View this email in the browser 05 Feb 2021
IndiaBioscience Educators' Newsletter
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever" – Mahatma Gandhi.

Dear educator,

We salute you for persevering through the challenges of the year 2020 so that the process of learning didn't end when educational institutions closed. And we hope that 2021 brings a revival of energy, learnings and opportunities for both you and your students.

We at IndiaBioscience have begun this year by publishing an assortment of articles, podcasts and webinars for you and your students. Listen to our latest "Crafting your Career" (CYC) podcast where we discuss the art of writing quality cover letters for a job application and some practical tips to excel at interviews. For more on interviews, cover letters, CVs, and resumes, check out the recording of our previous CYC webinar on “Tooling up for an Interview and Exploring Careers in Science Communication”.

Writing well is all about practice, whether it is a cover letter or a research article or a popular science story. While writing is hard enough, publishing it is a whole new ball game! The faculty of Sophia College (Autonomous) Mumbai wanted to give their students a taste of both writing and publishing articles. So, they started their own journal. Read about their adventure here.

Last November, we started a new series of articles called the “Common Misconceptions in Biology”. In the latest article, a field biologist shares how he helps his undergraduate students de-entangle two very related concepts in ecology – species richness and species diversity. Do your students seem confused about these terms too? How do you approach these concepts in your classroom? Let us know by leaving your comments below the article.

If you wish to write about a topic that confounds your students, please email us (in ~200 words) the gist of the misconception and how you help your students correct it, and we will write back to you. Wish to write about something else? Here are some more topics to consider. And while checking them out, we welcome you to participate in the other discussions on our forum.

Finally, do browse through our collection of resources on education, COVID-19 and more.

Do you have an idea for a new column or podcast or webinar that would be useful for educators? Or wish to provide feedback for our latest activities? We would love to hear from you! You can reach us at, or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

Learn | Lead | Educate

Approaching Deadlines
Webinar: Chai and Why? Vaccines Against COVID-19
Deadline: 07 February

Competition: NxG Science Communicator 2021
Deadline: 15 February

IUBS Centenary Webinar Series: Lecture 2 — The Serengeti Rules: The Regulation and Restoration of Biodiversitye Laureate
Deadline: 10 March

To commemorate the completion of 100 years of promoting excellence in biological sciences, IUBS has launched a Webinar Series bringing the best of all disciplines to discuss evolution, taxonomy, ecology, biodiversity, and other topics that represent unified biology and the topics of prime importance to address contemporary problems such as climate change, endangered species, food and nutrition, health etc.

Date: 10th March 2021
Time: 1300 GMT

More Events

Grant: Teacher Associateship for Research Excellence (TARE)
Science and Engineering Research Board
Deadline: 15 March
More grants

Job opening: Biology Laboratory Superintendent
Ashoka University
Open deadline
More jobs

Glimpses of the year 2020 at IndiaBioscience
Smita Jain

2020 was an exceptional year, one with unprecedented global events that left an indelible impact on our lives and forced us to reexamine our priorities. This was also a year of many new beginnings, innovations, and breakthroughs, aided by courageous efforts from across the scientific ecosystem. In this article, Smita Jain, Executive Director, IndiaBioscience, reflects on what this year has meant for IndiaBioscience.

Common Misconceptions in Biology – Species Richness and Diversity are the same?
Abhijeet Bayani

What’s the measure of species diversity of a habitat? Is it the number of inhabitants? Is it the number of species? Or is it the presence of a rare species? In this article, Abhijeet Bayani, a field biologist from the Indian Institute of Science, throws light on how he approaches this question of species ​‘diversity’ in his classroom (a.k.a nature), while ensuring that his students do not confuse it with a very related concept of species ​‘richness’.

Getting an in-house science journal up and going – an academic adventure
Bhavna Daswani &
Hema Subramaniam

Science writing is a skill that takes a lot of practice to hone. So why not start early? The faculty of Sophia College (Autonomous), Mumbai, decided to give their undergraduate and masters’ students the full experience of writing and publishing an article, by starting their very own scientific journal. Here’s an article about their journey, in their own words.

Common Misconceptions in Biology – Alleles at a locus and the number of alleles in a population
Sushama Yermal

This is the first article of the brand new series, the ​“Common Misconceptions in Biology”. In this article, author Sushama Yermal delves into one of the topics in biology that often confounds undergraduate students — the difference in allele numbers between individuals and population. She provides insightful ways to identify misconceptions in students around this topic and offers solutions to resolve them. Yermal is an independent advisor in teacher education. She was formerly a faculty of the undergraduate programme at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.

