How to win Scholarships?

The next series of posts are needed because of lots of young people have been asking repetitive questions related to studying abroad and winning scholarships. Especially for students from low-income countries or who wants to win scholarships to keep their financial status better while they are studying and living abroad. Chances are if you are reading this blog, you want to study abroad and live a unique experience.

This section of the blog is written to guide undergraduate and Master`s students to develop there academic and non-academic profile which can help them to win International Scholarships and work abroad. Students always have different questions and doubts about the essential requirements to win scholarship and funding at the national or international level. Although there are many blogs and information available on the internet along with certain personal experiences.

As no such detailed experience is available, so I am sharing my journey with unusual and exciting experiences, traveling and networking. Once you have read this series, you can use this unique and untapped strategy as a reference or template to develop your unique ideas.

It took me a lot of hit and trials to design my own toolbox to learn both within and outside the framework of the University. Both play an essential role especially if you want to stay in academics and wants to win the scholarship. But once I figured out the potential opportunities that we have today is exponential.

Nobody in the past – your parents, your elder siblings or your grandparents had these opportunities. By the end of my Undergraduate school, I had already won two short scholarships, obtained 4 good recommendation letters and immense experience in both academic and non-academic fields.

What was the golden rule behind this efficiency? Consistent networking and communication.

 

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And it is time to accept the truth that simply scoring the top grades won`t win you an International scholarship. Therefore, when you prepare for the final task to apply for scholarships, it will be tiring to prepare for completely new things in quick time.  In contrast, I adopted and worked on the skills by spending time in various events and volunteering where I could learn more by eliminating the excess pressure in Undergraduate school.

After completing my graduate school, I got won two International scholarships to conduct research in Spain and then in Canada. A lot of undergraduate students started texting me to know the secret. Fascinated to realize, I have jotted down some points that I had done differently made me realize that I should share these tips with future undergraduate kids. So, I thought writing this new series of blogs which could be the easiest way to share these untapped strategies.

 

It will discuss the simple yet effective ways to build your overall profile and develop networking skills while you are studying in School or University. The detailed tips and tools will help students, especially if you are not from a top-tier college or have poor grades in their previous semesters. However, the student needs to show determination and constant hunger to look for more clarity in this experiential journey. Now, you have multiple ways to improvise your profile to compete in both academic and non-academic industries

In the upcoming blogs, you will find the detailed experiences of undergraduate school, my internships, case studies fellowships, summer schools, and networking that I could share in words.

Stay Tuned…

 

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How to get PhD when you are not from Top Tier University?

Do you know that your academics or your grade or marks only counts for 10 to 15% in the overall PhD selection process? There are millions of students who score B grade or 60% but are passionate about scientific research and wants to pursue PhD. But most of them think that getting the high score is the only criteria to secure a PhD position in abroad. But let me tell you one thing, that your University name and your score only account for 10-20 percent of the overall selection process. And it does not mean that you will loose all these points if you have 2nd division.  For ex : Selection process involves these main factors as the criteria.

  1. Academic Score (10-20 points)- You will get 20 points if you have A or A+grade, 18 if you have B+ and 15 if you have B. So even if you have B grade, you will still get 15 points and rest it depends on how you make the best of your other 80 points.
  2. Skill set (30-40 points)- It is one of the most important criteria for the selection process and you will realize it when you will start interviewing for the PhD or research positions. As the selection committee will ask you the skills set you have related to the project. If you have 80% of the skill set related to project, your chances of winning the PhD position increases.
  3. Publications/ Research Experience (30-40 points)- Most of the Indian Private Universities does not focus on this part of the system with sincerity at all. They have made the complete mess and are making the business out of it by opening the private research institutes that offers your internships without any real exposure to research work. I have seen most of the students during there junior or sophomore year of college pursuing there internships from private institutes that charge you INR 6000 for the 8-10 weeks of project and also provide you the research project. This is one of the big reason and serious concern that many of us looses the interest in science at early stages.

