The Department offers ample opportunities for students to pursue postgraduate studies and research. Over the years there has been a steady growth in postgraduate programmes and research in the Department. The Department has earned recognition both in Sri Lanka and overseas for research and documentation work in the areas such as Forestry, Ecology, Plant Taxonomy and Postharvest Technology/Pathology.
Every staff member is involved in research and some are internationally renowned for research in their disciplines. The staff has been able to attract substantial funding for research from local and international donors. Among these there were collaborative research programmes involving overseas partners. Some of the research projects included strong postgraduate training components, staff and student exchanges and capacity building. The staff members have made numerous research publications in national and international journals, contributed to text books, reviews and conference proceedings.
The Master of Science degrees are offered as course work plus research. The M. Phil and Ph. D. programmes are predominantly research based and dependent on research funding available to individual staff members of the Department. The postgraduate programmes in the Department of Botany are administered through the Board of Study in Plant Sciences of the Postgraduate Institute of Science (PGIS). The Department follows the guidelines and regulations set out by the PGIS, the details of which are given in the Handbook of the PGIS. The areas of research programmes broadly fall within Plant Systematics, Plant Ecology, Forestry, Restoration Ecology, Plant Pathology, Postharvest Technology of fresh produce, Rhizobiology, Nitrogen Fixation, Soil Science, Cut foliage and cut flowers, Water Microbiology, Medicinal plants, Genetic resources, Reproductive Biology & Forestry, Eco-Physiology, Forest die-back, Food Science and nutrition, Fungi and Mosses. A steady increase in postgraduate activities has been observed with time. Postgraduate reading for M. Phil. or Ph. D. degrees are normally supervised by more than one staff member. Periodic evaluation (6 monthly) of the work accomplished by the research student is done through thesis committee meetings. The student submits a full written report of his/her findings like a Thesis Chapter prior to the meeting forwarded through the supervisor, and the relevant Chair of the Board of Study.
The Department conducts six self-financed M.Sc. programmes.
For more information on postgraduate research please see the Research Section and for more on postgraduate courses please visit Postgraduate Institute of Science (PGIS).