Dear Student Researchers, Now, you have your Chance !!!

The digital platform gives you 100% control to say and publish things loudly without any fear. Do you want tips to develop your digital work? Have you found your research or work interest? It does not matter if you are a first-year undergraduate or about to submit your Ph.D. thesis. There are 4 billion people on the internet, and the number is only going to rise. So, everyone has their share of attention.

In the beginning, students tend either to lose control as they face challenges in the project to move further making them quit before they have started. The interference of these movements and hurdles in your game are the warnings to calm down, take a step back, analyze and solve it. Instead, these hurdles should motivate you to make different moves. Especially, with the availability of the flexible tools which accepts alternative solution freely without any entrance exams or cut off the list.

Learning about digital tools online through various Internet laid the foundations to build my basic digital profile such as website, linkedin profile and a blog. Since I was in the late third year, I created my first blog and tried to involve as many undergraduate students in writing in different domains. The blog was not a success, but I learned many things about blogging, communication, and people management.

The undergraduate school is the perfect time to analyze the stillness between your ideas and execution. You may notice, if you are prepared to hustle and execute consistently, there will be regular and systematic progress in your vision. There is a moment of frustration and stillness, but most of us lack the courage to move into the next phase.

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Let me share an interesting story with you about Foldscope which is a microscope under $1. It was invented by the students and researchers of Stanford University. The first prototype was released back in 2010 and they have planned to distribute at least 1,000,000 foldscopes in the year 2020. So, It took almost 10 years to come at this level with so many resources. The product is incredible and revolutionary but it took a lot of hard work, research, patience, and consistency to achieve this masterpiece.  The moral of the story is that if you have an idea in your undergraduate school that you believe in and that this project will not make you wait for weekends to enjoy your life.

Instead, it will help you forgot the concept of weekends and understand and fall in love with the concept of passion and process more.  

The time cannot be more exciting. The age of fast information, fast communication, and fast processing is already existing with incredible infrastructure. You have got a super mobile phone and fast speed internet which does not leave us with any excuse to share our ideas with billions of people WITH A CLICK.

You have almost 5-6 years of University to understand and practice your skills and craft in different digital platforms to analyze the people response and further expectations. But I am sure that you will succeed and manage to find it out if you are consistent in your efforts.

The way of student life is already changing and the digital research or projects will contribute a big part in student success.  These digital platforms are not just for fitness, music and travel industry. There is a significant need to rave all these platforms with Students research and their philosophies. You have a way to replicate your knowledge in real and virtual life.

Why Create a Personal profile?

The digital profile will be the substitute for your CV or cover letter for your future applications and collaborations all over the world. The presence of the internet is essential to grab all the opportunities. The digital profile is fantastic and is way better than a piece of paper that highlights your grades and a couple of awards. It gives you more room and independence to sell yourself creatively.  It makes you visible to other people who can directly contact you even if you have not sent them your CV which opens opportunities from another way around. The employer or future collaborator have an idea of your vision and creativity from your wide presence on the Internet. If you are contributing the real values and content in the social media and digital platforms related to the subject of your future employer, it helps him to pre-evaluate you which can give you edge over other candidates.

It does not matter; if you enjoy or support the extensive use of social media, it is happening.  Getting and building your digital profile is not easy, but the access to the resources and unlimited free tools can make things happen with hard work, dedication, and mental focus. The primary thing about using a digital platform is content creation which can be done in multiple ways. It is indeed true that the starting point is always confusing. Now here is all the management and smart work lies ahead.

Content creation is easy if you are studying and creating content about the subject that you really like and deeply passionate about. It would be efficient and straightforward if you define a big theme which can be used to create multiple short pieces in the form of words, pictures, and art on different social media platforms.

Choose a theme or subject that you want to talk about and keep it as a seed of your further piece of content. The first thing you should do is create a large piece of content which could be in the form of video, article or podcast to be used as a reference to develop other related content. Writing or recording a detailed piece of content is much easier to accomplish as compared to short and specific content.

Let me give an example

If you are biologist interested in studying plant kingdom. Record or write your understanding about plant kingdom in detail which will subsequently be used to create other pillars of your digital profile. And in initial stages perfection is subjective, focus on the detailed information related to the subject. Once you have built the base of your content, you can try to create pictures or short video content suitable for other digital platforms like Instagram and blogging platforms that have a large population of graduates, master and other tech researchers who will be interested in scientific content.

