All organizations, including governments, need to take decisions at all levels. Such decisions need to be based primarily on evidence, although other factors also play a role. Policy researchers collect, generate, analyse or synthesize the evidence to come up with recommendations for policy.

The BioPolicy PGD aims to provide science, technology and medical graduates with an inter-disciplinary education to tackle real-world problems in industry, academia, media and policy making.

Degree  Post Graduate Diploma in Bioscience Policy Research |    Duration 1 year


  1. Are you someone with a science, technology or medical background who wants to have an impact beyond the laboratory or clinical setting?
  2. Do you want to use your technical training in non-traditional ways and to engage with society?
  3. Do you want to acquire the tools to make evidence-informed policy recommendations and the skills to communicate these recommendations?
  4. Do you want to understand and contribute to the policy making process

Here are some useful reads to get started

  1. What is Science Policy?
  2. Science Policy Research: Having an Impact on Policy?
  3. Science for state legislatures
    Straight talk with Prof. Christopher Murra
  4. Cost effectiveness of decentralised care model for managing MDR-TB in India
  5. How far does a PhD go

Examples of policy-related studies in the biosciences

  1. Treating patients with multi-drug resistant TB: What is the optimal way of treating TB patients – by hospitalization or at home? Which is more cost-effective, and which is more efficacious?
  2. International landscape of sponsors of clinical trials: Which organizations in the world sponsor clinical trials, where are these organizations based, and how many trials does each of these organizations sponsor?
  3. Understanding the start-up ecosystem of biotech in India: Which categories of people set up biotech companies in India today? New pharma-biotech company formation in India. Nature Biotechnology 24, 499–501 (2006)
  4. Conserving biodiversity: Do communities value their local biodiversity, and if so, what mechanisms do they use to protect and propagate it?
  5. Innovative strategies for controlling the spread of communicable diseases: Identifying the determinants of spread of a disease, such as mobility of particular individuals, nature of work of those individuals and extent of social contacts of those individuals, and creating a model to come up with the ideal strategy of controlling the spread of the disease.

The curriculum includes a combination of coursework at IBAB, online courses (at Takshashila) and internships (at IBAB, at Takshashila or elsewhere). The programme will wrap up with poster presentations at IBAB, judged by external experts. It is recommended that students bring their own laptops.

  1. Public Policy Analysis Concepts
  2. Economic Reasoning and Public Policy
  3. Linux and Python
  4. Biostatistics and R
  5. Data visualization
  6. Evidence informed policy
  7. Research for science and policy
  8. Introduction to Ethnography for policy
  9. Introduction to Intellectual Property
  10. Scientific writing and communication
  11. Effective Communication for Public Policy
  12. Data privacy and ethics


Programme Co-Ordinators

  • Dr. Gayatri Saberwal
    Dean (Academic Affairs)
  • Ms. Nidhi Gupta
    Associate Dean, Policy School
    The Takshashila Institution

Board Of Studies

  • Dr. H. S. Subramanya (Chairperson)
  • Dr. Anindya (Rana) Sinha
    National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS)
  • Dr. Sharachchandra Lele
    Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Policy and Governance
    Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)
  • Mr. Denny John
    Evidence Synthesis Specialist
    Campbell Collaboration
  • Dr. Priya Kadam
    NIPT Programme Director
  • Dr. Shambhavi Naik
    Research Fellow for the Technology Policy Programme
    The Takshashila Institution
  • Dr. Vijay Chandru
    Co-Founder and Chairman
    Strand Life Sciences


  • Dr. Sreeparna Chattopadhyay (PHFI)
  • Dr. Kripa Jalapathy (Intellocopia)
  • Mr. Denny John (Campbell Collaboration)
  • Mr. John Kallor (Independent)
  • Mr. Manoj Kewalramani (The Takshashila Institution)
  • Mr. Anupam Manur (The Takshashila Institution)
  • Dr. Sangeeta Kumari (IBAB)
  • Mr. Ameya Naik (The Takshashila Institution)
  • Dr. Shambhavi Naik (The Takshashila Institution)
  • Dr. Jaya Sreevalsan Nair (IIIT-B)
  • Mr. Pavan Srinath (The Takshashila Institution)
  • Mr. Venkataraghavan T R (IBAB)

The programme is open to all graduates in any field of science or technology, including medicine. Graduates with work experience will be preferred. Those with higher degrees such as PhDs, or those with postdoctoral experience, are also welcome to apply.
There is no age bar for applying.


The application procedure is as simple as it gets. Fill up the online application form and submit. You will be contacted by email if you are shortlisted.

Please note that incomplete and incorrectly filled forms will not be considered. The application form includes brief write-ups and short essays.

A non-refundable application fee of ₹ 500 is charged at the time of applying. Your application will be considered only after we receive this application fee.

Further details are provided in the application form.


Tuition fee : ₹ 1,20,000; payable in two installments (1 July 2019 and 1 January 2020)
Hostel and mess fees : ₹ 4000/month; payable in two installments (1 July 2019 and 1 January 2020). Note: Mess compulsory if staying in the hostel.

Admission Begin 1 February 2019
Last date to apply 31 May 2019
Test and Interview 20 – 22 June 2019
Commencement of the Course 22 July 2019

  1. Is there an application fee?
    Yes. You will need to make a non-refundable payment of ₹ 500, as part of the application process.
  2. How long is the programme?
    The BioPolicyPGD is a full time, highly intensive course that will run for one calendar year, starting July 2019. This would include a combination of coursework at IBAB, online courses and internships (at IBAB or elsewhere).
  3. What will the programme enable students to achieve?
    Science and technology students in our country largely receive a conventional education within disciplinary boundaries. By and large, they are not offered an innovative, inter-disciplinary education, especially one rooted in policy. In the current global scenario, there is need for an interdisciplinary education to tackle real-world problems, especially in the policy arena. The programme will help the students think about the larger impact of their work on society and help navigate the increasingly complex global policy environment.

    This programme will give the students a whole new dimension to their skill set. They will acquire:
    (a) Insights into different research methodologies and their appropriate use;
    (b) Quantitative skills such as programming in Python and R;
    (c) Data visualization skills;
    (d) Ethnographic skills;
    (e) Improved written communication skills (in English), especially from the policy perspective;
    (f) Skills in evidence synthesis; 
    (g) Frameworks and tools for analysing and formulating public policies;
    (h) Economic reasoning skills to understand how markets function and to evaluate various policy alternatives; and
    (i) Understanding the importance of context while preparing policy briefs.
  4. Will the programme co-ordinators assist with placements?
    Yes. Although the organizers do not guarantee placements, the partnering institutions will do their utmost to facilitate placement for the graduates of the BioPolicyPGD course. IBAB has a 95% placement record since it started running courses in 2002.
  5. Is the programme recognized/approved by UGC/AICTE or other government bodies?
    No. We have not sought approval from any government body. This means that the BioPolicyPGD might not be considered a valid qualification for employment/career advancement within the services of the Government of India and other State governments. However, there will be many other opportunities available to the graduates of this programme.
  6. Which kinds of organizations would be interested in hiring the graduates of this programme?
    We believe that the following organizations would value the unique skillset that graduates of this programme will have: Government agencies looking for consultants, NGOs, academia, industry, media houses, funding bodies, philanthropic organizations, consulting organizations, science journals, analytics companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc.