View this email in the browser 05 Apr 2024
From the IndiaBioscience desk

Dear reader,

Greetings from the IndiaBioscience team!

We are thrilled to share the highlights from our recently concluded 16th Young Investigators' Meeting (YIM 2024), held from 11 to 15 March 2024 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

This year's YIM was truly exceptional, featuring an array of engaging sessions and activities tailored to help young investigators (YIs) and postdoctoral fellows (PDFs) gain a better understanding of the diverse opportunities in the wider life science ecosystem in India. Alongside mentor talks and special presentations, YIM 2024 hosted workshops on journalism and ethics tailored for YIs and PDFs, a live science exhibit, childcare grants, a dedicated session on pedagogy, several networking sessions, and two international mentors from the Global South (Bangladesh and Chile). We also had a gala dinner night with planned ‘props’ and unscripted dance moves! If that's not enough, we also hosted our interns at YIM and had IndiaBioscience team members give talks on their work in our organisation. We are thrilled to share all the experiences from #YIM2024 with you. Keep scrolling for the latest updates!

Among other news, in the past one year, IndiaBioscience has supported seven Regional Young Investigators' Meetings (RYIM) across India. The RYIM grants will reopen for applications in April-May 2024 for meetings across 2024-2025. If you're passionate about fostering communities in your neighbourhood, now is the time to start thinking! In addition, we also have an interactive webinar coming up on 25 April 2024 titled, 'Can biographies of women scientists help biology education?' You can register for this webinar here.

Needless to say, IndiaBioscience is a platform for the larger life science community in India! If you'd like to contribute an article, produce a podcast or organise a webinar series with us, drop us an email at hello[at]indiabioscience[dot]org. You can also stay connected with us on social media (X/formerly Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube) and join our mailing list to stay in the loop.

Stay Engaged and Enable Change!

Networking and Mentorship
Young Investigators' Meeting (YIM) 2024

To start with, IndiaBioscience takes this opportunity to thank all the participants, mentors, speakers, professionals, engagement partners, co-organisers and the IndiaBioscience Board for their presence and participation at YIM 2024. This year, we hosted 40 Young Investigators from India and 40 postdoctoral fellows from across India and around the world, alongside a stellar list of mentors, speakers, life science professionals, and communicators. The 5-day meeting was held in partnership with IISER Bhopal.

Building on the theme of networking and mentorship, Karishma Kaushik, Executive Director, IndiaBioscience started YIM 2024 with in her opening talk, in which she presented an overview of the many programs and initiatives at IndiaBioscience. Her talk highlighted the role of the YIM series in fostering and building communities of life scientists across India, and the many ways in which IndiaBioscience seeks to continue to engage with the YIM community. The thread of community, networking, mentorship, connections, collaborations and peer support continued through the many sessions, talks, interactions and open Q/A sessions at YIM 2024.

You can read full reports from the YIM 2024 and PDF satellite meeting here. Further, we have uploaded select talks and sessions from YIM 2024 to our YouTube channel.

Regional Young Investigators’ Meeting (RYIM) Grants

Inspired by dispatches from YIM 2024? Want to re-create a YIM-like meeting in your region? Closing on the completion of seven RYIMs across 2023-2024, IndiaBioscience will soon be re-opening the grant call for RYIMs for 2024-2025. Stay tuned for the call in April 2024, and in the meantime, maybe start forming a local team of YIs to apply together!

IndiaBioscience Outreach Grants (IOG) at YIM 2024

In her talk, Manjula Harikrishna, Program Manager, Community Building, highlighted the IndiaBioscience Outreach Grants (IOG) over the last five years. She discussed the impact of the IOG over the years and how these grants have supported young researchers in conducting outreach activities to bring their science out of the lab. Young investigators can look out for the next IOG call in June-July 2024.

Poster session at YIM 2024

On day 2 of YIM 2024, at IISER Bhopal, Manjula Harikrishna presented the IndiaBioscience poster showcasing the various initiatives and activities we have undertaken so far. Shrutika Raut, an intern with the education vertical, and Anuja Vartak, a social media intern, presented the recently designed Q posters and JOYI 2021-2023 poster, respectively.

Digital Initiatives
IndiaBioscience’s Digital Footprint at YIM 2024

At YIM 2024, Arushi Batra, Program Manager-Digital Initiatives talked about the diverse ways IndiaBioscience engages digitally. Notably, she highlighted two impactful series this year: the YI Huddle series and the collaborative webinar series, ‘Big Questions, Innovative Approaches.’ If you’re looking to co-create a webinar series with us, reach out to us on hello[at]indiabioscience[dot]org.

