As the present Director of the Institute, I have a great pleasure in making this note on the occasion of the 2015 Annual Research Review. The Institute of Fundamental Studies was established in September, 1981 by the Parliament Act No. 55 and shifted its location from Colombo to Kandy on 04th December 1985. The name of the institute was changed to National Institute of Fundamental Studies (NIFS) Sri Lanka by the Act No. 25 of 2014. NIFS is the only national institute, which, by its Act, has the main objective as to, engages in scientific research to facilitate fundamental and advanced studies with an emphasis on basic research for national development as well as for the advancement of science.
Over the years, NIFS has achieved several goals with the limited number of senior scientists it has. Progress achieved during the recent past has been excellent and the research carried out at NIFS has made a significant contribution towards science, in general, and the development of the country. Basic research leading to useful applications in numerous scientific fields, especially in the development of low cost environmental friendly biofilm bio fertilizer, novel methodologies for environmental remediation, new diagnostic techniques for pulmonary diseases, novel technologically important materials for solar energy conversion, nano-water filters for water purification, and biochar research on environmental remediation has made excellent progress. The research scientists have published their findings in reputed international journals and the Institute has gained a wide recognition as a leading research Centre. Sixty-two research papers in referred journals including 60 in SCI/ SCI expanded journals, 05 book chapters and 109 conference papers/ abstracts have been published in the year 2015 along with two patents (one International and one National). At present there are 16 senior scientists, and 81 research students (12 PhD, 69 MPhil candidates) are carrying out postgraduate research work under their supervision. In the year 2015, 09 research assistants obtained their postgraduate degrees (02 Ph.Ds and 07 M.Phils). Several M.Sc. students and undergraduates from different parts of the island complete their research projects annually at NIFS.
Many school children and teachers, and the general public are benefited from the inspiring programmes regularly conducted by Science Education and Dissemination Unit (SEDU). Consultation and Collaborative Division (CCD) has strengthened national and international collaborations of NIFS by extending the services and collaborations to various government and non-government organizations. With a dedicated staff as well as advanced research facilities, NIFS aims to reach greater heights in its future scientific endeavors.