View this email in the browser 31 Dec 2021

Dear Reader,

2021 was a year marked by challenges and unpredictability. In these trying times, the scientific community in India truly rose to the needs of the hour, whether it was adapting to drastic changes in operation, dedicating time and resources to communicating science and shifting research focus to areas of national importance. As the year is coming to an end, we hope that all of us take a moment to reflect on the monumental year that this has been for science at large. We are very appreciative of being able to work alongside all of you.

The year 2021 has boosted our confidence in performing under uncertainties and change. We have adopted new strategies to go ahead in spite of numerous challenges. We thank you for your continued support in the past year. We also thank the community, our Board members, partners and funders for standing by us throughout the year.

Mother Teresa said “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things." In this context, we thank all of you for your support in pursuing our motto of ‘Engaging Communities, Enabling Change’.

We dedicate this newsletter to take a look at the year past, and our plans for the future. Do engage with us and share your ideas on how we can best facilitate the community. We would love to hear from you at You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

We wish that the new year 2022 brings each one of you stability, and the fulfilment of personal and professional goals. We hope to be a part of your professional journey and contribute to your career growth. We look forward to engage and connect with you on multiple platforms through our various outreach programmes.


We have actively strived to enable and provide space for networking, both online and offline.

We organised the annual Young Investigators' Meeting, which brings together an eclectic mix of India's best young life science researchers, post-doctoral fellows, renowned Indian and international scientists, representatives of various grant-funding agencies and science policy makers. YIM 2021 marked the first time we took a YIM online and much thought went into capturing the essence of the YIMs in a virtual format. It was held between 17–19 March and attended by young investigators and postdoctoral fellows. The YIM 2021 program featured illuminating talks by renowned scientists, networking sessions, and panel discussions that focussed on a wide variety of topics, including mentorship, setting up a research group, navigating the post-COVID world, funding opportunities and research assessment.

A dedicated virtual PDF Meeting 2021 was held between 18 – 21 May for postdoctoral fellows in India and abroad. This was to enable our invited fellows to learn about the thriving research ecosystem in India and virtually meet and interact with Directors/Vice-Chancellors/Representatives of institutes and universities from across India. The bulk of the meeting revolved around understanding the prospects of a research career, and patterns and processes of hiring.


Community building and engagement has been one of our driving forces.

As part of our efforts to foster outreach among the life science community, we launched the 2nd IndiaBioscience Outreach Grants (IOG). We are extremely happy and appreciate the enthusiasm of the community, thought and intent of all those who applied. Six proposals from across India were awarded this year. We look forward to the exciting and impactful outreach efforts.

Our Interactive Database of Life Science Researchers in India was inspired by and is an outcome of the 10th edition of YIM (2018) in Thiruvananthapuram. It was initiated to serve as a resource to help locate and connect the community of life science researchers, help map the pool of resources providing relevant information, and help foster collaborations and cross-disciplinary interactions within the community.


We published over 75 articles on our website in 2021. These included exciting news, feature columns, interviews and opinion pieces on topics relevant to researchers and educators. This year, we published many articles on scientific breakthroughs and findings, experiences, policy, and mental health. Our conversations with leaders included Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay and Mriganka Sur.

In our PhD Cafe, we feature articles by students pursuing doctorates on their experiences. Two of our latest articles are by Jithin Sunny and Enam Reyaz.

While Sunny explores whether PhD is just a certificate or a way of life, Reyaz recounts her physical and emotional roller-coaster of experience embracing pregnancy and motherhood while pursuing a PhD degree.

In Drishti: Mind Matters in Academia, we have curated a set of stories that were published on over a period of almost two years. They highlight different aspects of mental health, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the complicated relationship with academic culture, and range from first-hand accounts to reports on public initiatives.

We are continuously on the lookout for novel and excellent examples of science communication. We started a new initiative, 'FundaySunday' in 2021, where we invite the community to share interesting, funny, beautiful examples of their science communication, which are then publicized via varied social media platforms.


Our website had more than 5 lakh users and around 18 lakh page views this year. 2021 allowed us to explore the space of virtual events extensively. We organized our first virtual YIM 2021 and PDF Meeting 2021. In addition, we had eleven webinars and conducted four workshops. We also held a training webinar that covered the basics of oral communication in science.

