National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneshwar, is a unique institution in India, committed to generation, dissemination and preservation of knowledge in basic sciences, integrated with the goal to create a zeal and fervor in minds of the young buds of the nation towards scientific temper. The Institute is affiliated with Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), Mumbai, a deemed research university that oversees academic programs at Institutions that are part of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) structure.
NISER campus is situated in 300 acres of land, generously donated by the people of Odisha, in Jatni town, 25 Kms from the centre of the city of Bhubaneswar. The campus of IIT Bhubaneswar and AIIMS are in the general neighbourhood. The Khurda Road railway junction is in the immediate vicinity. The Institute started functioning from the current campus in July 2015, nine years since 28th August 2006, when the then Prime Minister of India, Shri Dr. Manmohan Singh, announced the proposal for its establishment. The institute was officially founded on 6th September 2007 after the approval of the Union Cabinet. This day is celebrated as the foundation day of the institute. The academic program was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Orissa - Shri Naveen Patnaik on 10th September 2007 at the Institute of Physics campus. The Institute at Jatni campus was formally inaugurated on 7th February, 2016, by the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi.
The activities at NISER can be broadly classified into three categories:
(a) Science Education: NISER serves as a centre of excellence for undergraduate and postgraduate education in basic sciences by providing a flexible curriculum and a student to teacher ratio of 8:1. NISER currently offers following programmes in science education for bright and meritorious students selected on all-India basis:
1) An integrated 5-year M.Sc. programme in the core and emerging branches of Basic Sciences to students after their 10+2 Higher Secondary schooling. This in turn will be integrated with Ph.D. programme on the one hand and employment in various R & D organizations and industry in the country on the other.
2) Integrated M.Sc.+ Ph.D programme
3) Ph.D. programme
The principal goal of NISER is to provide excellent environment for the students to foster creativity, imagination and innovation, paving way for a career in scientific research in academic institutes, national & international research & development labs, industries etc.
(b) Scientific Research: NISER encourages both theoretical and experimental research in frontier areas in all branches of science. NISER currently has seven separate schools specializing in different areas of science. They are as follows:
(i) School of Biological Sciences
(ii) School of Chemical Sciences
(iii) School of Computer Sciences
(iv) School of Earth and Planetary Sciences
(v) School of Humanities and Social Sciences
(vi) School of Mathematical Sciences
(vii) School of Physical Sciences.
In addition there is also a Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences.
(c) Science Outreach & Policy: NISER actively participates in the dissemination of scientific knowledge to public and school students with the aim to foster scientific temper, motivation and inspiration for education and career in science. The faculty members of the institute are also members of various governmental committees that develop science policies for the country.
The academic programmes at NISER are designed to provide strong foundations to students, through core courses, before they embark at the threshold of research in the field of their choice. However, NISER's curriculum ensures that every student is introduced to excitements in the frontiers of knowledge in other branches of fundamental sciences. Therefore, NISER creates an environment of scientific culture where every member will excel in any field they desire to pursue.
NISER recognizes that modern scientific research is carried out in a domain without any boundaries. This entails encouraging a new scientific culture where members of our community attain to an intellectual agility unconstrained by the limitations of disciplinary conventions from the past. The students and research scholars at NISER flourish in the ambiance of this scientific culture. In this perspective, the faculty members from different schools try to establish centres of research in inter-disciplinary areas while discharging their teaching duties of core courses of the respective schools..
NISER provides all the basic modern facilities for the overall development of its students, staff, faculty and research scholars. For e.g. a modern library with plethora of books, journals, vast reading areas and electronic means to access various sources, computer centre with high performance computing resources and wireless network all over the campus, modern laboratories to acquire skills to perform experiments, to innovate, to fabricate and to conceive new experimental techniques, gymnasium, meditation center, etc. The students learn through their course works, seminars, mutual discussions and by informal interactions with faculty members. The extensive national and international collaborations of its faculty members, gives research scholars and students at NISER, exposure to cutting edge research across the world. In summary, NISER represents an integrated system to acquire knowledge and explore the unchartered frontiers.