May 2024

Apurva Kulkarni’s Inspirational Journey Unlocks PhD Maze


Getting on a journey towards a Ph.D. is a significant decision, one that requires not just academic prowess but also a deep-seated commitment to research. Apurva Kulkarni, a Ph.D. scholar at IIIT-Bangalore, shares her insights and experiences, shedding light on the challenges and rewards of pursuing a doctoral degree in the realm of computer science.

Discovering the Research Realm at IIIT-Bangalore

“When I decided I wanted to pursue a Ph.D., I began looking for opportunities,” Apurva recounts. Her search led her to IIIT-Bangalore, a hub of research activity in Bangalore. Upon exploring IIIT-B’s website and delving into the research projects undertaken by the institute’s faculty, Apurva felt a profound resonance, compelling her to embark on her Ph.D. journey at the institution.

Embracing the Challenges of Self-Paced Learning

The journey towards a Ph.D. is not merely about acquiring knowledge; it’s a voyage of self-discovery and growth. Apurva acknowledges the unique challenges posed by the self-paced nature of doctoral studies. Unlike structured courses, Ph.D. programs demand unwavering dedication and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Through meticulous planning, regular discussions with mentors and incremental goal-setting, students navigate the uncharted waters of research with determination.

The Role of Mentors in Guiding Research Trajectories

Central to the Ph.D. experience is the mentor-student relationship, which plays a pivotal role in shaping research trajectories. Apurva highlights the invaluable guidance provided by her supervisor, Prof. Chandrashekar Ramanathan, Dean of Academics at IIIT-Bangalore. Regular interactions with mentors not only keep research endeavors on track but also encourage a culture of collaboration and intellectual exchange.

IIIT-Bangalore’s Culture of Research Excellence

At IIIT-Bangalore, the ethos of research permeates every facet of academic life. Apurva emphasizes the institute’s commitment to nurturing research talent through various initiatives such as Samvaad Talks, research colloquia like RISE and participation in prestigious events like the Bengaluru Tech Summit. These platforms not only showcase students’ work but also foster interdisciplinary dialogue and innovation.

Transformative Power of Research

For Apurva, research transcends mere academic pursuit; it’s a transformative journey that instills individuals with invaluable skills and insights. Through rigorous inquiry and problem-solving, researchers develop a heightened sense of organization and critical thinking. Moreover, research equips scholars with a nuanced understanding of contemporary issues and technologies, enabling them to navigate complex landscapes with acumen.

Charting the Path Forward for Post-Doctoral Pursuits

As Apurva nears the culmination of her Ph.D. journey, she stands at a crossroads, contemplating her next steps. Opting to delve deeper into the realm of research management, she has chosen to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at Web Science Lab at IIIT-Bangalore. The decision reflects her commitment to advancing the frontiers of knowledge and applying research to real-world challenges.

Apurva’s Research Accomplishments:

  • Worked in the semantically retrieving Open Government Data (OGD).
  • Working on Karnataka Government Data.
  • Received DST-AWSAR 2022 Award Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
  • Has 2 journal papers published in the International Journal of Semantic Computing and IEEE Technology and Society Magazine.
  • 7 research papers presented at various international conferences including CIKM-2023 Birmingham, ICSC-2023 USA, BASE-2023, ICSD-2023, CODS-COMAD-2023, COMSNETS-2022.

Apurva’s journey exemplifies the ethos of research excellence embodied by IIIT Bangalore. With a rich tapestry of experiences spanning research publications, awards, and international conferences, Apurva’s contributions underscore the institution’s commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and scholarly inquiry.

Aspiring researchers embarking on the Ph.D. journey can draw inspiration from Apurva Kulkarni’s experiences. Her insights serve as a beacon for navigating the complexities of doctoral studies, underscoring the transformative power of research in shaping individuals and advancing knowledge. Through perseverance, collaboration, and a steadfast commitment to excellence, the pursuit of research becomes not just a scholarly endeavor but a transformative odyssey of self-discovery and growth.


The International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore is a technical and research university in Bangalore, India. The Institute is a registered not-for-profit society funded jointly by the Government of Karnataka and the IT industry under a public-private partnership model.

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