You have to remember that it the investment of time and hard work that you will put in your graduation time to get your desired PhD. Utilize your summer vacation and internships effectively and make networks with PhD students and scientist all over India. I am aware that securing the PhD in a good institute is not easy but I am also aware that many of us looses hope easily. Sometimes, it takes 2 or 3 years of constant effort and convincing the scientist with whom you want to work for the summer internship. Try to identify your broad research interest during your sophomore or junior undergraduate year and list all the research institutes and scientist where you are planning to work. Prepare your draft email clearly mentioning your research interest and skills you would like to learn. It will be good if you mention little bit about future ambitions but its not so important if you are in 1st or 2nd year as you are just starting your research journey. Remember, its a journey a a long journey. And you are going to fail and get 1000s of rejections. Just prepare yourself mentally and note the points why are you getting these rejections. It is really important to analyse the reasons of your rejections at all the levels of your research journey. This happen even to the big scientist all around the world. No big deal. These words will keep you on the move always. Remind yourself with these words.

 

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The goal during your graduate years should be to maximize the results coming out of your research internships even if it takes to miss couple of classes and loose few marks in your attendance or assignments as it wont mean anything for long term goals. Trust me. The other important skill is scientific writing which will only improve if you practice writing.

The best way is to start writing reviews on the topic you like the most or you would like to explore. 

And if you are working on the above mentioned skills, you are automatically working in your public relations with researchers and graduate students in the laboratory who will definitely help you out to achieve the things you want to. Good public relation means good recommendation letters (10-20 points) which is another criteria for winning the PhD position. A publication in peer reviewed journal will be cherry on the cake but there is no guarantee that you will be able to publish a good research paper while working in the internships or dissertation but there is 100% guarantee that your profile will become solid proof which will show your potential clearly to the selection committee.

What about the extracurricular activities?  What kind of activities will describe you as a leader or a team worker? Try to incorporate yourself with social and community activities that are bringing the change in the human welfare. But not just for the certificate. Because, if you are working for the certificate and recognition, you will never be able to understand the problem at grass-root level. Try to collaborate with someone working in different subject or theme and work in an interdisciplinary topic like women empowerment, sustainable solutions, water management. I am not talking about starting a rally against the government, it`s the solution that you will propose to the community which has the potential to bring the change.

 

Best European Countries where PhD are well paid

Europe is the best of the continent to pursue your Doctorate studies. Along with nice infrastructure and facilities in the education system, Europe is known for its vibrant cultures, lifestyle, food and the ease of travelling from one country to another. I am writing this blog as an International student for the international students who wish to pursue PhD in Europe.  There are certain problems if our country does not have any diplomatic relations with European Union then, you will have to go through administrative work if you are moving around in Europe for official work. But I will come to this later. Lets talk about the expectation of an International student coming from Asia, south America or North America. I have hardly seen any students pursuing doctorate studies in Europe but there are lot of Asians and South Americans travelling to Europe for Higher studies. Maximum number of students expect a good stipend as you are giving commitment to pursue PhD for 3-4 years which is important to keep in your mind before you make any big decision. Everyone is rushing to start PhD in Europe or North America before analyzing the complete situation in detail. Why, I am pressing this issue is because most of the PhD stipend/Scholarship remains constant for the 3-4 years in many countries of Europe.  For ex: If you start your PhD in 2018 which gives a stipend/monthly salary of 1000 euros/month, your salary will remain the same until 2021.

The pattern and style of PhD has completely changes significantly demanding the industrial results instead of real research. The world load in terms of administrative, scientific publications and results has increased where as the time period of PhD has also reduced to 3 years. Considering the economy, lifestyle and other related things, it will be wise for all the PhD students to choose a PhD that funds high salary along with other benefits.  Here is the list of countries in Europe that pay the high salaries for PhD graduates along with other benefits including insurance and pension plans.

BELGIUM

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NETHERLAND

 

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DENMARK

 

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NORWAY

 

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SWEDEN

 

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SWITZERLAND

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FINLAND

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GERMANY
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AUSTRIA

 

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Digital Guru take on “Obesity in India”

Listen Listen very carefully, being Fat is unhealthy , being Obese is unhealthy and it is going to kill you one day which is the biggest concern for the obese people in India to think and act on it. And, yes I am aware that body shaming is real for kids, women and men but let me tell you one important FACT that society is not going to change. I am giving you the million dollar advice, you got to adapt and change your mind settings to go along with this society every single time.

I was scrolling through various post in top news media reading about body shaming and obesity and how every society should accepts that you are fat. Fuck with society, its your body and your life and I am surprised that these top bloggers with million followers are promoting directly or indirectly “its ok to be fat” rather than promoting the real fact that you are fat and addicted to processed food and sugar and it can kill you. This is real. It is also necessary to ask these soft bloggers- when they write about body shaming and society issues” Who are they asking ? What are they expecting?

