The NIAS Doctoral programme was initiated in 1999 in collaboration with Manipal University (then Manipal Academy of Higher Education), with the aim of developing a cadre of young scholars pursuing and developing multi-disciplinary research in a variety of areas.
In 2005, the Programme was given a formal structure with course work and student fellowships initiated with financial support received from the Indian Space Research Organisation, and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
NIAS has received recognition as a research centre from Manipal University, University of Mysore, and now also the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). NIAS faculty members are eligible for recognition by these institutions as Ph.D. Guides. A Doctoral programme committee oversees the functioning of the Ph.D. programme. NIAS faculty offer a range of courses keeping in view the research interests and needs of the students.
Nine batches of students have been admitted to the Ph.D. programme so far, with the number of current students being thirty eight. Also there are seven project based students.
The NIAS Doctoral programme is developing into a well-integrated and unique programme with an emphasis on multidisciplinary research. Most of our students are working across disciplines, often in areas that they have not studied earlier, creating a vibrant intellectual atmosphere on campus. For instance, interdisciplinary projects are marrying philosophy with biology, environmental science with sociology, cognitive science with behavioural biology, education with anthropology, psychology with philosophy, and remote sensing with archaeology.
The programme is growing in strength, enabling the institute to produce a set of scholars who will carry forward the research projects and traditions already established by the faculty of the Institute. In the future, the doctoral programme will be put on a more sustainable foundation and will expand both in terms of scope and depth in order to meet the upcoming challenges of the nation. Efforts are being made to initiate new areas of research and upgrade research facilities in accordance with international standards.
Various Courses are offered as part of the NIAS Doctoral Programme. These Courses are also attended by students from other institutions.