Homi J. Bhabha, known for his role in the development of the Indian atomic energy programme, wrote to the
Sir Dorabji Tata Trust requesting financial assistance to set up a scientific research institute.
 With support from
J.R.D. Tata, then chairman of the
Tata Group, TIFR was founded on 1 June 1945, and Homi Bhabha was appointed its first director.
 The institute initially operated within the campus of the
Indian Institute of Science,
Banglore before relocating to Mumbai later that year. TIFR's new campus in
Colaba was designed by
Helmuth Bartsch and was inaugurated by Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru on 15 January 1962.
Indian Independence, in 1949, the
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) designated TIFR to be the centre for all large-scale projects in
 The first
theoretical physics group was set up by Bhabha's students
B.M. Udgaonkar and
 In December 1950, Bhabha organised an international conference at TIFR on
elementary particle physics. Several world-renowned scientists attended the conference, including
William Fowler as well as
Vikram Sarabhai and others providing expertise from India.
 In the 1950s, TIFR gained prominence in the field of
cosmic ray physics, with the setting up of research facilities in
Ooty and in the
Kolar gold mines.
In 1957, India's first digital computer,
TIFRAC was built in TIFR.
 Acting on the suggestions of British physiologist
Archibald Hill, Bhabha invited
Obaid Siddiqi to set up a research group in molecular biology. This ultimately resulted in the establishment of the
National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore twenty years later. In 1970, TIFR started research in radio astronomy with the setting up of the
Ooty Radio Telescope. Encouraged by the success of ORT,
Govind Swarup persuaded J. R. D. Tata to help set up the
Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope near
TIFR attained the official
deemed university status in June 2002.
 To meet the ever-growing demand of space needed for research labs and accommodation institute is coming up with a
new campus at