Graduate Student Mobility Partnership (GSMP) with Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) 2023

Call for Faculty Members

  • Central funding available for IIT Madras Research and Intercultural Exchange Partnership.
  • Host an IIT Madras PhD candidate in your research group, provide an exceptional student experience, and build research collaborations with globally-leading partners. 
  • Opportunities exist to support your current students’ outward mobility to IIT Madras, with support from the universities
  • Four  thematic areas are selected to advance each universities strategic priorities: Advanced manufacturing, Energy, Water and Nanotechnology
  • Application process includes filling a simple Application Form  by Friday, December 1, 2023.
  • Total value of the mobility partnership to the UW faculty member is estimated to be $15- 25K (sum of a person (PhD level qualifications) who will be working in the UW research lab for three-four months (approx.10- 20k) and an outbound experience for one of the students in the research group ($3K travel expenses from central unit at UW and $2k room and board from central unit at IITM)

Discover the flourishing collaboration between the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) in Chennai, India, and the University of Waterloo. This partnership, marked by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2018, has been further strengthened by a notable visit to IIT Madras led by Dr. Vivek Goel, Waterloo’s President in March 2023. This visit solidified the University of Waterloo’s commitment to explore more extensive opportunities for cooperation.

This initiative provides an opportunity for faculty members at the University of Waterloo to host an outstanding research student, normally an advanced PhD student, from IIT Madras in spring 2024 term. This student will become an integral part of the faculty member's research group, contributing to the ongoing research efforts as directed by the faculty member. Additionally, the host faculty member has the chance to send one of their own exceptional research students (also at an advanced PhD level) to the partner IIT Madras research group during fall 2024 and/or winter 2025. This experience will provide the students with fresh perspectives and ideas, enriching their international exposure and enhancing their academic profile. Moreover, it will further the faculty member’s collaborative research pursuits.

There are three opportunities available for summer 2024. For each opportunity, the University of Waterloo faculty member gets to host a PhD student from IIT Madras in spring 2024 term and send a University of Waterloo PhD student from the same research group to embark on the GSMP in fall 2024 or winter 2025 term.


  • Advance knowledge and create a lasting impact on society by actively seeking and uncovering new discoveries,
  • Deepen specialized knowledge and cross-cultural understanding for students from both IIT Madras and Waterloo.
  • Cultivate growth, productivity, and global exposure within research groups at both institutions.
  • Foster mutual understanding between the universities, paving the way for future collaborations in learning, research, and community endeavors.


Faculty members with a regular full-time faculty appointment, as per Policy 76 at the University of Waterloo can apply to participate in this opportunity.

Prior connections with IIT Madras, or even India or Asia, are not required. While evidence of a faculty member’s impact as a research supervisor is considered, there is no need for any prior connection with IIT Madras. The focus is on the potential for impact beyond this specific initiative. IIT Madras’s departments and research centres can be found here and here, respectively.

Incoming IIT Madras PhD students will be hosted under the University of Waterloo’s International Visiting Graduate Students (IVGS) program.

The faculty member’s application for the project must include a CV, responses to specific questions and a draft of how your opportunity would be represented to IIT Madras students. Application deadline is Friday December 1, 2023.  Successful applicants will be notified by Friday December 8, 2023.

Detailed timelines and selection criteria are provided in the application.

Program details:


  • three PhD students from IIT Madras would be at the University of Waterloo for the spring 2024 term (12–14-week period)
  • three University of Waterloo PhD students would be at IIT Madras in fall 2024 or winter 2025 term (4 -12-week period)

The IIT Madras student will arrive in Canada in May 2024 (spring term). They will be housed (full room and board) in one of the affiliated and federated institutions of Waterloo (AFIW) upon arrival, and through to their departure back to India in August 2024. During the 12–14-week period they are in Canada, they would be assigned research tasks by the faculty member – they should be treated as a member of the faculty member’s research group, and a program of work should be in place to allow them to meet collectively established (between the faculty member and the research student) goals.

By the middle of June 2024, the University of Waterloo host faculty member can nominate an outbound student (a Waterloo-registered advanced PhD student) to travel to IIT Madras for a 4 -12-week period in fall 2024 and/or winter 2025. If the faculty member decides to pursue this, then the Waterloo student will travel to Chennai in the September 2024-February 2025 period, similarly be treated as a member of a research group at IIT Madras and have had a program of work put in place.


Core costs are covered by the respective central offices of the partnering institutions. There is no obligatory financial cost to the faculty member. In each instance (outbound IIT Madras student; outbound Waterloo student), the home institution financially supports the outbound travel of their own student (flight, ground transportation, visa application) and some ancillary expenses; the host institution financially supports the accommodation and some ancillary expenses of the incoming student.

For the incoming IIT Madras students, Waterloo International will secure a residence place at a partner AFIW for spring 2024 term, which is valued at approximately $5,000 CDN.

For the outbound Waterloo student, Waterloo will grant a $3,000 CDN award to support travel to Chennai and other incidental expenses (no reporting required). Students will be accommodated on the IIT Madras campus, through IIT Madras’s support.  Depending on the student’s research project and their status in their program, the outgoing Waterloo PhD student may be registered full-time off-campus or go inactive, and corresponding funding commitments for the student will apply. Details can be explored by contacting Marianne Simm, Director, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.  It is not expected that there will be any other Waterloo-supported resources that will be forthcoming to support this outbound experience.

Application deadline:

Applications will be received by faculty members interested in this opportunity until Friday December 1, 2023.  Completed application to be returned to Ishari Waduwara-Jayabahu  (, International Relations Manager, Waterloo International.


Ishari Waduwara-Jayabahu, International Relations Manager, Waterloo International University of Waterloo – contact for application process and institutional partnership development related questions

Marianne Simm, Director, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, University of Waterloo – contact for student specific questions

Key Dates:

  • December 1, 2023: Application deadline for Waterloo faculty to participate
  • December 8, 2023: Announcement of selected research proposals shared with faculty members
  • December 15, 2023 to January 15, 2024: IIT Madras students apply for the opportunity – Waterloo International to facilitate this process
  • January 16, 2024: Waterloo faculty members will receive applications from IIT Madras students
  • February 15, 2024: Waterloo faculty members announce the selected PhD students
  • Spring 2024 term: IIT Madras students arrive in Canada for 12–16-week exchange
  • June 18, 2024: Selection of the outgoing student by Waterloo faculty members
  • Fall 2024/winter 2025: Waterloo PhD students arrive in India for 4–12-week exchange