Its high time to learn that this is the  part where we can not do anything and it will be really nice if we understand the sad but true fact -“Society wont change” but we can definitely train ourselves to become more strategic to tackle these issues. Everything that is happening to your body is because of you not because of the society or life. Stop being so fucking lazy and stop eating shit food like Maggie and cookies. You are gonna get fat because of the sugar and bad fats that you are eating not because of the society pressure.

They say that people become more anxious, depressed and looses there self esteem when society call them fat? Do you think that this is the problem?

What? I thought Humans are the top most creature in the earth (microbes-rats- cats-cows——–other trillion species————-> HUMANS there is nothing after this). We are are at the top and we get sad if 100 people call us fat. If this true, then humans cannot be the smartest species living in the earth.

Its really surprising that people are talking this concept of body shaming with so much seriousness and making the future generation more soft and scared by blaming the society. We got to understand the simple fact- “Society will not change, it will never change, but you can change yourself with  self control and  a cup of optimism”. Its possible and stop listening to these soft bloggers out in the world promoting obesity indirectly or directly.

Start motivating your unhealthy friend to go for one mile run, 15 min workout or have one month of consuming just healthy diet with no sugar and processed food. This will not the society but will definitely change your life. No one can change the society, not even god.

So you have only two choices –

One is to feel bad,listen to soft bloggers and making yourself feel better for 1 hour or hoping that society will change. Or you can get your favorite running shoes to go for a mile run.

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Geneverine- Wolverine

Chicos y Chicas,

I am going to bring your attention towards a very interesting subject about “Humans love perfection”. There is no hidden lie that we humans love perfection and have been using external substances to make us more beautiful and powerful. Isn`t?

There is no lie that we have been using the products made by artificially and genetically modified organisms to grow stronger and stay younger for long age. Do you think that we would have the potential to modify our genes to become more stronger permanently for longer time.  And now you must be wondering if I am trying to promote any technology here but no, its just the basic hypothesis after learning a bit in different laboratories about bioinformatics and sequencing technologies.

My fascination towards sequencing and genome analysis has been growing and I wonder if the humans will be able to use these technologies to modify themselves. Ofcourse it`s not possible right now but it can become feasible in coming 50-100 years.

Let me tell you couple of facts to build my story.

It is possible to get the complete sequence information of your genome under 1500$ and it is expected to go down with time and advancement in sequencing technologies. The second one is gene editing technique that can edit the DNA and replace the modified gene in your genome (we expect that it will be done safely in case of humans) 😉

I want to write this article for the general public, so I am going to explain couple of terminologies in a simplest way-

DNA – is everything about you which has only 4 letters (A,G,T,C) and our Human DNA is made up of 3 billion characters i.e., 3 billion letters together of all A,G,T,C.

Genome – is the term for the complete DNA i.e., all the 3 billion letters together is referred as genome. So you can get the information of these 3 billion letters under 1500$. Incredible. Isn`t?

Gene editing- It can be used to make couple of desired changes in these 3 billion letters and ofcourse, it`s not easy and its still not there but it will be there as we have come a long way to play around (literally play) with plants, bacteria and even with some animals.

Although, i am not aware about the complete information of superheroes but I have always been fascinated by wolverine. I wonder if you can really create a wolverine from the scratch and if not from the scratch, can you modify your genes to obtain 1% of what wolverine have? Just imagine that if you have 1% of wolverine, whats its gonna be like.

What kind of super powers you would like to have?

And I am curious to know if I could have more time to live or I should say, more time to live as 25-30 as this time period is the most energetic one where you are open to the real world. In simple terms – you will feel like 25 even if you are 40.

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Ofcourse, many people can do it without artificial introduction of external substances  and live like 25 even they are 40. But there are more than 7 billion people living in this earth and genetic biosphere is quite different in all the locations.

And then, there are big companies claiming that green tea and red wine have anti-ageing effects but I am not sure if its really working or not. Although, there are some evidences by the researchers saying that 25% of  human life is determined by variations in our DNA i.e., that variations in our 3 billion letters. On the other, people have already found out the information of DNA of the people who have already lived more than 100 years.

