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.

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Nutrition is not Universal and Permanent

The concepts of nutrition changes on regular basis with changes in the technology, market, need and climate. Now, with the social media and fast communication, there is increase in variations in nutrition research and studies with the presence of large number of food and fitness bloggers. It is hard to know “What to Believe and What not”.

It is an interdisciplinary study which has the direct impact on your well-being. It is indeed true that nutrition and diet is only factor that impacts and define your well being but it is in your control- ONE HUNDERED PERCENT. 

The things that I learned after an extensive research through books and research articles, that there is no need to subtract or add extra in your diet if you are consuming the right carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins or minerals and if your goal is to live a healthy life. Of course, the nutrition strategies and training strategy will be different for professional fitness athletes.

You can achieve extraordinary results and find unusual solutions to your challenging problems by changing the way you eat. I will remind you again that nutrition is one corner of your broader life.  But it is the most important factor which you can control and optimize to get predictive results.

What is Nutrition?

Nutrition is the consumption of fuel which is directly proportional/related to your intelligence, strength and total energy. After reading this post, I believe you will be motivated to define the need of your nutrition and required fuel for your daily activity.

Nutrition in itself is a controversial yet simple subject which you should study with a different mindset. It is important to think about your personal problems and nutrition strategy that would work for you.

Let`s get started

Are you confused about the food you are eating? Are you attracted towards fats, sugars and packed food?

There is a good reason as your senses are attracted towards the sugar and food as our brain is usually adapts to the environment we are living in. It is always confusing to the beginners and young generations who have been going through a lot of information and suggestions from doctors, dietitians, parents and fellow students. And now, in today`s digital world where information spreads like fire make it more complex to understand. What is true or What is not?

The market of nutrition is getting bigger every day but everything available in the market is not relevant for you if you have a certain goal for yourself.

The consumption of today`s diet will have a long term impact on your body considering the healing and defense mechanism. Nutrition is the field of human life concerned with the construction of cells that will improve your overall experience. It will determine the how you feel and how you age.

Developing your mindset to eat the food “Not for pleasure” but for training and making the construction of your body strong. Just like you use good components to build your home so that it does not fall under harsh environment situations. You body is made up small elements, networks which fights with foreign invaders (harmful microbes) to protect from prospective diseases.

Develop your nutrition plans according to your local environment as your body respond in stimulus with your local environment. People living in India should not consume like people living in Northern Europe or other cold climate countries. The development of nutritional and diet plans is just like a computer code that will run perfectly if all the small features or steps are handled with good care.

I am giving these unusual examples to make you understand the concept nutrition in an interdisciplinary context.  Eating for fuel and healthy life is less glamorous as eating for pleasure like a king. There is a small percentage of population which are deeply interested in understanding the functioning of nutrition. And the study of nutrition is not a scientific skills but a life skill. It should be studied by everyone  not just by researchers and science institutes.

The basic steps to get complete control over your nutrition

  1. Firstly, Discard all the packed food that are unhealthy. There is no “its not so bad food”. If it`s bad it is bad.
  2. Secondly, Define your objectives of your healthy life or fitness goals. It should not be in terms of muscle size or fat percentage if it is not required in your professional life such as modelling or celebrity business.
  3. Thirdly, Identify the basic problems in your nutrition and health and subsequently framing the nutrition that could fit and improve your deficiencies.
  4. There is no magical formula or nutritional plan, but the best you can create and extract from the natural resources according to your goals.
  5. Do not fall for any diet plans that are restrictive diet plans. Restrictive diet plans are the ones that substrate or completely reduce one or more macro/micro nutrients such as carbohydrate, fats or proteins.  This restrictive meals leads to changes in your metabolic activities and microbiota in your gut that can create problems of vitamin deficiency or protective phytochemicals.  It is also important to change your virtual and real environment that is related to food.

For example – 

Low carbs diet is quite popular among youth these days as it gives quick results for weight loss and helps you to tone up your body. But you need to understand the fundamental metabolic process. When a person is consuming less carbohydrates, body obtains its energy from the stored glycogen in fats or muscle tissues and glycogen is a water loving molecule. Glycogen is tightly packed or lets say that it stores a large amount of water and making it really heavy. So, while utilizing glycogen for daily activities, your body is depleting the stores of glycogen along with lot of water molecules in urine which is results into weight loss. But this weight will be regained quickly as soon as you are back in your normal diet.

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In a recent published research, it was found out that the people consuming low carbohydrate diet by replacing the calories with fats and proteins from animal food had high risk of early mortality. The research shows that people consuming less than 40% or more than 70% calories have high risk of early mortality. It suggest a sweet spot of 50-55% of calories from carbohydrates to be the optimum range for complete human nutrition. This diet is quite popular in North America and Europe which is also making its way in Asian countries. The study suggests that this diet is successful for short term goals but have negative consequences in the long run and therefore it should not be accepted.