Along with, the digital initiatives intern Agastya Singh, she also recorded podcasts for the upcoming season of our famous, ‘RADIO PDF’ series. Stay tuned for more releases on this front!

YI Huddle 11 (IndiaBiostreams)

For our final YI Huddle of the series, we hosted Shambhavi Naik from the Takshashila Institution, along with interlocutor Surat Parvatam, Humane Society International. The webinar was titled, ​‘Science and Policy: How can YI’s get involved?’ You can catch the YouTube recording here.

With this we have wrapped up 11 YI Huddles! You can watch all of them on our YouTube channel here.

Exploring Science Engagement (IBS X ISF) (IndiaBiospeaks)

We have released two new episodes recently in our special podcast series, in collaboration with India Science Festival 2024.

The third episode of the series, titled ‘SciTalks: Artful Explorations and Festival Chronicles,’ was hosted by Arushi Batra with guests Shweta Ramdas and Saveetha Meganathan. You can listen to the episode here.

The fourth episode of the series, titled ‘Crafting Genes: Introducing Genetics at ISF' with Chandana Basu has also been released. Basu, who is also an IOG awardee, spoke about how scientists can do research as well as outreach with the help of these grants. You can listen to the entire episode here.

Science Communication at YIM 2024

Ankita Rathore, Program Manager-Science Communication, shared various science communication initiatives of IndiaBioscience such as news articles on recent research publications, opinion pieces, updates on ‘Write-On’, the first science writing competition from IndiaBioscience, and compendia such as ‘Journey of a Young Investigator (JOYI).’

If you're interested in writing a news or opinion article for us, send us a 100 word pitch on hello[at]indiabioscience[dot]org.

Inviting pitches for Journey of Young Investigator (JOYI) 2024 (IndiaBioreads)

Our latest JOYI collection (2021-2023) celebrates the stories of young investigators hailing from vastly different backgrounds and with varying research interests, united in their passion for science and their ability to persist in spite of challenges along their paths. We hope that these stories will serve as inspiration for other young investigators in India, as well as for those hoping to launch their scientific careers in the country in the near future.

The call for JOYI 2024 is now open! If you attended YIM 2024 as a YI and are interested in sharing your journey of doing science in India, please send a 100-word pitch to hello[at]indiabioscience[dot]org.


In our science communication vertical, we published several columns and news articles last month.

Scroll down to get a glimpse of these articles below!

YIM 2024: Meet the organisers
Ankita Rathore

The 16th Young Investigators’ Meeting (YIM 2024) is scheduled to take place from 11 to 15 March 2024 in central India at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. We interviewed the YIM 2024 organisers: Karishma Kaushik, IndiaBioscience; Lipi Thukral, IGIB, New Delhi; Ragothaman M. Yennamalli, SASTRA Deemed to be University; Varun Chaudhary, IISER Bhopal; and IndiaBioscience team. We asked them a few questions about the upcoming meeting, and here is what they had to say.

Reimagining our shared future
Sindhu M

The exhibition ​‘Critical Zones: In search of a common ground’ urges visitors to contemplate innovative ways of coexisting with other life forms for a sustainable future on Earth. The travelling exhibition is on display at Science Gallery Bengaluru (SGB) from February 16 to 17 March 2024. Sindhu M, a PhD student at IISc, shares her experience of visiting this exhibition at SGB.

Beginnings in Bhopal: Reflections from YIM 2024 (Part I)
Ankita Rathore and Sindhu M

The 16th edition of the annual Young Investigators’ Meeting (YIM 2024) was held in the central Indian city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, from 11 to 15 March 2024. Around 120 young investigators and postdoctoral fellows, along with representatives from funding agencies, mentors, and institutional representatives, attended the meeting for special talks, networking sessions, workshops, panel discussion, and poster presentations.

Beginnings in Bhopal: Reflections from YIM 2024 (Part II)
Ankita Rathore and Sindhu M

This article is the second in a two-part series reporting on the proceedings of the 16th Young Investigators’ Meeting, which was held in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, from 11 to 15 March 2024. In the second part of this report, we discuss the takeaways from interactive ‘Ask Us Anything’ panel discussion, ice-breaker session, and the proceedings from the PDF satellite meeting that followed the YIM 2024 from 14 to 15 March 2024.

