ICMR School of Public Health


An Online Course for Medical Postgraduates and Teachers in Medical Institutions in India  

As mandated by the National Medical Commission

More information

For Whom?

  • Medical Postgraduates (MD, MS) admitted from Academic Year 2019-2020 onwards.
  • Teachers in medical institutions

NMC notifications


About the course

In order to improve the research skills of Indian medical postgraduates (PG) and teachers in medical institutions, the National Medical Commission (NMC, erstwhile Medical Council of India) has mandated a uniform research methodology course. This online course, “Basic Course in Biomedical Research”, will be offered by ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology (ICMR-NIE), Chennai.

The course will explain the fundamental concepts of research methodology in health. It will be delivered through video lectures and reading materials. Certification will be done based on lecture wise assignments and a final proctored exam.

Enroll now GO TO COURSE Cycle 4
Cycle 5 enrollment is open now

The last date to enroll is 30 November 2021

The last date to submit assignments is 30 December 2021

Those who have not scored the minimum eligibility of 50% in the assignments are ineligible to appear for the final proctored exams in cycle 4. They have to enroll in Cycle 5 and redo the course.

Announcement for Cycle 5 particpants

The enrollment is open now

Last date to enroll is 30 November 2021

Last date to submit assignment is 31 December 2021

Announcement for Cycle 4 participants

Those who have sored the minimum eligibility of 50% in the assignments are ineligible to appear for the final proctored exams in cycle 4. They have to enroll in Cycle 5 and redo the course.

Course Coordination Committee

Dr. Siddarth Ramji
MAMC, New Delhi

Dr. Shally Awasthi
KGMC, Lucknow

Dr. Manoj V Murhekar
ICMR-NIE, Chennai

Course Process

Course Assignments

Out of 25 lectures, the first 23 lectures will have online assignments consisting of 10 Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) each. Assignment scores will be released after the assignment submission deadline. A minimum score of 50% in aggregate is required to register for the final proctored exam.

Final Proctored Exam

Registration will open 3 months before the scheduled examination date. To register for examination, the participant will have to fill-up an online form and pay the examination fees of Rs.1000 online. The city-wise list of examination centres will be made available at the time of registration. A minimum score of 50% is considered pass.


Participants who successfully clear the final proctored exam will be awarded an e-verifiable course completion certificate

Course Syllabus

Conceptualizing a research study

  • Introduction to health research
  • Formulating research question, hypothesis and objectives
  • Literature review

Epidemiological consideraions in designing a research study 

  • Measures of disease frequency
  • Descriptive study designs
  • Analytical study designs
  • Experimental study designs
  • Validity of Epidemiological studies
  • Qualitative research methods: An overview

Biostatistical considerations in designing a research study

  • Measures of study variable
  • Sampling methods
  • Calculating sample size and power

planning a research study

  • Selection and study population
  • Study plan and project management 
  • Designing data collection tools
  • Principles of data collection tools 
  • Data management 
  • Overview of data analysis

Ethical issues in a research study

  • Ethical framework for health research 
  • Conducting clinical trials 
  • Calculating sample size and power

Writing a research protocol

  • Preparing a concept paper for research projects  
  • Elements of a protocol for research studies 
  • Publication ethics
  • Manuscript writing 
  • Grant proposal writing

Course Timeline

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I enrol for the online course “Basic Course in Biomedical Research (BCBR)”?

You can enrol for the course if you are an medical postgraduate or a teacher in a medical institution, recognized by the National Medical Commission (NMC).

Medical Postgraduates

As per the MCI notice dated 9 July 2019, BCBR is mandatory for Medical Postgraduates  admitted from July 2019 onwards. Medical Postgraduates include those pursuing MD/MS in  a medical college approved by the National Medical Commission (NMC).

Medical Teachers

As per the Gazette of India notification dated 12 February 2020 for ‘Minimum Qualifications  for Teachers In Medical Institutions’ approved by the National Medical Commission (NMC),  BCBR is mandatory for medical teachers for their promotion.

I’m neither a medical post graduate nor a teacher from a medical college. Can I enroll for BCBR? 

No. All other interested candidates including medical undergraduate students, clinical/public health/ laboratory researchers, physicians, research associates, allied health professionals, scientists, statisticians, ethics committee members, project managers and those interested in health research can enroll for the ‘Health Research Fundamentals’ (Please follow ICMR-NIE website for the same-https://nie.gov.in/icmr_sph/HRF.html This course is also run by the ICMR- National Institute of Epidemiology.

Please tell me about the enrolment process   

• Step 1 – Go to https://onlinecourses.nptel.ac.in/noc21_md05/preview

• Step 2 – Click on the tab "JOIN" seen on the right-hand corner

• Step 3 – Use your pre-existing Google or Microsoft account to login. (Please use the same email ID till the end of the course. Do not create a new account if you forget the password.)

• Step 4 – Fill “My Profile” and click SAVE.

For further details watch tutorial on “how to enrol” https://youtu.be/e_jaFbQT2xU

Can I change my profile after the enrolment is over? 

Yes. After you sign in, you can click on ‘My Profile’ under which there is an option called ‘EDIT PROFILE’. You may click on it to edit the relevant details. However, you cannot change your email ID.

