Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram

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Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram
Type Public
Established 2008[1]
Dean Prof. M. P. Rajan, Dr. Ramesh Chandra Nath, Dr. Hema Somanathan, Dr. Anil Shaji[2]
Director Prof. V. Ramakrishnan (Current),[3] Prof. Eluvathingal Devassy Jemmis (Founder) [4]
Academic staff
Students 600+
Postgraduates 400+[6]
199 (171 PhD[7] + 28 IPhD[8])
Location Vithura (Permanent)
Thiruvananthapuram (Transitional)
, Kerala, India
Campus 200 acres[1]
IISER Thiruvananthapuram Logo.svg

The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram (Malayalam: ഭാരതീയ ശാസ്ത്ര പഠന ഗവേഷണ വിദ്യാപീഠം, തിരുവനന്തപുരം; Hindi: भारतीय विज्ञान शिक्षा एवं अनुसंधान संस्थान), abbreviated to IISER Thiruvananthapuram or IISER-TVM, is one of seven IISERs, institutes established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, to bridge the gap between teaching and research at the undergraduate science level in the country. It aims to provide high quality education in modern science, integrating it with outstanding research of international standards at the undergraduate level itself, and develop a spirit of research cutting across disciplines. The institute awards five-year integrated Master of Science degrees in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. There are facilities for doing research in those areas leading to the award of PhD.

IISER-TVM is located on the campus of the College of Engineering, Trivandrum (CET). A site of 200 acres (0.81 km2) for establishing a permanent campus has been identified at Vithura, at the foothills of the Ponmudi hills of the Western Ghats, about 50 km from Thiruvananthapuram.[9][10] There are six other IISERs in India, namely IISER Bhopal, IISER Kolkata, IISER Mohali, IISER Pune, IISER Tirupati and IISER Berhampur.


Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) were created in 2006 through a proclamation of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, under the category of institutes of national importance, to promote quality education and research in basic sciences. Soon after the announcement, two of these institutes at Pune and Kolkata, respectively, were started in 2006. This was followed by an institute at Mohali (2007) and at Bhopal and Thiruvananthapuram in 2008.[11] Each IISER is a degree granting autonomous institution with a prime focus to integrate science education and research. IISERs are destined to become Science Institutes of the highest caliber and reach the prestigious position in the global setting that IISc, IIMs and IITs presently enjoy.


The institute is administered by a Board of Governors with Dr. Tessy Thomas as Chairperson, a 25-member Senate and the Director, Prof. V. Ramakrishnan.[12][13] The Deans are Prof. M. P. Rajan (Academics), Dr. Ramesh Chandra Nath (Students Affairs), Dr. Hema Somanathan (Research and Development) and Dr. Anil Shaji (Planning and Development).[2]


For admission to the MS programmes, students must have completed the 10+2 course. Admissions are based on the ranks obtained in IIT-JEE or performance in KVPY. Students from state and central boards (SCB) can have admission directly based on the aptitude test conducted by IISERs. They must have obtained a minimum cutoff percentage marks provided by Department of Science and Technology (India). At most 25% of the students may be from KVPY, and at least 50% from SCBs.[14] The MS course is research oriented with a focus on basic sciences.[15]


  • School of Physics[16]

The school at present has faculty members working on core areas such as Condensed Matter Physics, High-energy Physics, Optics, Statistical mechanics, and in emerging areas like Gravitational wave astronomy, Nano-scale materials, Quantum information theory, and solar cells. The school is also looking forward to expand in areas like Soft-condensed Matter Physics and Quantum optics. Already hosting several research programmes with one industry funded research, two Max Planck partner groups (MPG on Cosmology & Gravity, MPG on Gravitational Wave Physics) and having several faculty members with national and international research fellowships, the platform for building a school that may be counted among the best is in place.

  • School of Biology[17] led by Dr. Tapas Manna

The School of Biology has sixteen faculty working on physiology (neurobiology, stem cells, circadian rhythm, immunology), ecology (evolution, phylogenetics, biodiversity, behaviour), genetics (mutation, stability), microbiology, biochemistry and cell biology.[17][18]

  • School of Chemistry led by Dr. Mahesh Hariharan

The research activities of the school cover a wide range of areas in chemistry (inorganic, organic, physical and theoretical chemistry). The department is actively involved in research in the areas of inorganic and organometallic chemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, physical organic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, DNA nanotechnology, photophysics and photochemistry of nanomaterials and hybrid materials, NMR spectroscopy, theoretical chemistry, computational chemistry and non-linear dynamics. On the experimental front, the department has a large number of state-of-the-art research facilities including 500 MHz NMR, single crystal X-ray diffractometer, powder X-ray diffractometer, scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscope, absorption spectrometer, emission spectrometer, infrared spectrometer, Raman spectrometer, circular dichroism spectrometer, femtosecond transient absorption and fluorescence, nanosecond transient absorption, picosecond fluorescence, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analyzer, DNA and peptide synthesizers. The computational facilities include 3 clusters with a total of 120 processors.

  • School of Mathematics led by Dr. Utpal Manna

The department has research groups in Number Theory, Finite Group Theory, Lie Algebras, Representation Theory, Algebraic Geometry, Algorithms, Relativity and String Theory.

Student activities[edit]

  • Sopanam [Annual magazine]
  • ITSAV [Annual Sports-fest]
  • ISHYA [Annual Cultural-fest]
  • Quizzing Society of IISER-TVM [QSI]
  • Anvesha [Science club]


The Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research collectively rank fourth in terms of research, after the IITs, CSIR and IISc, according to the Nature publishing Index.[19]