Navigating industry-academia collaborations at RYIM Hyderabad
Ankita Rathore

RYIM Hyderabad was the sixth Regional Young Investigators’ Meeting for the year 2023 – 2024, held from 02 to 03 February 2024, at Mahindra University. The meeting’s focal point was the theme ​‘industry-academia collaborations to translate research to products.’ In this report, Ankita Rathore, Program Manager-Science Communication, IndiaBioscience, highlights the key takeaways from the various talks and discussions held during RYIM Hyderabad.

RYIM Pune: Bringing together medical doctors, life science researchers and public health professionals
Karishma Kaushik

The seventh (and last) of the RYIMs for 2023 – 2024, RYIM Pune was held at Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University Medical College from 16 – 17 February 2024, with a pre-meeting Crafting Your Career (CYC) workshop from IndiaBioscience on 15 February.

Fungal adaptation in extreme temperatures
Jeenisha Dabreo Rumao

Researchers from SASTRA University have uncovered how some fungi can withstand high temperatures. The study published in Proteins discovered that certain proteins on the outside of fungi play a crucial role in making them heat-resistant. Understanding heat-resistant proteins can help us build proteins and enzymes for industrial use where temperatures are usually high.

'15 years of YIM' article series

In this new series, leading up to Young Investigators’ Meeting (YIM) 2024, researchers who have attended YIMs from the past tell us about what it was like for them back then, what they took away from the experience, how things have changed, their ideas for future YIMs, and tips for the newest generation of life scientists gearing up for their first meeting.

Rewind to YIM 2023 with Dhiraj Bhatia
Nandita Jayaraj

Dhiraj Bhatia is a DNA nanotechnologist at Indian Institute of Technology in Gandhinagar. In this interview, he shares his YIM experience with Nandita Jayaraj.

This was the last article in this YIM rewind series, but we promise something exciting is coming soon!

International Grants Awareness Program (iGAP) at YIM 2024

Rohini Karandikar, Associate director, IndiaBioscience presented a talk on the International Grants Awareness Program (iGAP) of IndiaBioscience and discussed ways in which young investigators and post-doctoral fellows can mutually benefit from iGAP’s events and resources. For example, international grant awardees could share their grant-writing anecdotes, appear as speakers on webinars and podcasts, or could also become mentors for prospective grant applicants.

Also, on day 2 of YIM 2024, a session on “International funding for scientists in India” included talks on funding opportunities by Sayam Sen Gupta representing Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (AvH) and Leonor Teles-Grilo Ruivo from European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

EMBO Global Lecture Series talks at YIM 2024

At YIM 2024, IndiaBioscience via iGAP hosted two talks by EMBO-supported investigators as part of the EMBO Global Lecture Series (GLS). Talks from Frederic Berger, Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology GmbH, Austria, and Cesar A. Ramirez-Sarmiento Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile, were delivered at YIM 2024 and live-streamed on IndiaBioscience’s Youtube channel. You can watch Berger’s talk here and Ramirez-Sarmiento’s talk here.

In addition, Ramirez-Sarmiento also presented two Global Lecture Series talks (facilitated by IndiaBioscience) at Azim Premji University, Bhopal, and IISER, Bhopal.

EMBO GIN Webinar

IndiaBioscience’s iGAP in partnership with EMBO organised a webinar on EMBO Global Investigator Network: Research and Networking Across Boundaries.

Gerlind Wallon, program head, EMBO introduced the EMBO Global Investigator Network (GIN). Baskar Bakthavachalu, Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, and Sandeep Eswarappa, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, shared their motivations and experiences of the EMBO GIN program.

The recording for the webinar can be found here.

iGAP Newsletter

Our International Grants Awareness Program (iGAP) is aimed at creating awareness about, and building skills for, international grants in life science research. We are pleased to announce that we have re-started our iGAP newsletters. The first of the bimonthly newsletters of the year was published recently. If you would like to stay updated on international grants, fellowships, and grant writing, and interact with mentors and writing experts, you can subscribe to this newsletter.

Biology education at YIM 2024

Vijeta Raghuram, the Program Manager-Education at IndiaBioscience, also wears the hat of an Associate Editor of "i wonder…," a magazine for middle- and high-school science teachers published by APU. In her talk, titled “Rediscovering School Science,” Raghuram highlighted the need to incorporate more elements of science practice into science education. She proposed that the best way to achieve this would be to increase conversations between scientists and science teachers, who, as she pointed out, share many commonalities. One of the avenues to initiate such conversations is by contributing to "i wonder…" and participating in its webinars.

Following this, there was a talk by Tamralipta Patra, a faculty member of the School of Arts and Sciences at APU, who teaches biology to students from diverse disciplines. Patra spoke about how art can bridge the gap between disciplines, using examples from her own classroom where ‘non-science’ students utilise folk art (including the historical Gond art of Madhya Pradesh) to cultivate an appreciation of local flora and fauna. She also pointed out that art can be used to make the classroom more inclusive for those students who prefer art over words as a mode of expression and communication.

