About Us

Who we are

An increasing number of corporations, governments and research institutes are turning to India for research and development that delivers high impact solutions.

Established in 2008, the IITB-Monash Research Academy is a major Australian-Indian research collaboration formed between India’s top-ranked Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) and Monash University.

Geared towards PhD training on a sizeable scale, the academy brings a solutions-driven approach to addressing global problems. With strong industry involvement, it is taking the lead in solving some of the greatest challenges of our time.

About Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)

IITB is one of the elite engineering institutes in India, consistently ranked at the top of India’s best colleges rankings. Entrance is extremely competitive and it is renowned for its outstanding global reputation and highly sought-after graduates.

About Monash University

Monash University is Australia’s largest university with a global reputation for making an impact and challenging the status quo. Monash is ranked in the world’s top one percent of universities by Time Higher Education 2016-2017.

IITB-Monash Research Academy: A unique global research institute

IITB and Monash University’s joint venture PhD program is unique in terms of size and scale. Through collaborative research projects the academy produces a highly talented pool of graduates who are currently taking on world challenges in fields as diverse as novel approaches to drug delivery and sustainable forms of energy production.

IITB-Monash Research Academy outputs are about making an impact, challenging the status quo and harnessing the combined strengths from two highly-skilled institutions. Academy PhD students work on problems that need to be solved, rather than problems that can be solved.
To ensure significant and enduring impact, we operate at a scale unrivalled by any other Australian-Indian collaboration: with close to 200 PhD students, 400 researchers and 400 research projects to date. The joint PhD program attracts up to 4000 applications for up to 50 places per year. Our highly sought-after graduates typically secure employment well before graduation in leading global companies (such as Amazon Lab 126, CSIRO and Tata Group) and in academia where they are making outstanding contributions.

Our offerings

Located in a purpose-built facility in the beautiful Powai campus of IITB in Bombay, the IITB-Monash Research Academy offers joint PhD courses, and functions as a global research hub. Through this unique partnership, we strive to provide unparalleled research and education opportunities to students, industry and institutional partners alike.

Joint PhD program

The PhD program at IITB-Monash Research Academy allows graduate students from India to work with both IITB and Monash supervisors, as well as industry partners. Spending at least one year in Australia, students graduate with a joint PhD degree from IITB and Monash University, ensuring a truly global experience, setting them up for future career success.

Joint research opportunities

We are not restricted by faculty or university borders and as such, our multidisciplinary projects transcend individual or discipline-oriented research agendas. We are driven by industry need, focussing on improving the lives of people in India, Australia, but also across the world by addressing global challenges.

Vision and Objectives


The IITB-Monash Research Academy will be a unique global research partnership that delivers innovative solutions through collaborative, multi-disciplinary projects in thematic areas of strategic importance to industry and to Australian and Indian society.


Outcomes: To provide significant and innovative research outcomes for business and government and create a bank of innovative technology through the output of multi-disciplinary research.

Talent: To carry out research in areas of critical interest to global enterprises, especially those located in Australia and India, through the creation of research teams containing high calibre research staff and high quality doctoral students.

Impact: To become the leading provider of contract research services and collaborative research in the Asia-Pacific region and on the global stage through the establishment of a cogent research program that is supported by high quality infrastructure.

Strategies to Achieve the Vision

  • Engage strongly with enterprises in India, Australia and eventually, the world.
  • Define thematic goals, in collaboration with industry and academia and conduct innovative research programs and projects that address the research thematic goals.
  • Engage in use-inspired projects that address “grand challenges” in a multi-disciplinary setting.
  • Attract the very best talented staff and doctoral students to carry out innovative research projects.
  • Ensure strong collaboration between pre-eminent researchers at IIT Bombay and Monash University.
    Build world-class research infrastructure.
  • Ensure global connectivity.
  • Ensure that The Academy grows to a size of 200-300 PhD students and 30 Post Docs.


The joint venture agreement provides for the formation of an Honorary Board of Directors made up of an equal number of representatives from both IITB and Monash University. We also have an Advisory Council consisting of eminent researchers, academics, and industry and government leaders, who provide advice to the Board on research priorities and strategies.

Current board members:

  • Professor Devang Khakhar (Director, IITB)
  • Professor Prasanna Mujumdar (Deputy Director, FEA, IITB)
  • Professor Subhasis Chaudhuri (Academy Professor-in-Charge, IITB)
  • Professor Amitava De (Dean, Academic Programs, IITB)
  • Professor P.V. Balaji (Dean, R&D, IITB)
  • Professor Margaret Gardner (Vice-Chancellor and President, Monash University)
  • Professor Marc Parlange (Provost and Senior Vice-President, Monash University)
  • Professor Zlatko Skrbis (Vice-Provost, Graduate Education, Monash University)
  • Professor Pauline Nestor (Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research, Monash University)
  • Mr. Ken Sloan (Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Enterprise, Monash University)

Members of the Advisory Council:

  • Prof. Ramesh Mashelkar, Chair of the RAC (Former Director-General CSIR India, Chairman of Marico Innovation Foundation and President of the Indian National Science Academy)
  • Mr. Harsh Mariwala (Chairman and Managing Director, Marico Ltd)
  • Sir Professor Gus Nossal (Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Global Innovation Foundation)
  • Dr. Swati Piramal (Vice Chairperson, Piramal Enterprises Limited)
  • Dr. Jez Smith (Chief Scientist, Orica Ltd)
  • Mr. Ernesto Occhiello (Executive Vice-President Technology and Innovation, SABIC)
  • Dr. Ajit Sapre (Group President R&D, Reliance Industries)
  • Dr. Suman Majumdar (Chief Sustainability Officer, JSW Group)
  • Mr. R. Mukundan (Managing Director,Tata Chemicals Ltd.)
  • Dr. Renu Swarup (Advisor, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India)
  • Dr. A. Mukhopadhyay (Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India)
  • Mr. T. K. Srirang (Head, Human Resources, ICICI Bank)
  • Prof Ashok Mishra (Former Director, IITB and former CEO, Intellectual Ventures India)

Academy mentors:

  • Dr Anil Kakodkar (Chairman, Board of Governors, IITB)
  • Dr Alan Finkel (Chancellor, Monash University)
  • Mr Narayana Murthy (Chair), Founder and Chair of the Board of Infosys

Our People

Dr. Murali Sastry: CEO

Dr Murali Sastry is one of India’s leading nanotechnologists and brings with him close to 25 years of experience in the field of materials chemistry.

An author of over 360 international publications, 10 chapters in books and an inventor of 20 Indian and US patents, Dr Sastry is well recognised in the Indian and global markets as a leader in his field.

Taking on the role of Chief Innovation Officer at Tata Chemicals in 2005, Dr Sastry established an innovation centre that delivered the award-winning Swach nano-silver water purifier.

In November 2011, he moved to DSM India, where he was Director of Innovation incubating new businesses for DSM in areas of national relevance.

Dr Sastry has served on the International Advisory Board of seven leading chemistry journals and the advisory boards of various government departments.

His current research interests include developing new industrially-relevant renewable materials, ethical issues in nanomaterial application, and addressing societal challenges via cutting-edge technology.