How To Win Scholarships? Undergraduate Research Experience 1

It is a proven fact that most of the students entering primary or middle-high school will find occupations that do not exist today. Therefore, the role of research and adapting to technology will play the central role in there personal as well as professional life. To prepare yourself for the changing economy, the complete system must adjust to the changing world, but it will take time to change the whole system. But you can always change or adapt quickly according to the available resources. Various insights considering the culture, environment, and technology will significantly improve the way of our learning.

Undergraduate students have enough potential to navigate and investigate new ways to find their potential abilities and qualities. The goal is to focus on the skills and competencies that are not the core focus of the regular curriculum in Universities and Schools.

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Did you ever think that you spend almost 1000-1400 days to complete your undergraduate school? The next question will be if you have anything in your mind about the output of these 1000-1400 days. Do you think that the degree or diploma is the ultimate fix? Have you designed any strategy to maximize the production of your undergraduate years to provide you the abilities in addition to theoretical and calculative knowledge?

What should be the short term and mid-term goals in the University which will work together to create a plausible roadmap of your future?

There is no hidden truth that University degree is considered as the gold standard set by a society which is the certificate for your future. But this is an illusion created by your fear and lack of awareness. Millions of students have obtained this golden certificate, but their life is still breaking loose. And most of you will believe that this certificate is going to keep you safe all your lives. This is mostly proving to be the hidden crisis among the millennials. Although, this statement or the fact should not hold mainly in the digital and information age.

Today`s and future candidates must be able to collaborate and communicate in multicultural teams with different stakeholders working in diverse backgrounds. As most of the specific skills will be easily replaced or optimized with machine learning and artificial intelligence tools. Involvement in a critical project requires coordination between different teammates and people management skills. Most of these projects will involve a lot of skills such as reading, writing and discussing new ideas which are the most valuable skill in the future. All these additional learning skills develop with time and are essential to ponder about multiple possibilities and learnings.

Conducting independent research or project in undergraduate school will help you decide the ideal ways to orient your life and career decisions. In addition to orientations, the experience of undergraduate research makes you curious to explore your ideas and expand your integrated learning. To explore your project or vision, it is crucial to listen to your gut feelings which are unfiltered and undisturbed by any other perceptions.

This part of undergraduate research consists of a set of sub-blogs as it is a very important part of this series “HOW TO WIN SCHOLARSHIPS”.

Stay Tuned.

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How to Win Scholarships? Attend Conferences 1

Conferences are one of the best platforms to represent and express your ideas to a diverse community. In my last post, I shared the importance of sharing your ideas within your small group, friends or community where you are regularly involved in certain activities as it builds your communication and networking skills significantly. Once you have learned to share your ideas, at a certain point during work or research in University, it is beneficial to present the data in a conference or seminar where you meet like-minded researchers and students with whom you can collaborate or learn different aspects of the project. And there are ample opportunities at national and international level for students to present their work either academic, industrial or non-academic. Participation in these multidisciplinary events improves your public speaking and networking skills. Today more than ever, industries and investors are attending these events mostly who are interested in young people vision with excellent communication skills. Communicating and expressing your ideas well will set you apart in every stage.

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I found one such International conference in Energy and Environment which was the next stepping stone towards in-depth research, improvising speaking and networking skills. In addition to that participating in events represents a good accomplishment and achievement in your CV.   My supervisor was enthusiastic about the conference and asked me to prepare the first draft of the paper.  I was keen to learn two new things; scientific writing and speaking in front of eminent scientists and researchers. Of course, more efforts will be required for this challenge, and at the end of the day, it ensures your satisfaction with research. But you will have to prepare your mind for all the reactions and recommendation that you will receive at the conference. Either positive or negative.

Many believe that undergraduate school is the end and expects everything to go smoothly within the constructed structure of the college. There is limited evidence stating that everything is happy to go lucky after undergraduate years. Only your response or reactions towards difficult situations define your career path.

It might be a little tricky to manage all these activities together which require routine and repetitive actions. It is your responsibility to take these repetitive actions consciously. When the actions are unconscious and uncreative, then the output of work downgrade slowly and ultimately die. It will become the same as the giving exams and completing assignments which is dull and boring after a small period. If you are considering a job or a review with a vision and finishing it with full conscious, it will yield into something productive. But if you are mugging or copying the assignment, then it won`t result in something meaningful.

Consider your project as a mission where every small act is a ritual. The project is productive and meaningful if one engages in the new learning consciously and wholeheartedly. It is wise to know that the failure rate of starting something independently is quite high and happen often. If you don`t believe this, then take any case study of successful people in any field.

I realized this when I had to prepare the manuscript for my conference presentation where I had no escape. The thought of escaping the project will take away the responsibility along with your progress. The student working in an independent project is not solely linked with personal development but also advanced social development.  This demonstrates a sense of responsibility and leadership that directs you towards a better path.

Later, while trying to accomplish the draft manuscript for the conference, I found myself struggling and losing patience. But after rewriting the draft many times and discussing it with my supervisor, an acceptable paper was prepared to be sent.

I was happy because it gave a sense of satisfaction as finally, my efforts were giving some results after one year. I was excited to present my experiments to the scientific community which could bring value to the science and enhances my personal experience of public speaking. The conference was being organized in Tiruvannamalai which have extreme cultural and religious significance in India.

