NID-DRT: National Institute of Design - Design Research Test

The National Institute of Design (NID) conducts Design Research Test (DRT) for admission to its PhD in Design programme. The programme gives importance to design research priorities for its current faculty in collaboration with researchers who will be selected as PhD scholars under a faculty supervision.

Details of the PhD programme in NID

The PhD programme in NID is offered in both full-time and part-time mode.

Full-time PhD Programme:

The full-time PhD programme is of three years’ duration and the candidate will receive a stipend for three years.

The following candidates will be considered as Full-time Research Scholars:
a) Research scholars receiving a full fellowship.

b) Candidates who are sponsored by recognised NGOs, government and industry are eligible for full time PhD programme. However, they will not be eligible for any stipend or financial support from the Institute.

c) Foreign students who have received a fellowship from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) are eligible for the full time PhD programme. They can only apply for admission through the Indian Embassy in their country. Such candidates are sponsored by their governments and awarded a scholarship by the ICCR, Government of India.

d) Candidates who are from foreign institutions or universities and with whom NID has entered into an MoU for doctoral level research are eligible to apply for full time PhD programme. They are required to apply through their respective university or institution and shall be shortlisted by their respective home institution or university as per NID PhD Research Committee’s guidelines, according to which they must appear for an interview at NID.

NID DRT Eligible Criteria

  1. Candidates should have successfully completed their Master’s degree in design from a recognised university or accredited institution. Candidates who have successfully completed their master’s degree in areas equivalent to design may also apply. However, it is important that such candidates must have successfully completed either their UG or PG degree, in the field of design.

  2. Candidates who have successfully completed NID’s PGDPD, AEPEP or five-year SLPEP Diploma in Design are eligible to apply for NID DRT.

  3. Candidates are required to successfully complete Bachelor’s degree in design from an recognised university or accredited institution.

  4. Candidates with NID’s GDPD or four-year SLPEP Diploma in Design, with at least three years of teaching or professional experience are eligible to apply.

  5. Candidates who have successfully completed a faculty development programme in design or other equivalent field (of two years or more duration) from NID or any other recognised university are eligible to apply. Such candidates will be treated at par with the Master’s level students.

  6. Candidates who have studied subjects other than design are also eligible to apply for the PhD programme, provided they have a minimum of one recognised degree, either UG or PG, in the field of design, and have a demonstrated interest in study of design. They need to pass the Design Research Test (DRT).

  7. Candidates who are currently working as a design professional should submit a supporting letter from their employer along with the application form.

  8. Foreign students who receives a fellowship from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) are eligible to apply. Such candidates are sponsored by their governments and should apply for only through the Indian Embassy in their country.

  9. The foreign institutions or university candidates with whom the National Institute of Design has entered into an MoU for doctoral level research are eligible to apply through their respective institution or university. Those candidates will be shortlisted for DRT by their respective home institution or university as per the guidelines of NID’s PhD Research Committee.

Financial support for full-time PhD in NID

a) Candidates enrolled in the full-time PhD programme will be eligible for a stipend of Rs. 25,000 per month in the 1st year and Rs. 30000 per month in the 2nd and 3rd year. However, the stipend won’t continue for candidates who spend more than three years on their PhD programme. Candidates enrolled with fellowship have to take up teaching assignments at the Institute and its campuses, as per the supervisor’s recommendation.

b) Candidates may also seek sponsorship from any organisation or from their employer to bear all expenses related to the programme. The expenses for a full time PhD candidate are approximately INR 15 lakh for three years. It may vary depending upon the equipment, material and travel requirements of each candidate’s research project.

NID DRT Admission Dates

Tentative admission dates for NID DRT given here:
  • Submission of application last date through email: March

  • Submission of printed application forms along with a demand draft (to be submitted in person or sent via registered post, speed post or courier): April

  • Design Research Test (DRT) Admit Cards Download from NID website: April

  • Design Research Test Dates at NID: Apri

  • Presentations and Interviews of the selected candidates will be held in April

  • Announcement of Final selection of candidates: May

  • Commencement of the PhD programme: August
For exact NID DRT schedule visit EducationNews.Shiksha

NID DRT Stages of Selection

The Entry to PhD programme in design will be based upon three-stage of selection process.

Stage 1: Shortlisting of Applications
  1. Applications forms of the candidates are shortlisted on the basis of the eligibility criteria and the proposal submitted by the candidate. The proposal content shall be examined from the point of view of plagiarism, appropriateness, alignment with NID’s research objectives and the overall potential of the research.

  2. Only shortlisted candidates will be able to proceed to the next stage.
Stage 2: Design Research Test (DRT)
The eligible candidates are required to sit for the Design Research Test commonly known as DRT. The test will be conducted at NID Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar Campus. However, it is to be noted that the candidates should clearly check the eligibility criteria before appearing for DRT.

