Jaishree Subrahmanium is a botanist who did her PhD in ecological genomics from the French National Institute of Agricultural Research. She has been working with Lotus STEMM, a Canadian NGO working on representing South Asian women in STEM careers, where she established a mental health support community -‘Paksh’. We spoke with Jaishree about her experience with this initiative and lessons from the same.
Sarah Iqbal leads the Communications and Public Engagement division at DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance, which is an independent public charity that funds research in health and biomedical sciences in India. In this interview, which was first published on Editage Insights, Iqbal touches upon several interesting facets, including the fascinating idea of how science and art are intricately linked.
Undergraduate students of biochemistry may know the sequence of reactions in different pathways of energy metabolism. But how well do they understand the interconnections between these pathways? Maya Murdeshwar, an educator from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, uses a quiz featuring cheetahs, triathlons and monozygotic twins to test her students and uncover their misconceptions around these pathways. She explains her approach in this article.
A lot of emphasis is given on introducing research in undergraduate curricula. On the other hand, there is little to no discussion about how to introduce the students to reading primary literature critically, or how to assess their understanding of it. Can there be a structured way of getting a regular undergraduate, who may or may not be interested in a research career, enthused about reading a research paper? How to test whether they have understood what they have read? These were the questions dealt by the educators of the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), Mumbai, while developing a three-day module for reading research papers. In this article, one of the facilitators of the module walks us through their process.
From RT-PCR to rapid antibody kits to sewage surveillance - It is easy to become confused by the variety of different tests currently available for COVID-19. In this article, Somdatta explains the different ways in which each of these tests work, the pros and cons of each method, and the nuances involved in interpreting the results obtained from each of these tests.
The COVID-19 pandemic, while affecting the lives and work of scientists all over the globe, has also enabled an outpouring of generosity and innovation when it comes to rapid and open sharing of research outputs. During the International Open Access Week 2020, we examine some of the initiatives taken by various national and international organisations to improve global access to COVID-19 research.
While there has recently been a movement towards recognizing and countering the mental health crisis in academia, such conversations often fail to take into account the nuances of aspects like caste, gender/sexual identities, economic factors, and intersectionality. In this article, Sayantan examines the way the experiences of members of LGBTQIA+ communities affect their mental health and suggests ways in which the situation can be improved moving forward.
Widespread vaccination against COVID-19 began in India on 16 Jan 2021. However, it can be difficult to keep track of all the information related to the same, with several different vaccines being offered by different manufacturers, as well as the rise of new virus variants. Recently, Indian Scientists’ Response to COVID-19 (ISRC) collated publicly available information related to the vaccines globally in use in an easy-to-access format. We present an abridged version of some frequently asked questions answered in this document, reproduced here with permission.
Himanshu Shekhar is an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Gandhinagar. He was one of the Young Investigators selected to attend YIM 2020 in Mahabalipuram. In this invited article, he talks about the importance of learning and applying strategic management skills when a researcher is first setting up their independent lab.
Sudhir Ranganath is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Siddaganga Institute of Technology (SIT). He is one of the Young Investigators selected to attend YIM 2020 in Mahabalipuram. In this invited article, he talks about the role his mentors, collaborators, and scientific network have played in facilitating the process of setting up his lab.
India produces approximately 1.88 million STEM graduates every year. This large prospective scientific workforce suffers from the absence of a streamlined process to access empirical work opportunities in the form of internships, volunteering, mentorship or entrepreneurship. Ritika Mukherji argues that by not tapping into this demographic dividend, the country’s academia and industry are losing out on a massive semi-skilled workforce.
While the advantages of genetically modified (GM) crops have been widely studied, the Indian agricultural community has been slow to accept and adopt them. In this opinion piece, Monika Koul and Ashok Bhatnagar examine the issues that are holding back widespread usage of this promising technology, and the potential benefits that it might offer farmers.
In Feburary 2020, IndiaBioscience launched Disha, an eBook which provides comprehensive guidance on navigating the landscape of science careers in India. Written by Suman Govil, this book compiles information about multiple career options open to life science and biotechnology students in India and discusses strategies for professional development, job search, and higher education. The following book review by SC Lakhotia (Banaras Hindu University (BHU)), was first published in Current Science, Vol. 120, NO. 3 (10 Feb 2021).
The 12th Young Investigators’ Meeting (YIM 2020) was held in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, from 14 to 18 February, 2020 and was attended by nearly eighty young researchers, in addition to several senior scientists, institutional representatives, guest speakers, and panellists. This article is the second in a two-part series reporting on its proceedings.
Vanshika Singh is a PhD student at the National Centre for Brain Research (NBRC), Manesar. In this next article in our PhD Cafe series, she writes about why networking can be challenging for an introverted graduate student and the strategies that one can employ to derive the benefits of networking while remaining true to their personality.
Parul Anup recently completed her PhD from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. In this next article in our PhD Cafe series, she talks about the expectations that graduate students and Principal Investigators (PIs) have from each other, and how keeping these in mind can help in building a healthy mentor-mentee relationship.
Previously in this series, we have asked scientists from different backgrounds, disciplines and career stages to reflect upon their life in lockdown and how it has influenced how they approach doing science. In this article, Karla P. Mercado-Shekhar, Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Gandhinagar writes about the process of adjusting to the new normal, and some positive changes in the way we communicate and collaborate that may have resulted from this experience.
In this series, we ask scientists from different backgrounds, disciplines and career stages to reflect upon their life in lockdown and how it has influenced how they approach doing science. In this article, Mayuri Rege from Ramnarain Ruia College, Mumbai, writes about how the lockdown has transformed scientific networking, especially for those for whom international travel was always a barrier. This article was first published on COVID Gyan.
In 2019, IndiaBioscience launched the International Grants Awareness Program (iGAP), an initiative that aims to raise awareness about international funding opportunities available to Indian researchers, as well as to train and motivate them to apply for the same. This article looks back at some of our past activities and provides a snapshot of all the resources we have created under this project.
IndiaBioscience's International Grants Awareness Program (iGAP) aims to improve the success rate for Indian applications at international funding opportunities by spreading awareness, imparting skills, and inculcating confidence to apply. In this new series of articles, we speak to past and current awardees of some of these international funding schemes to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences and insights of applying and acquiring these funds.