Furthermore, you can create content for the people who are interested in enhancing their information about plants based on medical properties or geographical regions. The first way is to develop useful microcontent to grab the attention of the people. Microcontent only takes 30 seconds to 1 minute of your selected population in return of helpful information that you give them

Digital Researcher demonstrates the immense potential to challenge the routine of the Universities and Schools. Public opinion about your work will be of utmost importance in the coming days and will produce a more significant number of digital researchers in science which won`t require any green signal from the defined body.

The public will be happy to see the freelancer researchers changing the regular pattern of defined work as many of them are heavily funded with tax payer’s money. But the public is never being informed about the output of their tax money.  The digital world is making the world more transparent which is a big advantage to the independent researchers or freelance researchers.

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Digital Profile Will Help All Students

As I realize after working in the different laboratories with outstanding master and Ph.D. students who have incredible ideas and profound knowledge of the subject but lack the communication skills and networking skill either real or digital.  I am getting the impression that students coming from different generations are getting confused with the sudden change in the communication pattern. Some are struggling to adopt this change and some have accepted easily within the flow.  I can be wrong but if in 2018 you are not communicating digitally even if you have equal attention of 4 billion people, through digital platforms is a big mistake.  I want to bring the attention of all the aspiring students from different backgrounds to lay your foundation in today`s digital platforms to create the fundamental blueprint of your vision which will take years to develop. In some lucky cases, you will be able to see results in just a few months.  As I continue to understand and communicate with students using social media and personal interviews, I have started to notice the amount of stress, anxiety, and misunderstanding in them is at an extreme high.

As most of the aspiring and passionate students are stressing in the early stages by navigating their life by other people and there personal experiences which is not right.

Especially in 2019, it should not be the strategy where graduate students are trying to get hold on to the title to secure a job in industry or academics.

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What is the need for Digital foundations?

In today`s low digital drive, it is a requisite to create a robust digital foundation. For some or most students, digital networking and content creation could be a boring field, but if you want to stay in the information and digital world game, then content creation and digital networking is the most important subject.

Aspiring young researchers, students, and innovators should take this digital chance to create their style and stand out from the crowd. It could have been accepted if you are not able to improve your communication or networking in the 1980s, but in 2019 the things and opportunities we have do not leave us with one excuse. The chances are unlimited right there on your phone. It is also something that gives you the attention of 4 billion people if you are upright and unique in your work. Does not mean that you will be on the top in just four months as you are competing with many people with the same baseline and passion for sharing their ideas. It is worth noting that, if the travel and fitness content creators can create such a buzz in the market, then why not the students from other backgrounds? I am pretty sure; this digital profile will help you to build your confidence, creativity, leadership and networking skills. There is no harm in understanding the digital platforms and putting them to good use for the betterment of society.

Taking initiatives for the community in addition to academics is indeed useful to build up your communication skills and networking that can be done through; scientific podcast, setting up a talk show in your society or among different colleges, a scientific journal among the undergraduate or graduate students. It’s one of many ways to network with researchers and interact with fellow student researchers.

Back in 2013, when I was in 2nd year, I became an associate editor with an undergraduate research journal of Colorado State University, undergraduate students ran that for undergraduate students. This gave a whole new idea about the power of digital tools for coming undergraduate and aspiring students.

Have you wondered how your CV would look in the next 10-15 years? Have you ever wondered how people used to communicate or collaborate back in the 1970s or 1980s? The things and method of communication are never the same and so as the student life and its trend have wholly changed globally. Companies and the academic institutions will see their potential candidate digital profile as a standard requirement- I believe that it worth doing it now to develop your digital profile in every sort of platform available because all the platforms are completely different and need in-depth research to get your whole command on it.

All the elements that are revolved around scientific and technological research are not the same anymore. Therefore, I would advise you to develop or use tools that enhance your communication with people from a different background such as media, IT, digital marketing, video creators or editors which will add significant value in your planned projects.

Even academicians and researchers look for the people to work for them who can perform well in more than one domain. The future and even present entirely belong to the digital world. Getting out of your comfort box and connecting with people from all the background especially who understand the domains like digital, machine learning and artificial intelligence more than you. These interactions and networking skills will be life-changing moments and will help you to grow and reinvent yourself in so many ways.

Importance of Workshops, Symposiums and networking events in Graduate Student Life?

Exchange programs or summer/winter schools are practical opportunities to improve your business skills and human relations. Attending these events is the platforms to work on your networking skills, learn about different ways of working and adapting in a fast-changing world. I always try to apply for winter or summer schools to improve my cross-cultural communication and diversify my overall profile in order to know more. It is a chance to reflect on changes, think on your feet and express your ideas in an interdisciplinary group.