More articles on education

Discussion Topics
Write for IndiaBioscience

If you teach undergraduate courses in biology, we invite you to write for us. Email your ideas in 100- 200 words to with the Subject: “Pitch: Education”.
Here are some of the topics you can write about:

  1. a unique style of teaching that you use in your classroom
  2. an event or an interesting development that has occurred in your institution, and how it affects you or your students
  3. a misconception or misunderstanding that your students tend have in your subject, and how do YOU address them
  4. pedagogical research conducted by you (explained in simple language)
  5. current challenges in the area of education
  6. any other topic related to undergraduate biology education in India

Want us to cover more topics? Please share your suggestions in the forum.

What to tell students on their first day of college

Educators, what is the one thing you want to tell biology undergrad students on their first day of college?

National Education Policy (NEP) 2020

Educators, what do you think of the National Education Policy 2020? What problems concerning higher education does it address? What are the challenges that still remain?

“Are semester system, ‘smart’ classrooms and online teaching serving the purpose?”

In an article published last year of the same title Prof. S. C. Lakhotia, a Distinguished Professor from BHU, expressed his concerns about the declining quality of graduates in India. According to him, the current semester system and the increasing dependence on online teaching and virtual classrooms are largely responsible for this decline. As educators, what do you think?

More discussion topics

Crafting your Career - Podcasts and Webinars
IndiaBiostreams: Professionalism, Role Models/​Mentors, and Careers in Facility Management

In this session, we discuss the importance of professionalism and work ethics for effective career development. We also speak about the importance of good role models and mentors in facilitating one’s career journey.

Crafting Your Career (CYC) | 18 Cover Letters and Interviews

In this episode, Lakshmi, Shreya and Smita discuss the art of writing quality cover letters and the difference they make to a job application. They also discuss some practical tips to keep in mind while preparing and appearing for an interview.

IndiaBiostreams: Tooling up for an Interview and Exploring Careers in Science Communication

In this session, learn more about various aspects of navigating the job application process, including crafting quality CVs and resumes, writing cover letters, and preparing for an interview. This session is suitable for students who are currently pursuing or have recently completed a BSc, MSc, or a PhD in any life science field, as well as postdoctoral fellows and research scholars.

More podcasts and webinars for students and educators

A go-to guide for good academic practices

The need for more transparent, comprehensive, and practical guidelines for carrying out quality research has been recognized time and again in the Indian scientific ecosystem. To address this lacuna, the University Grants Commission (UGC) recently released a document titled ​“Good Academic Research Practices (GARP)”, which lists best practices for researchers and institutions to maintain excellent standards of ethical research.

Mechanisms for mother-to-child transmission of COVID-19
Gargi Deshmukh

Like a handful of other viruses, the novel coronavirus may also be capable of crossing the placental barrier in pregnant women and infecting the fetus. A recent study from researchers at ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (ICMR-NIRRH) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has examined molecular players in the placenta which may be responsible for allowing the virus to access the developing fetus.

More news

Other Resources for Educators
Teaching Graduate Biology

This booklet is a compendium of our popular articles on the topic of higher education. The collection showcases techniques biology teachers use in their classrooms, and their teaching experiences.

Download the book here.

Disha: A Career Resource Book for Life Science and Biotechnology Students copy
Suman Govil

Disha provides comprehensive guidance on navigating the landscape of science careers in India. In addition to compiling information about multiple career options open to life science and biotechnology students in India, this book discusses strategies for professional development, job search, and higher education. It also provides an overview of the Indian biotechnology industry and features interviews with leaders in various science professions. Download your free copy of Disha here.

Means to a Beginning — Funding opportunities for PhD Students and Postdocs in India
Manjula Harikrishna

Means to a Beginning - Funding opportunities for PhD Students and Postdocs in India is a booklet that focuses on the funding opportunities available for pursuing PhD and postdoctoral research in different areas of life sciences. It covers national and international fellowships in addition to travel and skill-building awards. It aims to highlight the requirements, benefits, and timelines of these fellowships and award schemes and provides relevant links for easy access to up-to-date information. The booklet has collated relevant information from multiple reliable sources. Free copy of the booklet here.

More resources


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