Ph.D. Programmes

Doctoral Programme (DP) Description

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree programme at SASTRA Deemed-to-be University is intricately designed to provide research scholars with an enriching opportunity to deepen their understanding and expertise in their chosen areas of interest. This comprehensive programme encompasses specialized courses and a research thesis, both of which play pivotal roles in shaping the academic journey of the participants.

The heart of the Ph.D. programme lies in the commitment to nurturing highly qualified researchers. By focusing on the advancement of knowledge and innovation through rigorous research and development, the programme aims to generate scholars who are well-equipped to make significant contributions in their respective fields.

Through a carefully curated curriculum, research scholars engage in specialized courses that not only broaden their intellectual horizons but also provide them with the necessary tools to tackle complex research questions. The research thesis, a cornerstone of the program, empowers scholars to delve deeply into their chosen area of study, fostering independent thinking and scholarly inquiry.

Ultimately, the overarching objective of the Ph.D. degree programme at SASTRA Deemed-to-be University is to create a cohort of researchers who not only excel in their academic pursuits but also contribute meaningfully to the advancement of knowledge and promotion of innovation in their respective domains. This programme serves as a dynamic platform for intellectual growth, encouraging scholars to push the boundaries of what is known and to explore new frontiers in their chosen fields of research.

DP.1 Programme Overview

Ph.D. programme at SASTRA Deemed-to-be University provides ample research opportunities to scholars spanning various fields, including:

  • Engineering/Technology
  • Humanities, Arts, and Sciences
  • Management
  • Education
  • Law

The duration of the Ph.D. Programme is minimum of 3 years and maximum of 6 years from the date of admission. The extension up to a maximum of 2 years is subject to the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.

DP.2 Admission

DP 2.1 Admission Categories

Admitted scholars in the Ph.D. programme come under one of the following categories:

  • Full-time Internal Research Scholar

    Full-time Internal Research Scholar may include individuals in the following roles:

    1. Teaching Assistant (TA)
    2. Research Assistant (RA)
    3. JRF/SRF/Project Assistant/Project Associate/Project Fellow supported by government / non-government funding or semi-government fellowships awarded by national or international agencies.
  • Part-time Internal Research Scholar

    Part-time Internal Research Scholars are individuals with the following roles:

    1. Institute Teaching Faculty (ITF)
    2. Technical Staff (TS)
  • Full-time/Part-time External Research Scholar

    External candidates are from recognized Institutions, R&D organizations, and corporates.

DP.3 Eligibility for Admission

DP 3.1 Required Qualification for Admission

  1. Completion of a two-year/four-semester master's degree programme after a four-year/eight-semester bachelor’s degree programme is required. Candidates having a minimum of 55% marks in aggregate or an equivalent grade on a point scale from a recognized institution/University shall be considered. Foreign qualifications obtained from an accredited educational institution approved by an assessment and accreditation agency recognized in its home country shall be considered.

    (or)

  2. Completion of a two-year/four-semester master’s degree programme (regular/distance/online modes) after a three-year bachelor’s degree programme or qualifications equivalent to a master’s degree recognized by the corresponding statutory regulatory body is necessary. A minimum of 55% marks in aggregate or an equivalent grade on a point scale is required from a recognized institution shall be considered. Foreign qualifications from an accredited educational institution approved by a recognized assessment and accreditation agency in its home country shall be considered.

    (or)

  3. Candidates with a four-year/eight-semester bachelor’s degree shall have a minimum of 75% marks in aggregate or an equivalent grade on a point scale.

    A 5% relaxation in marks is allowed for specified categories, including SC/ST/OBC (non-creamy layer), Differently Abled, and Economically Weaker Section (EWS) for all the above-mentioned three categories.
DP.4 Admission Procedure
  1. Applications are invited throughout the year and the admissions will be done once a quarter.
  2. Selection for the Full-Time Ph.D. programme involves an entrance test conducted by SASTRA Deemed-to-be University, followed by an interview. The syllabus and entrance test date will be communicated to the applicants.
  3. Candidates who have qualified in UGC-NET (including JRF), UGC-CSIR NET (including JRF), GATE, UPSC, or any other recognized competitive exam are exempted from the entrance test. However, they must successfully clear the interview.
  4. For Full-Time/Part-Time external candidates, the selection is based on a critique of selected articles from a peer-reviewed journal in the related research area. The critique is to be presented before the pre-registration committee chaired by Dean-Research. Once the committee approves, the candidate is eligible to register for the Ph.D. programme.
DP.5 Research Supervisor