In 2015, I grabbed one fully funded opportunity of Indo-German Winter School on water management issues in urban areas in IIT Madras, India. It was an exciting program of 2 weeks that selected 15 students each from both India and Germany.

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After learning from many conferences, workshops and symposiums of while participating in many the lectures and activities, I learned that the happiest and successful person in the future world would be the one who can adapt and adjust quickly with global and multicultural teams.  The person with such an ability will be the natural winner in any group and will have a higher potential to win in any long version game.  And we don`t develop this ability in school or University

The best part of this Indo-German school was that the theme of the school was completed new and was also surprised when I got selected for this program. The broad topic of the school was to discuss sustainable water management in urban areas in an interdisciplinary approach.  But I had the practical experience of working in wastewater treatment, and I thought this program would diversify my knowledge in the subject of water.

In this program, I gained ample knowledge of water management issues and treatment problems in urban and rural societies of India. Further, there were comparative discussions about water issues in both India and Germany to share research and development. Mostly, I was listening about the policies, different systems, stakeholders and economy related to water projects.  I was astonished by the knowledge and leisure I gained in those 15 days which is infinitely different compared to what I had learned in my university or other internships.

The sole purpose of attending this school which was completely unrelated to my academics was to develop the untouched ability to work in a team with a different process of working. The more I attended these events, school, and conferences, I lost all my fear of the opposite party, and I learned to enjoy talking to multiple people and people from different backgrounds.

The diverse and multicultural the group, the bigger the output of the whole session. As a result, I was able to communicate and express my ideas in different domains with competence.

The way to enhance your chances to win scholarships globally is to do things that can enrich your soft skill sets and do things you feel uncomfortable which will ultimately diversify your experiences.

The digital presence of Graduate Students have increased Significantly

If you do not have a digital presence especially when you are trying to find or create an impact in your desired field, you are not taking your first steps. Increasing your digital presence is the foundation of your future career. The kind of information either personal or professional that you share on social media tends to create a notion in peoples mind which further creates your network.

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How can you increase your digital presence while you are pursuing your undergraduate or graduate studies? I googled and found out that the relative percentage of researchers, graduate students, and scientists sharing there both personal and work life have increased significantly. This is exciting as more and more researchers are promoting open science which indeed increases the chances of collaboration.

The thought-provoking catch is that it is possible in today`s digital world to use your blog as an open publication. A blog is a tool that can be made available to a huge number of students as a source of free knowledge to a large number of people who have simple access to the internet. Knowledge and experiencing new things is the basic human right. With the present technology, it is definitely possible to make all the knowledge or information available to a maximum number of people. This is of fundamental change that needs to happen in most student cases around the world. And the Internet can make this change at a lightning speed. There is no doubt about it.

I started my blog and writing guest post to expand my digital presence and improve my writing skills which I think took me in many finalist lists and ultimately winning International Scholarships. If you are writing it professionally and have given proper attention to the quality of content, I believe that it should have a positive impact on your proposition to the supervisor.

The blog is so powerful that you are allowed to share both positive and negative results without confirming it from any authority until and unless you have not signed a nondisclosure agreement. If you can not share the results, you are allowed to share your personal experience of conducting any particular task in your workplace just the way fitness or travel bloggers are doing.  But remember that if you want to use your blog in your application package while applying for any job, project or scholarship,  it should be up to date, authentic and original. Writing a blog will expose you to another set of challenges which will further enhance your new skills and knowledge about digital media. Identify the most influential blogger in your field and observe the important points of each of them or subscribe to there channel to get the beneficial content.  This can help you to channelize your ideas in a direction with an optimistic future and strategic plan.

But note that a blog should not be written with a temptation of receiving something in return otherwise, it will become an endless and not so fun run.  Use the blog as a source of supporting and providing free knowledge to the people who are not exposed to the information like you for one or the other reasons.

As an aspiring researcher or undergraduate student, blogging is one of the most productive things that you can do. This platform indeed has the potential to become a professional tool in the academic world. Open publications have been supported by many renowned researchers globally considering its social and economic benefits.

Open knowledge or blog gives you an opportunity to publish your observations without any restrictions including short notes or negative results. If more researchers come and support and accept this open science, it will be the most valuable tool for human development. And it allows all the independent researchers especially from low-income countries or students with fewer resources to publish their data and analysis. It is astounding.

How to Win Scholarships? My First Publication

Many doubts will raise with time when you will prepare the manuscript for the first publication. It is another big challenge that can come up in your undergraduate, Master, Ph.D. and in your lifetime of research. But if you are lucky enough to get some results or have prepared detailed secondary research manuscripts such as a review or a chapter which can be published in a good journal. Writing a manuscript will take time if you have no previous experience in writing specifically scientific writing.  To manage all this additional work along with your coursework is indeed challenging.

