SPJIMR Fellow Program in Management (FPM): Research Training at par with Global Standards

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Updated on January 23, 2020
SPJIMR Mumbai has developed a rigorous doctoral programme, the Fellow Program in Management (FPM), and is inviting applications for just five positions. The FPM programme at SPJIMR is AICTE approved and is benchmarked with the best global doctoral programs. This article covers key advantages, program structure, admission process and career after FPM.
SPJIMR Fellow Program in Management FPM

SPJIMR Mumbai, ranked amongst Top 5 B-schools in India, has developed a rigorous doctoral programme, the Fellow Program in Management (FPM) and is inviting applications for just five positions. The FPM programme at SPJIMR is AICTE approved.

SPJIMR has benchmarked its FPM Program with the best global doctoral programs. “Our FPM program has been benchmarked against the best US programs. We are following a unique, non-imitative approach to applied research, and significant results will be seen in 4-5 years,” says Dr Ranjan Banerjee, Dean SPJIMR Mumbai.

SPJIMR, a Top Ranked and Internationally Accredited B-school
SPJIMR has consistently been ranked amongst the top B-schools in India by various B-school Rankings. Key recent achievements are:

  • Earned coveted accreditation by AACSB International in 2018
  • Ranked # 5 in MBAUniverse.com B-School Ranking 2020
  • Ranked # 4 among top B-schools in Business Today Rankings 2019
  • One of the only 5 Indian B-schools to be ranked in Global Top 200 B-schools in QS Global MBA Rankings

The SPJIMR FPM advantage
SPJIMR’s FPM programme brings together a unique mix of rigorous methods and practice orientation to research some of the pressing business challenges. Located in Mumbai, SPJIMR brings participants the advantages of doing research in a city that is recognized as the business capital of India.

  • Research that combines Relevance and Rigor
    Based in Mumbai, the business Capital of India, SPJIMR enjoys a strong reputation with the Industry and is leveraging it for building a unique practice-based research culture for its FPM. “We are working together with corporate leaders and industry practitioners to research issues of special interest to Practice. Through a thought leadership industry council, we are partnering with top corporate leaders to create many interesting research studies,” says Dr Banerjee. In addition to drawing on Industry experts, SPJIMR is also drawing in best academic from across the country. “Many well published young PHD scholars from the leading IIMs have joined us in the last ten years. We are seeking to combine rigor and relevance and research issues that will impact practice,” adds Dr Banerjee.  Other uniqueness’s of FPM Program are:
  • Small cohort, Special attention: Only 5 candidates are admitted per academic year which ensures utmost attention and high-quality peer group learning. 
  • Generous Stipend: FPM is a fully funded full-time program. SPJIMR provides generous monthly stipend of Rs 40,000 to all FPM candidates apart from various other grants and allowances to take care of your research needs.
  • Teaching Excellence: SPJIMR FPM is focused on developing Teaching Excellence, an often ignore area in such programs. Training for Classroom Teaching during the FPM course is a part of curriculum. You would be trained as a teaching faculty through Faculty Development Programs (FDP), assistantships, pedagogy design among others.
  • World Class Faculty: Candidates are exposed to world-class faculty, processes, methodologies and other resources at SPJIMR. Distinguished chair professors and other international research faculties from top universities and institutes around the world, conduct seminar style courses during your FPM.
  • Sensitivity to Social Issues and Sustainability

SPJIMR is very well known for its mission to promote value-based growth and ensure that participants of all programs recognize, understand and uphold the social relevance of business decisions. In the FPM program, SPJIMR encourage scholars to pursue research ideas that uphold the mission. Towards that, they have introduced a seminar course on Management and Society which sensitizes and inspires scholars to that effect.

Admission criteria
Understandably, the Admission Eligibility criteria for FPM admission is different from the regular PGDM program. The essential points in the eligibility criteria for SPJIMR FPM admission are:

  • Since FPM is the doctoral program, SPJIMR needs a master’s degree (MBA, M. Sc, M. Tech etc.) to apply for the program. Professional courses (like ICWA, CS etc.) are also considered valid.
  • Apart from this, the candidates are required to submit a test score (GMAT/CAT/NET etc.).
  • Candidates with a few years of work experience (either in corporate or academia or both) to apply for FPM are preferred
  • SPJIMR is also open to high-quality candidates, fresh out of the campus who have the inclination and potential for research.

FPM Selection Process
The FPM selection process at SPJIMR encourages bright candidates with the right fit and motivation to join the program.