We were invited to be the publicity partner and technical host for the IUBS Centenary Lectures. In this lecture series, ‘Gombe and Beyond' by the amazing Jane Goodall was one of highlights for 2021. Jane Goodall, the renowned primatologist, inspired us to make this world a better place to live in, and in her words, "Together we can, together we will".

In our ‘In Conversation with a Mentor’ series of podcasts, we chat with mentors across various life science fields — who have paved their way into unconventional career paths, breaking stereotypes; who have successfully led startups/businesses in the life sciences; who found love for science management and administration; who have made research look cool. In the first season of this series, we talked to five stalwarts of life sciences L. S. Shashidhara, Deepanwita Chattopadhyay, Sanjay Mishra, Bimalendu B. Nath, and Manju Bansal.

We also mentored a science podcast for the curious, IndiaAsksWhy, by two enthusiastic young communicators Shweata N. Hegde and Ruchi Manglunia, and Megha Kumar from CCMB. This podcast series seeks to answer common questions that students may ask in day-to-day life. IndiaAsksWhy is one of the awardees of the 2nd IndiaBioscience Outreach Grant.

On the occasion of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, (25 November), and within the context of the Sustainable Development Goal 5 on 'Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls', the Working Group on Gender Equality of the International Union of Biological Sciences launched the webinar series The Gender Gaps and the Biological Sciences. We were thrilled to be the publicity partners and technical hosts for this event.


We strive to help build skills in students and researchers through focussed meetings and workshops, and by aggregating resources on our website.

Our ‘Crafting Your Career’ (CYC) series of workshops and webinars aim to develop many skills in students, like how to write a CV, how to make an elevator pitch and how to align their career goals with core strengths and values – skills that are rarely taught in schools or colleges. Earlier this year, we did a survey to assess the impact on participants of the program and received an overwhelming response. We are happy to present the findings of the survey in this report.

With the objective of boosting the quantity and quality of applications from Indian researchers in the life science domain to international funding opportunities, we have expanded our International Grants Awareness Program covering newer funding schemes. This year, we expanded to ASH Bridge, DAAD German Academic Exchange Service, and iGEM grants. We have also expanded upon our previous resources related to MSCA, EMBO and HFSP schemes. Two posters summarising the resources for DAAD German Academic Exchange Service and Toolkit have been new additions this year. We would love to hear from you about your experiences with regards to seeking international funds. We invite you to participate in our Call for Community Engagement for International Grants and Fellowships.

In our Academia-Industry Transitions booklet, we have curated a set of interviews with established industry professionals from various sectors who have successfully made the transition from academia to industry. Through this initiative, we hope to give fresh science graduates insights into the basic differences and similarities between academia and industry, and the best way to prepare themselves for an industry career.


Our purpose in ‘Education’ is to connect educators with peers and researchers. Towards this, we feature articles relevant to higher education in life sciences, and curate resources for educators.

This year, we published several articles on undergraduate biology education in India covering themes such as mentoring students, developing their reading and writing skills, unravelling their misconceptions, and using uncommon ways of imparting lessons, such as social media and games. We also interviewed some of the top educators of the country (N. Latha and Bimalendu B. Nath) to understand how they regularly stretch their efforts beyond the set curricula to enhance their students’ learning.

We produced our first set of webinars for educators, where we explored networking, digital tools and the National Education Policy 2020. We are planning to bring more of these next year.

In this digital era, learning is no longer limited to the four walls of a classroom. It is not even limited to the region or the nation to which a student belongs. Our curated educational resources provide links to some of the new-age educational tools, platforms and e-books from across the web.


We make an effort to highlight relevant opportunities for the life science community. The latest jobs, grants and events are listed on our website.This year we posted 187 jobs, 73 grants and 157 events.

We would love to hear from you if you have found a new job/ got a new grant via these postings. We hope to keep our readers updated with the latest opportunities in the coming year.


We wish you a very fruitful New Year with all your dreams and aspirations coming true. We look forward to seeing you at our webinars on IndiaBiostreams, talking to you through our podcasts on IndiaBiospeaks, bringing you new and exciting research stories, discussing issues relevant to Indian science, conducting surveys to understand the pulse of the community, organizing events to facilitate networking, mentorship, and capacity building, and continuing to bring you updated information on Jobs, Grants, and Events within the Indian science ecosystem through our website. We also look forward to YIM 2022, the launch of a nation-wide survey to assess issues facing young investigators, and a booklet of funding opportunities for independent researchers.


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