But scientific writing and content creation is a valuable asset in today`s market.

It is also crucial to understand a bit about Journals and online publishing platform which is already a billion dollar industry and are also categorized in several brands that are valued according to their impact factor ore reputation in the scientific society.

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Prepare your mind ready to receive high-level criticism from the editors because most probably, you will send your paper to a high-end journal. It is a good strategy because the comment and recommendations from the editors of high impact factor journal can help you to improvise your research article or chapter in many ways. There could be many reasons for the rejection which you will understand more with experience and time. But most common roadblocks in your publication could be the novelty of the project, poor writing skills, lack of supplementary data and so on.

I had to face specific rejections from journals with an impact factor of 5 or 6. After rejections from a few journals, I was fed up for a moment, but I kept working on improving the paper with my supervisor. Before I submitted the publication again, I shortlisted the journals along with subject-specific journals where my writing can contribute or demonstrate something relevant in the specific field of bioenergy and environment sustainability. Ultimately the manuscript was accepted in 2015 in a good enough journal for an undergraduate student. It was the result of 3 years of undergraduate research which involved working in the laboratory, learning from teammates, improving scientific writing, meeting people in conference and workshops. In this course of constant rejections and improvisation, you cultivate more strength and fluidity in your nature for more strong challenges.

Writing a scientific paper requires a proper understanding of paper structure and writing style. Therefore, to learn deeply about scientific writing and publication, I was regularly working with my supervisor throughout the paper. It was indeed an upgrade in my overall skills which helped me a long way in the journey.

At some point in your life, you will do specific important professional tasks which include writing and publications either academic or non-academic where you will be thanking your undergraduate research experience.

Scientific publication in your undergraduate or master program will undeniably strengthen your profile for global scholarships. On the other hand, Open science and science blogs have made things so easy and efficient that experts are sharing their precise tips and detailed strategies to write and publish your scientific paper.

Writing and Publishing will always remain as an essential pillar, that affects your overall scientific career extensively.

Can you use your blog as Publication??

Stay tuned for my next blog 😉

Cheers

How To win Scholarships? Publications & Journals.

You got to learn a simple mind strategy of not thinking about the final product, in this case, it is your publication. The publication is the final result of all your hard work and hours that you are putting in reading, reviewing, experimenting and communicating with people in your undergraduate school? Is it possible to get a publication in your undergraduate school? It`s not impossible if you are working consistently in your communication both personal and professional, attending regular public meetings and designing precise experiments after multiple failures over the time period of 3-4 years of your Undergraduate school.

If you are in Undergraduate school, Masters and even after reaching the Ph.D. school, do not think about the publication because it is the end fruit.  Let me explain it in simple words. If you want a flower or a fruit, do not think about the colorful flower, instead think about the soil, manure, seed, regular watering, and daily maintenance. Similarly, think and act about your daily activities such as communication, networking, writing, reading, and editing again and again until you get your final publication.

The reality of students in undergraduate, master’s program even Ph.D. is that they are anxious and impatient about the publications considering its influence in their overall CV. Of course, this gives a positive impression, but it should not be a big concern if you are actively sharing your research and finding on open science platforms which can be mentioned in the cover letter to grab the attention of your supervisor.

Therefore, the desire for publication in undergraduate school should be minimal, and the willingness of learning the process should be maximum. The method of learning is not always enjoyable but be conscious and aware of your vision and outcome. Surviving and adapting through this process can transform your personality. But one can parallelly work on there academic and non-academic writing skills in 4-5 years of University time to produce a piece of content either a review, research or survey-based article. This can be published in various online platforms in addition to academic journals. It might sound a bit difficult, but it is not.

You have almost 1000-1500 days in your undergraduate school, and even if you write 200-300 words on a topic you want to research about, you will have around 10,000 words which can be edited and proofread to be published as a chapter or review article. This is one of the best ways to improve the impression of your profile.

Recognize the moments in your life when you are impatient about the results, instead discuss the process of publication with your supervisor to gather deep insights and put the next steps in action. All these actions are the best ways to learn and know things that are out of systematic university routine. It keeps the flow of new learnings continuous and fresh. The bottom line is that you don’t know about anything or possible opportunities in your University period. So ask from your seniors and supervisors.

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Coming back to publications—

The fast growth on the internet has changed the face of publishing industry especially in developing countries where there are so many journals that are not recognized and promises you to publish your article in 3 days in return small fees. If you want to test this, try to post your worst written paper in a non-reputed journal. They will accept it quickly, and you will figure out the real game. It has become like a small scale business.