Government of UK had already mentioned in the guidelines to consumed a third part of their diet as starchy foods.

Let me give me one more most prominent example on coconut oil- Coconut oil has been in news  for decades for two reasons- “Is it good” or Is it Bad”. Recently, a Harvard Professor made it quite dramatic by saying that coconut oil is pure poison as it contains a big amount of saturated fats which is associated with number of diseases specifically hear problems. On other hand, coconut oil has year of history in south east Asia where people use it for multiple uses as herbal medicine. Asian countries use coconut oil as a superfood in kitchen and considered to have wide range of health benefits.  It is know to help in delivery and prevent any malformations or birth defects. Various research studies have concluded that consumption of coconut flesh or oil does not lead to any cardiovascular problem. But diet and food is just one factor that determines the overall wellness of human being therefore it should be understood by considering your other other lifestyle choices. For ex : If you are consuming excess of meat and dairy based diet which is extremely rich in saturated fats can create some problems if taken along with any oil.

Moreover coconut oil is quite stable and is preferred for cooking as compared to other oils but it is recommended to use it for deep frying.

The most different thing about coconut oil is the presence of medium chain fatty acids which is different to that saturated fatty acid composition of other oils. Therefore, the function and absorption of coconut oil on human body is different as compared to other saturated fats present in meat and dairy products. These medium chain fatty acids are highly soluble in water and do no form micelles/ or oil bodies which increases there absorption and solubility in the body.

Most of all, Epidemiological evidence of millions of people in ASIA consuming coconut oil on regular basis with small percentage of heart related problems as compared to western population where the diet is rich in saturated fats consumed from meat and dairy.

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These contradictory and changing studies makes it hard for the people who do not understand the nutrition and biological concept of healthy food. Therefore, it is also important to know about the HISTORY of NUTRITION and cultural beliefs which plays an important role in the wellness of human health.

Learning from this Blog- Learn history of nutrition, cultural beliefs and eat local

PhD Students- Do you have your DIGITAL CV?

Do you have your Digital CV? Do you update your social profile regularly? Do you create online projects and share it on internet? It does not matter if you like it or not but things are changing and in next 5 years all the PhD and research students globally will have a digital CV. But why do you even want to wait? How do you feel when you are thinking of an idea or an experiment and the next day you notice that it has been published? This will be the exact feeling after 5 years if you have not created your digital profile now. And I am not just referring to Doctorate students but it will be really useful for graduates and undergraduate students who want to apply for internships or short fellowship programs. There are unlimited free tools available in the market that does not need any coding skills to create Digital CV aka website.

If you are looking for a research position, internship or collaboration – create a digital cv which showcase your creativity and potential to present things in a different style. More and more researchers are updating there digital profile be it linkedin, websites, blogs or facebook page to recruit and check the profile of the students. It gives them the idea to see if you have a communicative, behavioral or technical skills which are of utmost importance now and in future. You got to understand that as most of the Phd students and researchers lack these important skills.

Resumes in word format are so lame that researcher/recruiter will have to read every single word to make a decision. But a digital CV is more interactive, detailed which can be useful for the recruiter to make the final call. Digital CV also gives you an opportunity to create things in forms of videos and pictures and represent yourself in the best possible way to stay ahead in the game. Digital CV will showcase your talent or your adaptability strength to changing technology.

 

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This digital CV officially brings you in the business and let you connect with researchers and collaborators globally but a random digital CV is not a quick fix. As digital CV is your product and your identity, so you have to make sure that you are representing yourself perfectly.

There are couple of service providers that will let you build the website on sub-domain along with free features which is good enough to start. In just some time, you will get comfortable to move ahead with next step that is to buy domain representing you and your product which you want to show and sell. And make sure that you are true with your website as employers are going to look carefully to all the links and videos that you share in your digital profile.  The other important that you can do to back up your profile and work is ask your colleagues or mentors to post a recommendation letter in your website.

Its understandable that its near to impossible to find time to update social media profiles or blog when you are busy with your research work and completing tasks given by the supervisor. But in today`s fast changing digital world, the first thing your future employer or partner is going to do is-

GOOGLE YOUR NAME”. 

Are you ready to create some MAGIC 😉

 

 

Students- It`s time for you to make your Science or Business Blog

My fellow researchers and explorers, I am trying to bring your attention towards the biggest platform in front of you- INTERNET. It`s going to be bigger than the journals and your publications in non-reputed journals. I am not saying that it will beat the big journals, but it will help you to build your scientific profile for future scholarship competitions or apply for grants.

