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 

 

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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 😉

 

 

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 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.