For further details watch tutorial on “how to sign in, course tour and edit profile” https://youtu.be/wFcTtwK39DY

How can I retrieve my forgotten login ID and password after enrollment?   

Please use your regular Email as login ID. It is always advisable to remember your password. If you forget your password, you can retrieve your login credentials by using "Forgot your password?". However, if you forget the login ID, kindly send us an email or call our office to retrieve your login email ID.

For further details watch tutorial on “how to handle issues on forgot email id and password”  https://youtu.be/sTG1SlAAsHw

How can I access the course and submit the assignments?   

• Step 1: Sign in to the course page  https://onlinecourses.nptel.ac.in/noc21_md05/preview

• Step 2: After signing in using your login ID and password, click “Basic course in Biomedical Research: Cycle 3” under Course outline in the top left of the course page.

• Step 3: In the left panel, all the 25 lectures will be available. Click to open the intended lecture.

• Step 4: Below each lecture, find “Quiz: Assignment” for that lecture.

• Step 5: Click on the “Quiz: Assignment” which you would like to take. The assignment page will open.

• Step 6: Complete the assignment by choosing the appropriate answer.

• Step 7: Verify your answers before submitting and click “Submit Answers”.

• Step 8: The confirmation of submission will be displayed on the top of the page as “Thank you for taking the assignment”.

• For previously submitted assignments you would find the following message “Your last recorded submission was on Date, Time IST” under the Assignment topic.

• You may submit the assignments any number of times before the deadline and last submitted will be considered for scoring.

• Each of the 23 lectures will have 10 multiple choice questions (MCQs). Thus ‘total assignment score’ will have a maximum score of 230.

• There is no negative marking.

For further details watch tutorial on “How to access course materials”  https://youtu.be/GHcy660N-oM  

and “how to submit assignments”  https://youtu.be/MeYUruIdD5k

How will I know my assignment score?  

Once you click on the ‘Progress’ button on your course page, the lecture-wise assignment score will be visible to you. However, the score will be available only after the assignment deadline.

How can I download the course material?   

Please follow the steps to access the course material.

1. Access course home page from the link: https://onlinecourses.nptel.ac.in/noc21_md05/preview

2. Login using the e-mail ID that was used to enrol for the course

3. Click on your user ID on the right side of login page then click on "MY COURSES" tab

4. Your course page will open, click on "Go to course" tab

5. On the left panel, click on “Basic Course in Biomedical Research” tab

6. Click the download link at the bottom of the page. This will take you to a new page where all the course materials including lectures, transcripts, and assignments are available for downloading.

How to ask queries on lectures?   

You may follow the steps below for posting queries on “Basic Course in Biomedical Research”

After accessing the course materials 

1. If you have any queries/comments to be addressed after accessing the course material you can post them in the discussion forum.

2. The discussion forum can be accessed by clicking on “Ask a Question” tab in the menu bar of the “Basic Course in Biomedical Research” home page, followed by selecting the appropriate lecture from the pre-existing discussion threads.

3. You can then type your query/comment in “click here to reply”. Once you have finished typing, click on “post” to get a response from Faculty/Teaching assistants.

4. Please post any queries that you have only in the discussion threads assigned for that particular lecture [for e.g., if you have a query related to lecture 22; you need to find a thread named: “Queries/comments for lecture 22. Elements of a protocol for research studies” and post your queries therein. This will help our Faculty/Teaching assistants in noticing immediately and addressing the queries expeditiously]

5. Once you post a query, our Teaching Assistants will respond to you.

6. Please confine your questions to the lectures. It is beyond our scope to respond to any other queries.

For further details watch tutorial on “how to ask queries on lecture” https://youtu.be/RB8n-Xhzo0c

How to contact the BCBR team for non-academic queries?  

Email ID: noc21-md05@nptel.iitm.ac.in (All technical queries) Phone number: 044-26136422 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm)

Please tell me about the exam registration process 

The registration for the certification exam will be open only to those learners who enrol for the course and secure more than or equal to 50% in total assignment score. A candidate has to pay a registration fee of 1000 INR for exam registration. However, 50% of this fee will be waived for candidates belong to the SC/ST category, and persons with more than 40% disability. All exam related information will be posted in the announcements section of the course page.

Enroll using only one email id. Please use your personal email id for enrollment. Use only desktop /Laptop to enrol and submit the course assignments. Enroll only using Microsoft/Google gateway. The participant who enroll in this course should use the same email id as the course undergoes the following processes 1.     Enrollment  2.     Submission of Assignments 3.     Receiving the eligibility mail for examination registration 4.     Examination registration  5.     Receiving hall ticket  6.     Proctored examination results 7.     Collecting e-Certificates

Do not use more than one email id for enrollment and assignment submission You will receive all notifications related to the course to your enrolled email id only Use only desktop /Laptop to enrol and submit the course assignments The responsibility of keeping the email id and password valid till the end of the course lies with the participant. Hence, it is recommended that the participant preserves the enrollment credentials (i.e., username and password) securely throughout the course. Please note that BCBR/ NPTEL does not store passwords.

Enroll now