Stay tuned for the next blog where I will share the detailed experience of my FIRST CONFERENCE 

 

How to Win Scholarships? Share your Ideas

Don`t be scared to share your ideas with people especially when you are studying at a University. Testing and trying different things build the attitude of solving problems and makes you sensitive to handle problems effectively.

Most of the students believe that their ideas are not perfect but perfection is a subjective theme. So, don’t use perfection as an excuse.  Proposing and expressing your ideas independently allows you to initiate at a small level to apply the wisdom and experiences of others in multiple ways if you can follow the potential opportunities where you can express your ideas precisely and clearly can contribute hugely in the world along with personal success

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I will share a very small example from my personal experience—

I proposed a few simple experiments to my supervisor which aligned perfectly with the ongoing research in the laboratory.  My supervisor permitted me to execute the idea. The objective of the idea was to replace the standard nutrient or food solution of algae by the cattle waste to reduce the cost of producing algae. If you are a biologist or studying the related field, you might understand it more. Just imagine that you are trying to replace the plastic with bioplastic.

It is usual if you feel a bit anxious in the early stage of research or start-up because of inconsistency and setbacks. You must keep your concentration and consistency in your project where it belongs and learn to respond with a conscious and calm mind. There will be moments when you will think to quit your project which is mostly due to compulsive behavior or desire for quick results. Let them pass as most of the present problems won’t matter in the coming five months. And remind yourself about consistency or any positive experience that you have read will help you overcome the hurdles. These small choices that you will make for your project will be eventful and culture you to become a problem solver. It is your responsibility, but if you quit the project then your responsibility is over, so make your progress. This is why a student should utilize his University time effectively to have that an extra edge among the cream students.

I was learning and unlearning quickly because I was setting up experiments and failing regularly; therefore, I was producing more data and eliminating the things that were not working. Eliminating things in work or research is one of the best ways to increase the efficiency in your decision making and reaching your final professional goal.

Well, the idea of working in a laboratory is different as compared to attending classes as it is not the standard way of learning in the day to day life.  Occasionally, you will have doubts in your strategy as working on a project without any hope of getting a quick reward is not the way the regular school or university teaches you, but it shows you that it takes time to create something new. It will guide you to respect the audacity of your dreams. You will need to strengthen the ideas by diversifying the experiments or conditions.

The experience of undergraduate research will always have a lot to teach you and will give you important questions to think about.

There is always something to learn in every failure which teaches you to create your problem-solving equation. This attitude of working makes you an extended and better version of yourself by developing your planning, long term patients, and communications skills. More importantly, enjoying the experience of science or creating an independent project is the most rewarding feeling. Consistent trying improves your persuading skills which always give you a prejudicial advantage as you will learn to express better.

I made frequent mistakes which caused me to repeat the whole experiment from the starting. Sometimes, it was taking two months to repeat the complete test because of one small error. The results will depend on your efforts and positive mindset to embrace the passion for science and learning from every mistake.

To win scholarships or convince the selection committee, you need to build a strong foundation which will only progress with time and consistent efforts. You need to understand expressing your ideas in words is very critical for your application to be shortlisted for final selection. It gives you the edge over other applicants and increases your success rate in various forms.

Stay tuned. it is about to get more interesting 😉

Digital- Freelance Researchers?

Researchers and PhD students should take the benefit of new emerging digital market which is also inclined with commercial perks at independent level. You have something more to take and play individually without being in the system.

Its not even about discussion anymore “if the digital education is future” because it has already become a established industry which is going to become giant or it will be  EVERYTHING in  future. Even the traditional education industry is moving slowly to provide there education services on digital platforms like COURSERA and it will be wise enough for all the professors and young aspiring researchers to shift to digital platforms to become a freelance researcher and consultant to private institutes and laboratories. It will open the doors for every single stakeholder to collaborate and do something more with people all around the world as it does not require any real presence which saves a lot of resources and need of infrastructure for everyone.

Digital PhD students can also raise funding for there ideas and projects through donors, investors and even  citizens you are genuinely interested in that project. Not just investment, digital presence can also help you to collaborate with other PhD students conveniently- Digital Researchers and there presence in internet is going to be a one big Digital Research Institute.

Did you notice that there is constant rise in various start ups in different domains and aspects of biotechnology such as bioenergy, compounds and diseases. All these start up provide different services and they would appreciate the digital researcher input in collaborating and creating useful research based content for these start ups.

Digital world has changed the concept of work and management literally in all sectors. The change in various technologies in the area of biology that produces a large amount of data to be treated using coding platforms (R or Python) opens the new field for biologist to collaborate with coding people.

 

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What are the perks of being a Digital Researcher?

  1. You can work from anywhere around the world and conduct your own research, initially you will have to start with the limited resources you have i.e, Internet and millions of gigabyte of data available in google but gradually you can generate  grants.  PhD students need to understand there importance and need of joining the digital world and start managing the content in the internet that is available for free.
  2. You can design your class as you want- You have complete freedom to present and edit your content the way you want. There is no time restriction or timeline. Once you have created (which can be edited anytime), it is created for forever. You don`t have to spend energy to create and present the same data repeatedly.
  3. You can have million students- Yes, its true that you can teach more than million and even billion students at a time through digital platforms.  You will never be able to achieve this milestone, by being a professor in a University or Institute.

 

Traditional Education will not die just like RADIO and TELEVISION but DIGTAL EDUCATION will rise and outshine the traditional education system.

Its the Future 

 

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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