So, I asked myself a question, will it possible that in 2065, Humans will have full right to modify there own DNA. Will there be any ethical questions on it? I can understand the ethical points when we are experimenting with animals. There are ethical rights but whats gonna happen when humans will have the opportunity to modify themselves.

Lets just say that in 2065, the age 25= age 40. 

 

Imagine if NEWS channels…

There is hate, negativity, anger and bigotry all over the world. No one is perfect amd no one can. But every simple human being can understand this simple fact that the TALKING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE is the complete waste of time specially when its useless comments or the story about a person that won`t affect your personal life at all. I recently turned 25 year old and I was reevaluating and just thinking about the content that I have seen in the news channel since past 15 years – as far as i can remember or start understanding little bit of Whats happening around  me. The maximum part of the news channel covered the news of war, hate, anger, corruption, celebrities, religion and other useless stuff. But once in a while they also share the stories that matter or are good for the change of the overall society. There are problems in everyone life and all around the world and everyone is complaning but no one is talking about the education or spreading awareness that is needed to bring the big change specially the MASS MEDIA CHANNEL, the news channel that has been reproducing the same content for so many years. The only thing that changes is the quality of the video, face of the reporter and also the overall turnover of the media companies. They talk about the policies, government, and politicians by making the big statements that the people with the power are doing nothing. Well. What about the media! Are they not making billions by showing them again and again and again. Media channels are just like teenagers who just want to talk about other people and discuss it globally.

JUST IMAGINE EVERY MORNING  MEDIA CHANNEL REPORTS OR GIVES A LESSON of 1 hour ON GENDER EQUALITY,ENVIRONMENT CHANGE AND PROVIDE REAL SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEMS. And all the kids are watching them while having breakfast. JUST IMAGINE….

The most important thing you can give to someone is your attention and ears. And media channels has got them both. So they have 365 days and they don`t educate people which they can easily do and make the real change ! real change ! Just imagine if they could give 2 hours a day to educate people on topics such gender equality, food wastage, waste disposal, income tax, and other social issues that make a big change at the grassroot people.

 

Interview with Dr. Priyanjali- About Breast Cancer

This is my first blog of 2018 and I wanted to start it on a motivated note. Talking with Priyanjali motivated me to the next level and made me realise that Hard work is the significant key to become more happy and satisfied in your life. 

Hi Priyanjali, Can you introduce yourself to the people?

Hailing from the Abode of Clouds, aka Scotland of East, Meghalaya in the Northeastern part of India. I belong to a quintessential Bengali family. My father, the most influential and the best man of my life had filled my mind with tales of Netaji Bose invariably. My naive mind palace rather picked up Swami Vivekanada and Thomas Edison as leaders for mankind. I always faced difficulty to make friends as I could not easily find people resonating with my thought process of being very liberal. I grew up to become a Doctor by my choice, being a state topper back then, against my parent’s will who saw a dancer in me. My father who inculcated in me a pattern to look through every possibility and disrupt to establish a solution for every kind of problem and not wait for any delusional “somebody” to do it for you and society. He believes I am a visionary and I am trying to establish the same. For my own self, I write Non- fiction and Abstract. I dance and want to learn the forms i never tried Ballet, trained in Indian classical forms of Bharatnatyam and Kathak. I love to indulge in conversations and was a State level Debate champion for 4 years in Meghalaya. I have worked as a professional model  for Abraxas Lifestyle, India’s most exclusive luxury magazine and a brand called Reptilia. I do not believe a person should give up on anything that he loves to do. In Spite of the conventional line of thought process about Modelling, I love doing it and take out time for shoots and do not give up.

Can you explain about your mission and vision of your Project Aarogya?

I started this venture called Aaroogya “Carnage Breast Cancer Foundation”, and began a mass door to door education about a very neglected disease breast cancer. Unlike West, Indian demography has more prevalence for a specific molecular form of the disease called “Triple Negative” which is more aggressaive and targets the younger female folk of the country. I have been travelling from Delhi to the North Eastern State approaching Bangladesh borders to conduct our extensively designed Public Health Camps. Our key features are :- Training Programmes for Regional (Tier III and IV) schools and Self Help Groups for Breast Self- Examination every month, Telemedicine, Pan – India cross sectional survey, publishing articles in peer reviewed journals and handing over clinically designed pictographic booklet for guiding breast self examination (BSE). We do free Clinical Examination and mobilize patients for Palliative and Preventive Care to partner Hospitals. In the past one year, our team has covered Delhi NCR, Haryana, Assam, West Bengal and Meghalaya, we are at a stage where we are mobilizing patients and individuals requiring preventive care to Daycare centres with precision medicine and Molecular Profiling. I aim to establish and redefine Preventive Healthcare system and not merely let people die due to Late Diagnosis and poor disease management in the country. Our chief mentor – Prof Dr. P.K. Julka (PadmaShri Awaredee) Former Dean, AIIMS guides us through and monitors our line of action with each engagement and implementation.

