In 1988, he was awarded the prestigious Cambridge Nehru Fellowship to pursue his doctoral research at the University of Cambridge, UK. His PhD project was jointly carried out with MIT, USA in the area of mid oceanic ridge hydrothermal systems.
His research work was published in journals like Nature, Marine Chemistry and Geo-chimica Cosmo-chimica Acta, International Journal of Remote Sensing etc. In 1993, Dr. Mitra joined the Department of Ocean Development and was assigned the responsibilities of the Indian Antarctic Program. He has to his credit the planning and launching of several multidisciplinary experiments in the Indian Antarctic station, and inducting a strong element of international programs in the Antarctic expedition. He was nominated as the Indian representative to the international SCAR & COMNAP committees under the Antarctic Treaty.
In 1998, Dr. Mitra moved to the National Centre for Antarctic & Ocean Research at Goa, in the capacity of Program Manager, Science. He played a pivotal role in formulating the long-term science strategy of the Indian Antarctic missions and also initiated the setting up of the low temperature ice core laboratory and the remote sensing laboratory at Goa. In the course of the above assignments, Dr. Mitra has won several academic awards like the ORS Award of UK; Bursary Award of St. Edmund's College; UK and JSPS Award of Japan and was also elected as a Fellow of Geological Society, London. He was a member of the 12th Indian Expedition to Antarctica and has undertaken several scientific cruises to the Indian, Atlantic & Pacific Oceans.
In 2001, Dr. Mitra joined as a Director in the International Division of the Dept of Science & Technology, Govt. of India. He proficiently enriched the scope and contents of the Indo-US S&T cooperation through several new initiatives. In Nov 2004, Dr. Mitra was confirmed by the two governments as the first Executive Director of the bi-national Indo-US Science and Technology Forum.
Lawson 1142, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN