Experiences and challenges of young scientists in India

The research study broadly focuses on young scientists and their experiences of ‘doing science’ in India. The objective of the study is to bring to the surface the challenges faced by Indian scientists, locate their value orientations and their levels of involvement and enjoyment vis-à-vis various roles and identities. The study is premised on the assumption that while institutional arrangements make a difference, young scientists in India face a common range of problems and challenges as they transition from their positions as post-doctoral fellows to junior research professors in academe. The study is geared towards unearthing the particular challenges and marking out the common ground.

The study is premised on the assumption that scientists in India experience obstacles and challenges, which can be addressed at a communal level through workshops which focus on target areas that are comprised of the non-technical aspects of doing science.

The study involves conducting in-depth interviews (which are about 40 minutes in length and contain a series of open-ended questions and two Likert-scale questionnaires) with young investigators (YIs) working in various research institutes and universities in a few of the major Indian cities. Interviews have been conducted so far with scientists from Bangalore and Calcutta. The broad areas addressed by the study can be summarized as follows:

  • the diverse experiences of scientists in setting up/running a lab
  • the various identities they adopt and roles they perform as faculty members
  • the range of social and inter-personal issues which they face in their professional lives

The study is ongoing, watch this space for a report and details in the coming months.