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IndiaBioscience Educators' Newsletter- December 2023

Dear educator,

Welcome to the last Educators’ Newsletter of 2023 from IndiaBioscience. We hope that our events, webinars, books, articles, infographics, and other resources this year brought new ideas, perspectives, connections, collaborations, and discussions into your classroom. We thank you for making us a part of your professional journey through your continued readership and participation.

How was 2023 for you? Did you try a new teaching approach? Did you attend or organise an invigorating conference for your students or colleagues? We are eager to hear about them. Wish to write for us or partner with us for an online or offline event next year? Send us your ideas at education[at]indiabioscience[dot]org. Know someone who may be interested in what we do? Add them to our mailing list so that they too can receive our bimonthly Educator's Newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.

And now, take a peek into our activities in the past couple of months and what lies ahead as we step into a new year.

Wishing you a very happy and prosperous 2024!

Team IndiaBioscience

Transitioning to a university life from school: An educator’s perspective
Upasana Sarma

Undergraduate students endure a transition phase as they leave the protected environs of a school to enter a college or a university. In this article, Upasana Sarma, an educator from REVA University, Bengaluru throws light on some of the responsibilities that educators have in this phase of their students’ lives.

Catching food freshness in real time: An undergraduate biology experiment
Rohini Karandikar

Food spoilage is covered in undergraduate biology courses with limited scope for practical experience. This article describes a simple module for students to explore the topic experimentally and gain experience in design thinking.

Adapting to immunology: The innate power of open assignments
Rama Sundari Akondy

Steering away from conventional tests, in this article, Rama Akondy, an Associate Professor of Biology from Ashoka University describes an open assignment that stimulated creativity in her students.

A student’s odyssey into innovative education
Swagatama Mukherjee

In this article, a PhD student at The Maharaja Sayaji Rao University of Baroda, who dons the hat of an educator for a postgraduate neuroscience course, adds a flavour of pop culture to her pedagogy to make the class entertaining, engaging. and relatable.

Have an idea for an article on undergraduate biology education? Send us your pitch in ~100-200 words to education[at]indiabioscience[dot]org. Remember to include the following details in your pitch:

  • What is the article going to be about?
  • Why do you think it would be interesting to college biology educators of India?
  • What are the resources you will tap into to write this article (published literature, interviewing an expert, personal experience, etc.)?
  • How is the article relevant to the current times?
  • Why should you be the one writing it?
More articles
Regional Young Investigators' Meetings 2023-24

Educators in Pilani, Hyderabad, Pune and nearby regions are invited to register for the Regional Young Investigators' Meetings (RYIMs) happening in these cities in January and February 2024. RYIMs offer a great opportunity to learn more about the scientific explorations happening in your vicinity, engage in discussions on science, and grow your local network of scientists, educators, and other science professionals.

RYIM Pilani
18 to 20 January 2024

The Regional Young Investigators’ Meeting (RYIM) Pilani will be conducted across two days from 18  to 19 January 2024, followed by a Crafting Your Career (CYC) workshop on 20 January, 2024. With the theme, ‘Life sciences and interdisciplinary research’, the event is being organised at the Birla Institute of Science and Technology (BITS), Pilani as a multi-institutional effort with the organisers from BITS Pilani, IIT Jodhpur, and Central University of Rajasthan.

The last day to register is 10 January 2024, so apply soon. We look forward to seeing you at RYIM Pilani 2024!

More details
RYIM Hyderabad
02 to 03 February 2024

The Regional Young Investigators’ Meeting (RYIM) Hyderabad will be held on 02-03 February 2024. The event will be hosted at Mahindra University, Hyderabad as a multi-institutional effort with organisers from IKP Knowledge Park, University of Hyderabad, DBT-CDFD, DBT-NIAB, TIFR Hyderabad, Osmania University, and Malla Reddy Dental College. With the theme ‘Industry-academia collaborations to translate research to product’, this 2-day meeting will bring a series of scientific talks, poster presentations and professional development discussions. The IndiaBioscience team will lead a Crafting Your Career (CYC) workshop on 03 February 2024.

The last day to register is 14 January 2024. So, apply soon. We look forward to seeing you at RYIM Hyderabad!

More details
15 to 17 February 2024

The Regional Young Investigators’ Meeting (RYIM) Pune will be conducted across two days (16 February — 17 February 2024), preceded by an IndiaBioscience-led workshop, Crafting Your Career (CYC), on 15 February 2024. The event will be organized by Bharati Vidyapeeth deemed to be University Medical College, National Centre for Cell Sciences, Department of Health Sciences, Savitribai Phule Pune University in collaboration with ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute, Pune. The RYIM Pune will be conducted with the theme of ​Opportunities and Challenges for the Young Investigators in Interdisciplinary Medical Research in the context of basic sciences, clinical sciences and public health research. The meeting will feature a range of talks, presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessio

The last day to register is 30 January 2024. So, apply soon. We look forward to seeing you at RYIM Pune!