According to statistics and surveys, these publications receive minimum attention in the academic world. Most of the researchers won`t give much credit to these publications while considering you for the position in their laboratory.

When it comes to highly reputed journals, one cannot publish the article if the author cannot convince the editor of its quality as the publications in high-end journals are reviewed and edited by the researchers who have extraordinary experience in the similar research field. Therefore, to get published in these journals requires repeated attempts, experimentation, and collaboration.

Considering the present situation, thousands of students and young researchers are losing patience and publishing papers in non-reputed journals to get ahead of everyone, but it is not happening instead it is creating unnecessary stress in young researcher’s mind. They count these quick publications or any quick solutions as a ray of hope, a ticket to the well-funded laboratory or well-paid research position which is not true.  The writings in these journals are unreported and do not contribute positively to your profile as there are many other candidates with similar publications. There is no real quick fix in professional life.

Here, I recall one of my personal experiences while we were trying to publish in a reputed journal with an impact factor of around 3. According to the leading author including me made sure that all the work has been appropriately concluded. The article was rejected by the first journal stating that they already have enough content and similar research data available in their Journal.

Ultimately, it got accepted but after a single repeated attempt.  Sometimes, collaborating with a foreign team increases the impact of the paper considering the collaboration between two countries. The partnership is always a good sign in every domain of professional life.

The number one reason for students failing in their mission of getting published is the lack of patience and desire for quick success. This strategy makes you miss the most critical step is thoroughly enjoy and learn the process of working in a  team.

Stay tuned for more 😉

Water Thinking Stages

In my first post about water thinking, I deeply focused on water thinking and developing educational programs to develop an intimate relationship with water. Water Thinking

All the alternative, eco-friendly, public-private relationship prototype that we have tried in all geographical locations to solve the issue of water has failed. But a whole new approach of water thinking can help us and the future generation to question our choice of consuming as everything in your life from wearing fancy and clothes to eating water-intensive food are produced and manufactured on the most fundamental and abundant solvent in the planet “WATER”.

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Water thinking will help in questioning, challenge assumptions and redefine our policies about water. It will question the Humanity to drink or consume any food or beverage that is produced by 5-10 liters of water or even more. Most of the single serving of junk food cost the planed more than 600 gallons of water.

There are many variants and challenges to implementing the process of water thinking which will have to go through different stages and modes of channel either political or non-political. However, both political and non-political changes will have to implement similar fundamentals of water thinking to all the stakeholders either producer or consumer.

Is Water Thinking Process bad for the capitalist world which is indeed water intensive and water-dependent? Not at all. Because all the industries are now aware of the depleting or extensive polluted water resources.

Can we define the water thinking stages? It is important to note that water thinking stages cannot be sequential at the moment as all the methods of conserving or saving water have been human-centric which has failed to succeed. The approach of water thinking will completely reframe the present water policies and put humans in the equation parallel to nature rather than in the center.

To help you understand water thinking process, try to break down every single material or food that you buy into the amount of water it has taken to produce it. What is special about water thinking that this process can help humans understand the water with empathy and gratitude.

The problem of with existing water policies that it does not help students or common people to understand their daily consumption (food, beverage, clothes, etc) in terms of “What it is not”.

We have developed a tendency to think about everything in a human-centric approach and so did our inventions and scientific technologies have progressed in a similar manner. Therefore, there is no linear approach that can be used to understand an intangible concept of Water Thinking. The first most thing for accepting and adapting to water thinking approach is to break out from the repetitive process of consuming and buying just because of your compulsive behavior. Once we have achieved a significant control over our behavior along with the basic understanding of water thinking, these principles will assist the humans quickly in applying the same knowledge and ideas towards other natural resources.

Indeed, it is hard to sell just “Water Thinking” but imagine labeling the amount of water that is being used to produce every packed product in the supermarket, every fabric that being converted to final fashion product. 

A label of the amount of water is used in producing a kg of beef, a kg of ice cream, choco cream, a fancy polyester fiber that you are wearing, and all the daily products that you can provide a consistent reminder to the individual about the amount of water he/she is using.

It is our natural tendency to challenge assumptions and technology because our complete life is dependent on them and it is not easy to start from scratch again. Even the top-notch researchers, leaders or managers rely on the same kind of routine although, it looks like they are more productive to the economy or society, the fact is water quality is degrading and even in the world richest and developed countries have to drink water packed in a plastic bottle.

Stay tuned to more stories on Water Thinking 🙂