  • Application window for FPM opens in February 1st,2020 and will close by July 31st ,2020.
  • The application is entirely an online process. You need to fill all your basic, academic and professional details, fill scores for CAT/GMAT/NET or other test scores as applicable.
  • You also need to submit essays on SOP (statement of purpose) and your research proposal.
  • Post reviewing the application and the essays, the committee shortlists candidates for a written test and personal interview at SPJIMR Mumbai campus
  • The written admission test consists of two stages–general aptitude and research aptitude 
  • After this, the candidates appear for personal interviews with the panel. If need arises, the committee may decide to conduct an optional telephonic round after the personal interview
  • After the completion of this process, admission offers are issued to the selected candidates. 

Structure and Curriculum:
The FPM journey at SPJIMR is divided into three phases: Coursework phase, Master level Thesis phase and Doctoral thesis phase. This provides you with the opportunity to gradually refine your research idea and skills while moving towards your dissertation. Let’s know more about these stages.

  • Coursework: You would be exposed to post-graduate and doctoral level courses which are essential to build a solid foundation for your research career. This phase runs for 12-18 months. Doctoral courses are all seminar based and are taught by distinguished chair professors from the top universities from across the world. Some of them are/have served as the editors of top management journals worldwide. This gives you the opportunity to learn first-hand the art of conducting management research.
  • Master’s Level Thesis: Called as M. Res at SPJIMR, this phase starts towards the end of your coursework and continues for around 9 months. You would be conducting an original research in the area of your interest with your supervisor(s) and would get an opportunity to actually implement the research methods and techniques that you study during coursework. You are expected to submit and defend a mini-dissertation. This gives you an idea of your future doctoral thesis. You may decide to publish your M. Res work in consultation with you supervisors.
  • Doctoral Thesis: This is the third and final phase of your FPM journey at SPJIMR. You are expected to complete this phase within 24 months post your M. Res.

Types of Careers after FPM:
You may be thinking about the Career Options after FPM Program. SPJIMR says it offers following avenues:

  • FPM at SPJIMR trains you to become an expert in your domain. It equips you with the essential knowledge and understanding to carry out research independently or in groups. You can expect to join any research position either in the academia or in the corporate. You would essentially be tasked to create new knowledge and find hitherto unknown solutions.
  • FPM at SPJIMR is a gateway to join the academia as a faculty. You can join any teaching/research institutes as a professor.
  • Depending upon your interest, you may also join the consulting industry and will become an expert in problem identification and data analysis after completing FPM from SPJIMR. You will be able to quickly arrive at a structured solution for the given situation.
  • If you wish, you may also become an entrepreneur. FPM/PhD would train you in planning, execution, relationship management (people skills), communication, problem analysis, solution building and above all in building self-confidence.

Who should apply?
So, what is FPM and who is the ideal candidate? FPM trains you to become a scholar in your area. SPJIMR expects you to increase the domain of human understanding through your research. You would contribute to the overall knowledge by exploring new dimensions within your area. FPM also allows to become Faculty (Professors) in various Institutes, by virtue of your expertise in a domain.

Is FPM for you? FPM at SPJIMR is for you, if you plan:

  • To build a career in scientific research
  • To aim to join the academia as a faculty
  • To invest time in self-enhancement…maybe write a book.
  • To become self-motivated and internal driven

Milestones for your Research Journey
FPM or PhD journey is not comparable to any regular graduate or post-graduate management course where you operate within a prescribed syllabus and a time-frame. FPM is essentially a research journey which enables you to find solution(s) to the problem you are interested in. You cannot put a time frame, when you would discover a solution or a new approach.

However, if you follow the correct methodologies and steps, you can reasonably predict a timeframe. Generally, FPM/PhD courses, across the country and the world take anywhere between 4-6 years to complete. The maximum permissible time limit is generally 7 years.

SPJIMR expects you to complete the program within 4-5 years of joining. The B-school has milestones and systems in place to ensure your achievements are reasonably on time. This does not mean you won’t be able to complete your FPM in 3.5 years. It all depends on your motivation and the amount of time you are dedicating for your work.

To sum up
Finally, before taking the final decision you may be wondering how important is the FPM program at SPJIMR? After all, SPJIMR is well known for its Flagship PGP and Family Business Programs. According to Dean Banerjee, FPM is part of larger efforts to build a top-notch research culture at SPJIMR. “Fostering a strong Research culture is very important at SPJIMR today. We have moved significantly in terms of research culture. This has enabled us to attract young researchers for faculty roles- the number and quality of applicants for faculty roles has gone up significantly. This augurs well for the future. We continue to attract many senior, accomplished leaders in faculty roles as well, and our hybrid faculty recruitment model gives us a unique edge.”

So, if you are clear about your professional purpose and goals, and they include taking up highly impactful Research and Teaching, then SPJIMR may just be the right place for you.

Explore more about SPJIMR and FPM Program on this link   

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