship as “unique”, Professor Rahul Dé, Dean Programmes, urged the students to work with their mentors, choose their courses carefully, and develop a strong focus as the rigor of the programme is high.

Prof. Bandi, Dean Administration and faculty mentor to the students in the programme, said mentoring pre-doc students gives him immense satisfaction as IIMB has been able to attract good students to the programme. “All our alumni are doing very well. Given the diverse backgrounds that you come from, you must invest in knowing and understanding your domain. Focus on your discipline but also focus on the ability to read academic literature, write as many critiques as you can and hone your presentation and communication skills.”

Prof. Ganesh Prabhu, Prof. Suresh Bhagavatula, Prof. Allen Ugargol, Prof. Ludvig Levasseur, Prof. Prateek Raj, Prof. Thirthatanmoy Das and Prof. Aditya Shrinivas, faculty mentors to students in the programme, encouraged the current students to interact with both faculty and PhD scholars while on campus. 

“I find the perspectives of Pre-doc students interesting. It is an enriching experience to teach you. Do use the resources at IIMB wisely,” said Prof. Ganesh Prabhu. “You bring interesting domains of knowledge that are valuable to us, so share your ideas and perspectives,” said Prof. Prateek Raj. “Read and reflect, develop critical thinking and network well with everyone on campus,” advised Prof. Suresh Bhagavatula. Prof. Allen Ugargol encouraged the students to build networks with PhD students and Prof. Thirthatanmoy Das spoke on how the students can develop their research credentials. Prof. Aditya Shrinivas termed the Pre-doc programme a “lifetime opportunity and a launch pad for those keen on an academic career”. Prof. Levasseur reiterated the need for the students to invest in reading up on topics which interest them for their doctoral studies.

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