DP5.1 Recognition as Research Supervisor

  1. Approval of research supervisor/Co-supervisor by the Vice-Chancellor and confirmation by the Academic Council is contingent upon meeting the following criteria:
    1. Possession of a Ph.D. degree in the relevant or allied areas of research intended for candidate supervision.
    2. Demonstration of a minimum of two annual publications in the relevant or allied areas of research in peer-reviewed journals for the last two years.
    3. Faculty members from SASTRA Deemed-to-be University or other recognized institutions such as research laboratories, research centers, industries, organizations, and government departments can be acknowledged as research supervisors. This recognition is subject to approval by the Vice-Chancellor and subsequent confirmation by the Academic Council.
  2. If a recognized research supervisor fails to supervise any Ph.D. candidate within two years from the date of recognition, the approval automatically expires. The supervisor must then reapply for recognition through the Dean- Research.

DP5.2 Allocation of Research Supervisor

  1. Eligibility for research supervision extends to approved faculty members from SASTRA Deemed to be University or other recognized institutions, including research laboratories, research centers, industries, organizations, and government departments.
  2. In the case of full-time/part-time internal candidates engaged in interdisciplinary / multidisciplinary research, a co-supervisor from outside the Department / School / Centre / College / University may be appointed if necessary. The co-supervisor must be a recognized supervisor of SASTRA Deemed to be University.
  3. Full-time/part-time external candidates are required to have a supervisor from SASTRA Deemed to be University and a co-supervisor from their parent organization, provided the co-supervisor is a SASTRA Deemed to be University recognized supervisor.
  4. An eligible research supervisor, holding the rank of Professor / Associate Professor / Assistant Professor, is authorized to guide up to eight (8) / six (6) / four (4) Ph.D. scholars concurrently.
DP.6 Doctoral Committee

A doctoral committee, comprised of a minimum of five members, will be formed for each Ph.D. candidate to oversee their progress.

DP 6.1 Formation of Doctoral Committee

  1. The formation of the doctoral committee for the Ph.D. candidate is mandatory and should be completed within one month from the date of registration.
  2. The research supervisor is responsible for submitting a panel of six experts for the constitution of the Doctoral Committee. This panel should consist of four faculty members from the same School and two members from outside the School/Institute/Organization/Industry, all with expertise in the field of the proposed research.
  3. The Vice-Chancellor will nominate three experts from the submitted panel to serve as members of the doctoral committee.

DP 6.2 Composition of Doctoral Committee

The structure of the doctoral committee will be as follows:

Associate Dean (Research) of the respective School Chairperson
Supervisor Convenor
Co-supervisor (if any) Co-convenor
Two faculty members from the respective School Member
At least one person from another School / Institute Organization / Industry Member
*If the Associate Dean (Research) of the school is the research supervisor the Dean of the respective school shall be the Chairperson of the Doctoral Committee.

DP 6.3 Changes in the Doctoral Committee Members/Research Supervisor

  1. The research supervisor has the option to request a change in the members of the Doctoral Committee during the Ph.D. programme, subject to the recommendations of the Dean (Research) and final approval from the Vice-Chancellor.
  2. If the research supervisor departs from SASTRA Deemed-to-be University, the Vice-Chancellor shall appoint a new research supervisor from SASTRA Deemed-to-be University. This individual will also assume the role of the convener of the Doctoral Committee.
DP.7 Programme Requirement

Candidates must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:

DP 7.1 Course Work

  1. Each Ph.D. candidate shall complete a minimum of four courses, equivalent to at least 12 credits, with a grade not lower than "B" (66% or above) in each course. Every course must have a minimum of 2 credits. This requirement excludes the non-credited Research Methodology & Ethics workshop and the Research Critique. If the candidate has completed SASTRA’s Research Methodology as a part of their PG curriculum, they may be exempted from undertaking the same course.
  2. Approval from the Doctoral Committee is necessary for all relevant PG/UG level courses. If the courses are not available at SASTRA Deemed-to-be University, candidates may register for courses on any MOOC platform, subject to committee approval. Examinations for such courses will be conducted by SASTRA (if not conducted by the MOOC platform) with a 4-week online course being equivalent to 1 credit.
  3. Direct Ph.D. candidates shall undergo an additional 10 PG-level courses (minimum of 30 credits) specified by the Research Supervisor, with compliance, attendance, and evaluation requirements applicable to PG students at SASTRA.
  4. Ph.D. candidates are required to complete a minimum of four courses within 18 months of registration. Direct Ph.D. candidates must finish all 14 courses within 24 months of registration.
  5. Direct Ph.D. candidates may exit the programme upon successful completion of all 14 courses after the completion of three years. This requires a specific recommendation from the research supervisor and submission of a thesis. Upon successful defence, the candidate will be awarded M.Tech. degree in the relevant discipline.