It is complete wastage of time and money to publish papers in non-reputed journals that publishes your paper in just 3 days with some money. Does it really make sense? Do you think that these publications will make your profile better than other candidates? I have never met any PhD candidate in Europe or around the world who has publications in these journals. Even if they have, they have improvised with time and learned to publish papers in good journals which take time and real work. But these non-reputed journals who publish paper just in 3 days with little money makes you believe that you have a publication which will just give you false sense of satisfaction. I made the same mistake when I was in 1st and 2nd year of my undergraduate school.

But I learned slowly and gradually by working in different laboratories and what do scientists look in there future PhD students. Surely, they give proper recognition to your experience and published work. But the most important thing they look at is POTENTIAL. How are you going to show this potential? It is confusing for anyone to note the potential in just 30 minutes of skype interview which is competitive as other candidates are also prepared and optimistic for the PhD competition. Isn`t? Even if you have worked really hard and preparing yourself for 3-4 years to compete PhD scholarships. How will you make sure that you are maximizing your impact in that 30 minutes of interview?

If you are taking shortcuts by publishing papers in non-reputed journals, these publications are not helping your profile even 1% in winning the competitive PhD scholarships. Do you think that you are the only one with publication in non-reputed journal? Do you think that the other candidates are not working hard or collaborating with other students to publish paper in better journals?

Looking at the today`s scenario of the PhD world, it has become a market place which needs to be understood properly by aspiring PhD students. As most of the institute as working in collaboration with industries to pursue the industrial interest. So, how can you make our profile interesting for the both industries and academics?

The one of the best way to show your potential and real interest is building up something from the scratch using digital platforms. There will be many students who do not have the equal opportunities to work in well-established laboratories and cannot produce good research publications. But this should not stop you from doing and creating your own online journal. Does this make sense? Scientist and institutes who are hiring or selecting candidates will go through profile carefully and will not miss anything that you have mentioned in your CV. So, if you have produced an online journal conducting your own research, review and discussion from the scratch. It will clearly present the candidate as the potential researcher. But this process is long and requires real determination which will only bring fruitful results if you put in your time and work.

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Moreover, it will also help you to figure out your research interest in detail if you are really interested in the subject which you can always update, link and connect your research ideas, hypothesis with other researchers around the world. The best time to build you digital profile or science blog is in early undergraduate years or even at high school.

Why? Because, you have no idea about what you really like and what are you going to create. Initially, it wont look like the way you think. It won`t be your best craft but guys you can not understand the consumer behavior by writing just 20 blogs. But with time, you will be able to figure it out and craft it the way you want and that is the real research – your research. Just be brave and share your craziest thought process in words, videos and pictures through digital platforms. There are 4 billion people on internet who are ready to give you there attention. And in todays world, it`s really hard to find attention guys.

There is strong chance of you thinking that if you are putting up the ideas online, there is a chance that anyone can steal it. Everyone has ideas but the main key is the execution. And to convert the idea into an product requires consistent efforts of years not months.

Digital media and research based content creation is the key for future PhD students to become independent or freelance researchers and directly form network with industries or academics

Find your PhD- Best websites and quotes

PhD is the garden of the questions. If you keep your mind and heart open, you will able to find all the answers to all the mysteries. Although a PhD student search for the universe, just to find his own. His soul always search for wisdom rather than the publications. Please bring in the magic back in PhD. Here is my contribution to help my fellow colleagues to search there PhD and lab partners.

https://www.findaphd.com/

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https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/

 

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https://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/jobs

 

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https://jobs.sciencecareers.org/

 

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https://www.wemakescholars.com/

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https://www.eurosciencejobs.com/

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https://www.daad.de/deutschland/promotion/en/

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https://www.seek.co.nz/PHD-jobs

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https://scholarshipdb.net/

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https://www.phdportal.com/

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https://www.universityvacancies.com/

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https://www.glassdoor.com/

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https://academicpositions.com/

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How PhD Students can make a Huge difference using INTERNET?

Are you confused? How can you make the difference using INTERNET? PhD students only use internet to extract the technical or scientific information. Isn`t? But most of the PhD projects always struggle to explain the success rate of replicability or scalability of the results at worldwide level. So, there is big need for PhD students to understand the power of Internet and Digital media which can be used to bring the change. I can understand if we were conducting research in 1970s or 1980s, we cannot obtain successful replicable results due to unavailability of advanced communication devices and digital platform. But in 2018, there should be no reason because we have 4g and 5g Internet.