P.S.: Appearing for the DRT or being included in the shortlist does not guarantee admission into the PhD programme.

Stage 3: Interview
The third and the final stage is the interview. Candidates who are shortlisted after the Design Research Test will be invited make a presentations to a committee at NID and appear for an interview.

NID DRT Selection Requirements

  • PhD Proposal:
    The PhD Proposal is the most important component for the selection of candidates for PhD programme in NID. A proposal is judged on the basis of its significance it should explain how the research that the candidate is going to undertake is relevant. It should justify how it could make an original contribution to the field of design.

    The proposed method’s outline must shed a light on the suitability and feasibility of their approach. The research proposals are finally selected only if they are found to be in alignment with the research interests of the NID faculty, NID’s vision, and if they fall under the purview of the requirements of its various disciplines.
The research proposal should be approximately of 2000-3000 words in length and which reflects the following points:

a) The context of the research or literature review or general background or the broad field of study.

b) The scope and problem of the research

c) The rationale for and the significance of the study

d) The research questions and the objectives of the study

e) The methodology or approach to be followed

f) The candidate’s work experience, research, knowledge or skills relevant to the study

g) The understanding of the relevant field and research work’s potential contribution to knowledge

h) For practice-based research, candidates should mention how the research objectives and practice relate to each other

i) A bibliography or a List of references
  • Qualifying Examination:
    Those Candidates whose proposals are finally selected are invited to appear for the Design Research Test (DRT). However, design professionals who meeting the eligibility requirements and has more than 10 years of work experience are exempted from the Design Research Test.

    They eligible to appear directly for the interview after on submission of their proposal. Their portfolio and evidence of work experience shall be examined at the time of the personal interview.

  • Personal Interview:
    The DRT is followed by a presentation and personal interview infront of the NID Selection Committee. On selection, every registered student will be assigned under a a Research Guide.

NID DRT Application Process

Candidates are first required see the eligibility criteria before applying for NID DRT.
  1. Candidates need to download application form and handbook by logging in to official website

  2. Fill up the application form with all appropriate details. Applicants are required to provide an active mobile number and a valid email address while filling up the form.

  3. Submit the application form only after filling up all the required fields.

  4. An email will be sent by NID to applicant’s registered email id, on receipt of the completed application form.

  5. It is recommended that the email sent by NID should not be deleted and kept for future reference.
Along with your completed application form, the applicants are also required to email the following documents to

a. A Research proposal of approximately 2000-3000 words in proper PDF format

b. Three Recommendation letter from referees in a proper PDF format

c. No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the employer in PDF format

d. Applicants applying under the reserved category (SC and ST) should upload their valid Caste Certificate issued by a competent authority as per the guidelines of the Government of India. The certificate must be in JPG format and under 150 KB in size.

e. Applicants applying under the Persons with Disability (PwD) category should upload their valid Disability Certificate issued by a competent medical authority as per the guidelines of the Government of India. The certificate must be in JPG format and under 150 KB in size.

f. Applicants are required to upload a recent scanned coloured good quality passport-sized photograph in JPG format and under 100 KB in size. (P.S - Photographs taken via mobile phone and other kinds of self-composed portraits will be rejected).

g. Applicants should upload their scanned signature in JPG format and should be under 100 KB in size.

h. Applicants should also upload a scanned copy of the Demand Draft prepared for the payment of the application fee.

NID DRT Application by Post

Applicants can also send a printout of the application form along with the demand draft and a self attested physical copies of all supporting documents mentioned with two recent passport size photographs in a single envelope.

Please clearly write “PhD Application” on the envelope and send it to  the following address:

National Institute of Design Paldi,
Ahmedabad 380 007

NID DRT Exam Pattern

Duration: six hours
Medium of language: English

The Design Research Test (DRT) evaluates the candidate on the following abilities:
  • Knowledge and world view
  • Creativity and design thinking
  • Observation and imagination
  • Analysis and synthesis
  • Comprehension and articulation
  • Numeric ability and reasoning The DRT consists of two parts:
Paper I: It contains multiple-choice questions with one or more than one correct answer.
Paper II: A test of design research analysis and synthesis with responses to be provided in written or visual format.

The shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews on the basis of the scores obtained in the DRT.

P.S.: NID is not responsible to provide any accommodation or travel facilities for applicants appearing for the test and interviews. Therefore, the candidates are required to bear all expenses for accommodation and travel.

NID DRT Test Centres

The DRT will be conducted at the NID campus at either Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar.

NID DRT Contact Details

PhD Admissions Cell National Institute of Design Paldi,
Ahmedabad 380 007
NID website:

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