The Centre, in addition to research on liquid crystal materials and devices, has expanded its interests to related areas in soft matter. As a prime activity, the Centre runs doctoral programmes and is affiliated to the Mangalore University for the award of Ph.D. degree. It has close collaborations with other research institutes, both within the country and abroad.
The Centre for Soft Matter Research (CSMR) is an autonomous institution under the administrative control of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology. DST has been providing core support to the Centre in the form of a grant-in-aid for conducting basic and applied research in liquid crystals and related areas.
The Centre is governed by a Council constituted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology. Government of India.
Over the years, liquid crystal research has transformed into a truly interdisciplinary area. Traditionally the emphasis in the subject was on thermotropic liquid crystals in which physics, chemistry and engineering each played a major role. In recent times, the trend is towards lyotropic liquid crystals many of which mimic some biological systems. In coming years, the Centre plans to give a major thrust to these interdisciplinary areas (including biology) under the umbrella of Soft Matter.