More details
Upcoming webinars
Big Questions, Innovative Approaches: Scientific talk #5
23 January 2024 | 16:00 — 17:00 IST

Dr. Elly Tanaka is a developmental biologist renowned for her groundbreaking research in the field of tissue regeneration and stem cell biology. Dr. Tanaka is particularly recognized for her work on limb regeneration in axolotls, a process that has captivated scientists for its potential implications in regenerative medicine. Her lab’s research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern tissue regeneration, with the ultimate goal of applying this knowledge to enhance regenerative capacities in other organisms, including humans. During her talk, she will take us through her scientific journey and highlight the importance of systemic studies in regenerative biology.

Past webinars
Developing scientific temper in students with lessons from nature
Speaker: Gita Mathur

The goal of science education is not just to learn scientific facts but also to develop a scientific temper. But what is scientific temper? Why should students develop it? How is it relevant to college teaching? In this webinar, the speaker delved into these questions and explored the role of teachers in instilling scientific temper in college biology students.

The webinar was targeted towards educators teaching biology at the undergraduate level, but scientists, students and other science professionals might enjoy it too. Watch the recording of the webinar here.

More webinars
IndiaBioscience writes for The Hindu

In her fourth article for The Hindu, Karishma Kaushik raises concerns about the overvaluation of citation metrics, how they may fail to capture the achievements of a scientist and even breed unethical practices. Read the full article here.


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 thread of conversation.

Here are the posts from November and December. We look forward to your responses to them.

November 2023

You can respond on X, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

December 2023

You can respond on X, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

'Write On—2023', the science writing competition by IndiaBioscience

'Write On—2023' is a science writing competition by IndiaBioscience for undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students of life sciences and allied fields from a recognised Indian university. We are calling for diverse styles of popular science writing: storytelling, fiction, book reviews, or interview articles. To participate, submit your article through this google form before 05 January 2024.

Research Ethics and Integrity Infographic Giveaway

We thank everyone who participated in our giveaway contest to receive a free print copy of the Research Ethics and Integrity infographic by IndiaBioscience. Your phototgraphs with the poster brought us immense joy. Do let us know how the infographic has been useful to you. Your comments and encouragement motivate us to bring more and more resources to your laboratories and classrooms.

Books and infographics by IndiaBioscience in 2023
Teaching Graduate Biology Volume II

This is our second compendium of resources for college biology educators. It features select online articles, webinars and podcasts published on the website of IndiaBioscience between 2019 and 2022. It covers a range of themes, including ideologies of leading Indian educators; innovative pedagogical techniques; student misconceptions; undergraduate research; virtual learning; education policies; and mental health. Download the book here. The first compendium is available here

Dhvani — A compilation of resources for science outreach in India

'Dhvani' is a comprehensive resource packed with contributions from scientists, communicators, journalists, and outreach professionals of India. The e-book explores the landscape of science outreach in the country, offering insights into best practices, sustainable models, interviews with scientists doing outreach in regional languages, skill-building guides, and curated resources for outreach funding. 'Dhvani' also features the impact of the IndiaBioscience Outreach Grants (IOG) program, providing a closer look at the intricacies of initiating and sustaining outreach efforts. View this book online here or download it here.

Means to a Beginning — Funding Opportunities for PhD Students and Postdocs in India | Edition II

“Means to a Beginning - Funding Opportunities for PhD Students and Postdocs in India” is the second edition of the grants compendium for PhD researchers and Postdoctoral fellows. This compendium includes national and international fellowships, travel and skill-building awards along with their eligibility criteria, deadlines and relevant links. We have also included anecdotes from recent awardees of select fellowships to give you insights into what it takes to write a winning application. You can view the booklet here or download a free copy here.

JOYI: Journey of a Young Investigator (2021−2023 edition)

This collection celebrates the stories of young investigators in attendance at the virtual YIMs (2021, 2022) and YIM 2023. Hailing from widely different backgrounds and with varying research interests, these researchers are united in their passion for science and their ability to persist in spite of challenges in their path. 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 India in the near future. The book can be downloaded from here.

Facilitating post PhD careers in the Life Sciences

This e-booklet discusses the lack of information and awareness related to career opportunities after a PhD, and outlines steps, including the establishment of career development cells, to facilitate these transitions. The booklet can be downloaded from here

IRIWI: I Realised I Wasn't Interested

IRIWI: I Realised I Wasn't Interested a collection of stories around science career transitions, conveyed through the journeys of a diverse set of science professionals in India. These career stories capture their unique journeys, including turning points along their career transitions, or their 'IRIWI' moments.

The inspirational stories in IRIWI include scientists who transitioned to patent law, science policy, and industry soon after their PhDs, those who honed their skills towards institute-, organization-, and ecosystem-building, as well as those who bridged their skills with their passion via art and farming. Download the book from here.

DEI Infographic by IndiaBioscience: ​‘Tenets of our Laboratory’

DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) is not a ‘one size fits all’ plan. While it is encouraging to observe DEI in science in India becoming a part of open and honest conversations, our narratives and depictions of DEI are largely driven by dominant global conversations. These narratives clearly do not completely capture the complexity of DEI in India, and therefore appear largely performative when put into practice. This infographic by IndiaBioscience aims to capture the essence of DEI in India, through vivid and thought-provoking illustrations and DEI statements. Click here to download.

Infographic: Research Ethics and Integrity

Scientific progress is not above ethics. In the fast pace of scientific advancements, it is crucial to know where the ethical boundaries lie. This infographic highlights some of the key aspects of doing research ethically. Click here to download.


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