Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur and The University of Manchester have launched a dual award PhD programme, an official statement said on Friday. While IIT Kharagpur has already established similar programmes with universities in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, this is the first time such a joint programme has been set up with a British university, the institute said.
The PhD programme, which will represent the next phase of the strategic partnership of the two leading institutes in India and the UK, will also serve to consolidate and build on existing research collaborations across a number of thematic areas including environmental geochemistry, biomaterials and Industry 4.0.
"Students will be jointly recruited and spend time in both Manchester and Kharagpur, benefiting from the expertise, facilities and infrastructure of two globally renowned institutions," the statement said.
The programme will be launched this July and will be open to IIT and IISc graduates from India during its initial phase. Successful candidates will be required to enroll at both institutions spending the first year at IIT Kharagpur with the remaining time of the programme split between The University of Manchester and IIT Kharagpur according to the project requirements as determined by the supervisors and the Joint Programme Board.
Both institutions will be responsible for making their own award but the two components would form a single research experience managed cooperatively by both institutions. The successful doctoral candidates will receive parchments from both institutions - each prominently mentioning the joint nature of the work and the partner institute's name.
Former Dean, International Relations, IIT Kharagpur Prof Baidurya Bhattacharya, who was instrumental in setting up of this programme said, "This Dual Award PhD is a unique partnership made possible by the trust and respect we have developed over the years for each other's research quality and academic standards." Starting from defining the doctoral project, selection and admission of the student, to supervision, thesis work and evaluation, and finally award of the degree, everything is jointly administered. "I believe this programme will provide the template for equal partnership between IITs and top British universities in the future," he said.
Professor Stephen Flint, Associate Vice President International, The University of Manchester was quoted as saying, "The dual PhD with IIT Kharagpur is testament to the university's strategic ambitions to build world-class research links with India and to encourage more student mobility between the two regions."
He further added, "The University of Manchester established research partnerships with IIT Kharagpur some years ago and this dual award PhD programme is the next step in deepening our relationship, with academic colleagues in both institutions sharing supervision of the PhD students, who will spend 2 years in Manchester and 2 years in Kharagpur."
Faculty members from the two institutions will jointly define projects which are approved by a Joint Programme Board. As per the umbrella agreement signed in 2017, some of the areas for potential joint projects include Biomedical Informatics, Advanced Materials, Smart Textiles and Earth- Environment-Water Sciences. Several potential collaborations between faculty members of both institutions have already been identified with encouragement of the development of further collaborations.