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Parameswaran Ajith of ICTS-TIFR Bangalore is the only Indian researcher among fifteen early career researchers to receive this prestigious two-year appointment including $100,000 in research support

(Oct. 13, 2017) Parameswaran Ajith, Associate Professor of Physics at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences - TIFR, Bangalore, has been named an Azrieli Global Scholar by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). Ajith is an expert on gravitational-wave astronomy. 

The CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar program supports researchers within five years of their first academic appointment, helping them build research networks and develop leadership skills. Each scholar will receive $100,000 in research support and become a part of one of CIFAR’s 12 research programs for two years, including the “Gravity and Extreme Universe program”, which Ajith will join.


“I am incredibly privileged to be part of CIFAR’s Gravity and Extreme Universe program, which involves some of the world’s best researchers in gravity and astrophysics as fellows and advisors,” said Ajith. “In addition, CIFAR’s generous support will be highly valuable for the Astrophysical Relativity group at ICTS – both for our research and for expanding our societal outreach.” 


Ajith earned his PhD from Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), Germany and was a post doctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, USA. He has been at the forefront of gravitational wave astronomy as a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. Ajith joined as a faculty at ICTS-TIFR, Bangalore in 2013. His research group has made significant contributions to the theoretical modelling of the sources of gravitational waves and devising new tests for Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. 

“I am delighted that Ajith has received this well deserved international recognition of his research work,” said Rajesh Gopakumar, the Director of ICTS-TIFR. “Ajith has set up a world class group on gravitational waves at ICTS that India can be justly proud of. It is at the very forefront of all the exciting discoveries coming from the LIGO collaboration. We expect to see more exciting stuff from Ajith in the future.” 

Ajith joins 14 other 2017 CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars in the second cohort of this program, coming from the United States, Canada, Ghana and Italy. Their research interests range from solar cell technology, understanding the norms that govern cooperation, and machine learning to black holes and identifying the biological imprint of stress across generations. 

The program also supports the extension of their research beyond the usual academic boundaries by facilitating opportunities to exchange ideas with leading knowledge users across sectors, including policy-makers, business leaders and practitioners who may benefit from engaging with these outstanding young researchers. “One of CIFAR’s highest priorities is to nurture the careers of the next generation of emerging research leaders,” said CIFAR President and CEO Alan Bernstein. 


Established in 1982, CIFAR is a Canadian-based, global research organization, comprised of nearly 400 fellows, scholars and advisors from more than 130 institutions in 17 countries. CIFAR is generously supported by the governments of Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, Canadian and international partners, as well as individuals, foundations and corporations. More information available here, including a full list of CIFAR Global Scholars. 
The CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program is supported by the Azrieli Foundation, which funds scientific and medical research, higher education, youth empowerment and school perseverance, Holocaust education, music and the arts, architecture, and quality of life initiatives for people with developmental disabilities. Support for the program is also provided by the Love Family Leadership Development Fund.

ICTS is a unique initiative in Indian science, which has a threefold mandate. Apart from creating an in-house research program of international quality in theoretical sciences, it aspires to become a hub that connects the Indian scientific community with the international community through its programs, thus bringing together scientists to solve some of the outstanding problems posed by nature. ICTS also actively engages with civic society in spreading awareness of exciting scientific developments and fostering the scientific temper. More information available on the ICTS webpage


Media contact
Anupam Ghosh
Outreach Coordinator
International Centre for Theoretical Sciences
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Survey No. 151, Shivakote, Hesaraghatta Hobli
Bangalore North 560089, India
Tel. 95917 32794 / 080 6730 6054 / 080 4653 6054

Press release