We aim to disrupt the bridge between Social and Healthcare Innovation across the globe to reach every nook and crenny of India’s Tier 3 and 4 Rural women.

Our Board of Advisory has esteemed mentors who guide me to and fro extensively :- Dr. Sovan Sarkar is a Birmingham Fellow at the University of Birmingham, and holds the distinction of Former Fellow for life at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge and Ronald Van Het Hof, Worked as CEO for a number of leading retail-chains in the Benelux and has received several Retail Awards. Ronald has been working as an expert-volunteer (2008-2012) at Women on Wings and supported many Indian social enterprises in their growth with his broad management experience next to his professional career in the Benelux.

What motivated you to start this project?

Building up from all of this is our understanding that the world is making the transition from millennia where the game was efficiency in repetition (think assembly line and law firm) to one where the ability to contribute to change is where value lies.  Once the world understands that it is already well into this transition, it will move through the remaining steps very quickly and with far fewer bumps in the night.  We think that this is where Aaroogya’s greatest contribution will be in the next few years.

I consider Aaroogya as my biggest achievement so far because, as a child, I remember making a promise to my maternal grandmother that I will invent an Antidote against Cancer. A few years later we lost her due to Late Diagnosis of Lung Cancer. My mother too suffers from a Pre Blood Cancerous stage called Essential Thrombocytosis. This keeps me on track.

Are you happy with all the development of the project?

Overwhelmed is the word, personally. There is a long way of course lined up. Yet, getting approval of your way of ideation and innovation to bring a social impact by a lot of people on ground and digitally is the most important drive to keep working towards every goals. It is to bring the quality social change in human lives but not impossible. My work has become my personal, professional and social life.

What are you looking for this project in terms of funding and resources?

We are basically looking for the investors who wants to who invest in social impact and wants to contribute for mankind. Since we are still at early stage, money is typically very local. Hence, investors you approach should fit in this segment. Venture Capitals investing on Non profit solutions and Corporate Social Responsibility funds largely cater such investment prospects largely.

What are you doing to increase the impact of your project?

Working on the idea constantly to create a valuable product is an arduous task. And continuous reach out for improvement and appreciation keeps involving more people onboard. A good idea brings change makers together adding inputs. My idea is not mine just, its a holistic concept like I always say of my esteemed mentors I mentioned about, many Healthcare Industry sophomores, have been privileged to work with many Alumni from Ivy league University Business schools like the Harvard Business school, Tuck School of Business, INSEAD, etc, and Global Public health representatives. In the process, Its more of a learning opportunity and vivid experience with such enigmatic people as an early age sophomore.

How long it took you put up the basic Building blocks of your project?

It has been one and half year, and it is still ongoing until Innovations stop happening. We are looking forward to integrate IoT solutions, venturing out for AI solutions to establish scalable productivity in a continuous process. We wish and work towards establishing these quick solutions accessible to every Indian woman who nurtures a family and a generation of our future.

How long it will take to solve this problem?

This is the most important one to answer, Indian subcontinent shows sheer negligence towards this menace that has already infiltrated in our population, called Breast Cancer, the Cancer variant affecting the women the most, worldwide. We need to understand the solutions to the disease management in west is not always a solution for developing countries. We have different genetics and molecular make – up. Demography plays a major role in disease predilections. “Triple Negative”, a subtype of Breast Cancer affects our demography largely, unlike West. It targets the younger women at early ages and only Early detection can save us. We are disrupting the scenario by establishing our entire approach towards Preventive healthcare and management and not just disease management, Preventive Healthcare is not the future, it is the need of the hour. Secondary prevention by Breast Self examination in this case.

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Aaroogya – In Defense of my Elementary Liberty to choose it over Gold Coins and Glamour

And if you guys are looking for any more information for collaboration etc. Then you can contact them at –

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/Indiabreastcancerawareness/