 

DP 7.2 Research Critique

  1. Upon completing the coursework, undergo a Research Critique conducted by a panel of subject matter experts. In the Research Critique, candidates shall select 10 research articles from peer-reviewed journals in their field of research. A summary report of these articles is to be submitted at least one week before the seminar. A panel of 3 members, including the supervisor, will be constituted by the Associate Dean- Research of the school to conduct the seminar.
  2. If the supervisor of the Ph.D. candidate is the Associate Dean-Research of the School, the Chairperson for the Research Critique will be the Dean of the respective school.
  3. Candidates who do not pass the Research Critique will be granted one more opportunity within three months for a reattempt. If the candidate fails in the second attempt as well, their candidature will be cancelled.

 

DP 7.3 Research Progress

  1. The Doctoral Committee (DC) is mandated to convene at least once a year following the initial meeting.
  2. The doctoral committee holds the responsibility of evaluating the candidate's research work and endorsing the submission of the research synopsis.

 

DP 7.4 Synopsis Submission

The research scholars are eligible to submit the synopsis with the approval of the doctoral committee, subject to the fulfillment of the following requirements:

  1. The candidate should have passed the Research Critique.
  2. The candidate should have published or received acceptance for a minimum of one paper / 1 patent (filed) as the first author in peer-reviewed journals.
  3. The candidate should have presented the research work in a public seminar at SASTRA Deemed-to-be University.
  4. The candidate should submit the soft copy of the synopsis in the prescribed format in the Ph.D. portal.

 

DP 7.5 Thesis Submission & Evaluation

  1. The candidate shall submit the thesis within 3 months from the date of submission of synopsis.
  2. The thesis must adhere to the format prescribed by SASTRA Deemed-to-be University. The following documents in PDF format are required to be submitted in the Ph.D. portal: Cover letter, Abstract, Fee Receipt, Thesis, and Similarity Report (<15% similarity and 0% AI; in Turnitin; with no single statement matching with the existing literature).
  3. At the time of thesis submission, the research supervisor is responsible for submitting a list of four international experts and four national experts in the Ph.D. portal. The suggested examiners should not be co-authors / collaborators of the research supervisor of the candidate. The Vice-Chancellor will appoint one national and one international examiner to assess the thesis.
  4. The national and international examiners are expected to evaluate the thesis within two months and provide their comments. If the foreign examiner doesn't respond, we may consider an Indian examiner to speed up the process. The final defence will only take place after receiving positive recommendations from both the examiners.
  5. If one examiner recommends and the other does not recommend the thesis, the Vice-Chancellor will refer the thesis to a third examiner for evaluation. If the third examiner recommends the thesis, the final defence will proceed.

 

DP 7.6 Final Defence

  1. The final examination will take the form of an "Open Defence."
  2. Before final defence, the candidate must have published or received acceptance for a minimum of two papers / 2 patents (Published) / 1 patent Published and 1 paper published/accepted for publication as the first author in peer-reviewed journals. Among the 2 papers, one paper should be the original research article.
  3. The chairperson for the final defence will be chosen from the examiners who evaluated the thesis.
  4. Following a successful final defence and the completion of any necessary corrections, the candidate is required to submit three bound copies of the thesis, in the prescribed format, along with a soft copy to the Dean (Research).
  5. If the candidate does not succeed in defending the thesis, they have the option to reappear at a later date, as notified by the Dean (Research).
DP 8 Temporary Withdrawal / Leaving the Programme
  1. If a student withdraws from the Ph.D. programme without notifying the institution within the initial two years, their admission status will be terminated. There will be no readmission, and any credits earned during their enrollment period will not be considered for future enrollment.
  2. In the case of a student seeking temporary withdrawal from the Ph.D. programme, this can only occur after two years from the date of registration confirmation, with explicit permission from the Vice-Chancellor. The application for temporary withdrawal must be endorsed by the Ph.D. supervisor and the Dean (Research). Temporary withdrawal may be granted for up to one year (two semesters).
DP.9 Research Ethics & Integrity
  1. Candidates are expected to uphold elevated levels of academic and research integrity at all times.
  2. Instances of misconduct, including plagiarism, data fabrication, result falsification, and infringement of intellectual property rights, will lead to the termination of Ph.D. registration.
  3. The University reserves the right to revoke a Ph.D. degree, even after it has been awarded if the misconduct is substantiated.
DP.10 Saving Clause

The Academic Council retains the authority to modify, amend, revoke, or annul any or all the rules and regulations.

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