Considering the case of not obtaining the replicable results in scientific results globally , there are many reasons ranging from technical issues, experimental set up or human handling. The reason is that there is no record or a platform which observes these changes at regular time intervals and every time a new PhD student has to make certain changes in the standard lab protocols. To acquire uniform results globally, PhD students will have to make some changes in there traditional way of recording the information by using Internet. We can make this happen. Does this make sense? It will

And you don`t to have make big efforts or spend hours to do this but you will need to understand the digital platforms as they all work quite differently. All you have to do is to transform your everyday mistakes and efforts into a blog,vblog or podcast (if you want to do it weekly), pictures or animations. Lets just say, your project is related with DNA of plants or microbes.   There are so many commercial kits available to extract DNA whose experimental set up or protocol does not vary a lot but it gives the non uniform results depending of various factors such as quality of commercial kits, buffer, timing, handling and many other factors.  I am a bio-technologist,  so I am talking in terms of DNA. But if you are in ecology or bioinformatic, the variation is the results triples down or even more which is important to understand. But there is no recorded data which shows the information of situations that are faced by PhD students. With increase in the number of graduate students, collaboration between industries and educational institutes, there is need to have a platform or digital information which can help the fellow PhD students in the similar field. It could be the product review just like we review iPhone or any other electronic device. We always appreciate the reviews by other users and it also helps us a lot to know about different products and make the right call.

I believe that with so many platforms in today`s digital world, we can increase the replicability and scalability of our research at global scale but will require constant efforts from PhD students. PhD students can easily communicate and link with each other all around the world. It is a long shot but it has become a necessity which can be achieved.  If PhD students starts creating content which can increase the efficiency of overall research impact, it will change the world for better.  Your PhD will be more than just publishing papers in high impact factor journals or attending international conferences.

Surprisingly, today`s research and development sector only produces positive results which shows that there are no problems in the progress of the project which makes me think that then it could have solve all the world problems. There are still millions of problems to be solved. All the problems are there in your lab only. The only way to solve these problems is to increase the networking between PhD students working in similar area and create content specifically focusing on the protocols, products and experimental set up we use.

And, What if I say, there are additional perks in addition to make science better and fast. With changing digital economy, we have the potential to unlock the billion dollar market but the key to unlock this market is creating content in form of written words, videos or podcast or even pictures.

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Life is Chess but We are playing Ludo

I was bit confused about how to start this piece but I decided to go on and blast a bomb on you by saying that most of you are sitting on a wrong TRAIN for Life. Just imagine the time, when you missed a train or are have boarded the wrong train. How does that feel? Will you accept it for life? What if I told you that you are in that train but you are not aware of it.

Our brain and our reactions in response to our life decisions has become constant or quite similar and most of us respond in a very similar way to the so called responsible society. The big change that I noticed while growing up is that each year more and more engineers are graduated from India. If we talk about numbers, there were almost 1.5 million graduates in 2018 and if we constantly produced the same number of engineers there will be almost 35 million or more engineers by 2035.

Well, Ask yourself a question, when was the last time you got really happy or satisfied. Most of the answers will be- when i got the apple laptop, iPhone, new shoes, luxury or a job that is going to pay 20% more from your current salary. You will notice the similar pattern in our youth and we do not even need artificial intelligence to understand this pattern. This is a serious pattern to notice as India has 60% of youth population. The society,system or industries have recognized your pattern and understood your response towards the material happiness. Make sense?  Its going to make sense to all of you. Think about the time when you were choosing your future when you were just just 14 or 15. What were you told? What did you hear? Who were the people? How was the feeling? Was it good or bad? You were told that engineering and private companies are the future. You were told that these companies will pay you more and you will have a luxurious life to live. Everyone including your parents, friends and school told you this and filled your mind with hopes and desires for the next 4-5 years. Isn`t?

Let me take you quickly to those 4-5 years. I am not saying that all of you must be feeling like this but its only for those who feel this way. But if you are happy with your decision or working in a corporate company and completely satisfied at present, then its great.  But if you were thinking every single moment of your University life when you wanted to be something else instead of becoming a corporate professional. But the problem was the stimulus of all the hopes and desires that were created by society and parents was so strong that you could not take that wild step towards your passion.

But no told you or even give you a hint that you would have got better in your skill if you had worked your ass of for 1500 days. Isnt? So instead you spent those years in studying the subject you didn`t liked while arguing, complaining, crying about society and life.

IMPORTANT NOTE – You still have time as you have just lived 25% of your life.  Bs thodi si himat karni padegi. 

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I am pretty sure that most of the generation of India of my age will be on fire or would want to kill me because of my blunt writing. But its true we all are playing ludo instead of Chess. We all are tying to get 6 moves ahead so that we could afford a luxurious flat, car or a fucking euro trip.  We are not taking two steps backwards to understand the pattern and overall game we are deeply stuck in from throat to anus. Nothing is going in and nothing is going out of your mind and heart.

Most of us are trying to win big but instead of winning big we are getting stuck in a bigger bubble. It`s high time for us to understand the bubble formation as when one bubble mixes with the another one, it makes the bigger bubble with bigger unwanted problems to deal.