R. S. Swathi was born in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh. She did her schooling at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Banavasi, Kurnool. She studied an integrated B. Sc. Ed (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics) (1999-2003) course at Regional Institute of Education, Mysore, Karnataka, India. Subsequently, she obtained an M. Sc. in Chemistry (2003-2005) from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam, India. She did her Ph. D (2005-2010) at the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India under the supervision of Prof. K. L. Sebastian. Since September 2010, Swathi has been working as a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.