Education webinar: Can biographies of women scientists help biology education?

This webinar will employ biographies of two women biologists (Barbara McClintock and EK Janaki Ammal) to invite reflections on what could be the value of placing biology in its social context in its teaching and learning.

The speaker is Aswathy Raveendran, who is an educator and a researcher at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Mumbai. She holds a PhD in science education and a Master's in biotechnology. Her areas of research include science-technology-society education and gender and science.

This webinar will be useful for biology educators, researchers, students, other science professionals and science enthusiasts.

Click here for registration and more details.


On the last Monday of every month, we post a question for educators on all of our social media handles. We invite you to post your answers, see responses by others, and enjoy the threads of conversation.

Our question for March was inspired by an article we published last month, titled "Teaching in the era of ChatGPT: A classroom story". So, should students be allowed to use AI tools for their assignments? Share your response on Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn.

Teaching in the era of ChatGPT: A classroom story
Sonal Bakshi

Tools based on artificial intelligence (AI), like ChatGPT, are becoming increasingly popular among students, perhaps to a fault, causing rising concerns among educators. Can educators leverage these tools to augment teaching and learning without letting students become over-dependent on them? In this article, an educator shares her experiences with trying to achieve this fine balance.

Exploring new perspectives in biology with the flipped classroom approach
G. K. Harish Balaji & Vijeta Raghuram

A flipped classroom is a traditional classroom turned upside down! This means that the students listen to lectures, videos and other course materials at home, and solve problems (normally done as ​‘homework’) or engage in discussions with their classmates and teachers in the classroom. This article explains why such a mode of learning is useful with the help of a case study from an Indian context.

Recommended reads for the community
IndiaBioscience writes for The Hindu

Karishma Kaushik recently wrote an editorial in The Hindu on ‘Drop the garland model to let science in India blossom’, which discussed the need to revamp current meeting and conference practices in India, such a hierarchical engagements and bouquet-giving ceremonies, in line with contemporary science practice.

Special Dispatches from YIM 2024
Gond art at YIM 2024

The artwork for the YIM 2024 was specially commissioned from Gangotri and Devlal Tekam, accomplished Gond artists from Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh. This collaboration provided a wonderful opportunity to work with local artists and showcase a traditional art form from one of central India’s largest and oldest tribal communities. Our YIM 2024 journey came full circle when we had a chance to share their commissioned art showcased on the meeting materials. Here’s to building bridges across the many India’s!

‘Mehfil-e-yim’ evening at YIM 2024

At the end of the IISER Bhopal day at YIM 2024, the student music committee enthralled us with an evening of classical vocals, tabla, esraaj and harmonium. In the spirit of bringing YIM to Bhopal, we christened the mellifluous evening ‘mehfil-e-yim’!

‘Scientists can dance’ night at YIM 2024

The YIM 2024 banquet dinner showcased fun ‘props’ and prompted our scientists to shake a leg. Check out this fun IndiaBiosnippet here (do you recognise anyone)!

Thank you to YIM 2024 co-organisers, interns and volunteers

Thank you to YIM 2024 co-organisers—Lipi Thukral from CSIR-IGIB, Ragothaman M. Yennamalli from SASTRA Deemed to be University, and Varun Chaudhary from IISER Bhopal. We also extend our thanks to IndiaBioscience interns—Anuja Vartak (Social media intern), Agastaya Singh (Digital Initiatives intern), Shrutika Raut (Education intern), and Sindhu M (Science writing intern)—as well as IISER volunteers Atreyee Guria, Divya Bindra, Harsh Vardhan Singh, and Satyam Sharma for their work towards making YIM 2024 a success.

Jobs, Events, Grants and Fellowships

We have a dedicated thread (#ScienceJobsTuesdays) for jobs, events and grants on Twitter and Linkedin. This is a weekly list of opportunities - jobs, grants and events - specially curated by IndiaBioscience for the community.

You can also subscribe to our dedicated Jobs and Internships monthly newsletter here. Let us help you in your job search!

Sign up for Jobs and Internships newsletter
Collaborate with IndiaBioscience

We are always looking for ways to expand our programs and build partnerships. If you are an institute, university, company, private enterprise, incubation park or a science collective, and are looking for ways to work with IndiaBioscience, please get in touch! We are also going to start exploring engagement partners for YIM 2025 soon, so get in touch anytime!


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