How to Win Scholarships? Focus on quality of communication and networking

When I say Quality, I refer this term with more clarity. Clear communication with your colleagues, family members or supervisors always leads to a better conclusion. And sometimes these clear communications are hard but necessary.

The communication and networking are indeed the most potent friend of yours which will only nourish with practice. Quality is to be respected, but it is entirely subjective in today`s world. The various components of communication tools allow us to create an emphasis if we make the correct use of them strategically.

My suggestion is straightforward “Quality of communication is important but subjective” therefore speed should be the focus while you are pursuing your Undergraduate or Masters. When we are using digital tools, it is the practice that will improve your art of communication in different social media platforms or other official tools such as Gmail or LinkedIn where you can connect with your future leaders or supervisors easily. Nowadays, the Internet and social media have given attention to each one of us.

Traditional institutes teach students communication in a structured manner which usually won’t synchronize with today’s world. Communication tools are quite flexible, and it can never be practiced when a person is tensed, restricted and is being marked upon his skills. Traditional communication teaching is safe to get a job when they are prepared to connect in alignment with the company vision and mission. When the time comes to relate all this with the current situation in undergraduate school, it is a bit complicated. One cannot depend on the traditional communication strategies or university as it will never teach you about networking or other essential tools required for the real world.

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If you are planning to launch an independent project, then the traditional communication strategies will not work as it does not bring in the personal sense of control or connect you to the target audience which is highly variable. It is neither adaptable to presently available digital platforms.

The present communication platforms demand the greater quantity, depth of the subject and personal sense of involvement. You will need to alter your strategies depending on the tools which may require less quantity but more quality. There is no standard book or practice which must be followed to communicate and make a network.  Communication is a two-way process which will develop automatically based on individual or group of people with whom you want to interact.

It will never become refined and perfect without practice as the market and consumers are constantly changing depending on the overall technology and environment. Understanding consumer behavior in one shot is not an easy task and to understand this process requires a greater quantity of content with depth.

Now, you have so many platforms and devices to form networks and connect with researchers all over the world. If you want to accomplish and win in either academic or non-academic scholarship, you need to understand the importance of both traditional and digital communication.

I learned to connect and partner with fellow students both in University and digital platforms. One of my friends, Tania who was quite popular in social and cultural clubs was aware of the marketing and business tools who introduced me to many young students in University who wanted to explore more in the area of scientific research. I would not have been connected with all these students otherwise. At that time, I was a bit struggling to get the correct idea of scientific writing or communication which is again not taught in the University. So, I used this opportunity of interacting with other students to keep my focus on writing by collaborating with students having different research interests. I had no intentions or goals about the outcome but to follow my steps uniformly to improve my scientific writing. Writing and editing many articles with other students allowed me to refine my work with more precision. The key for you is to be conscious of the resources that you can have or generate in your area.

Further, I explored that undergraduate students have formed the society to promote Undergraduate students work. They have established the journal which is run by undergraduate students for undergraduate students. So, I contacted the team of Journal of undergraduate research at Colorado State University that is managed by only undergraduate students. Working with the different cultural groups in digital platforms gives you more advanced insights from hundreds of new articles and operating principles.

If you are applying for Global Ph.D. scholarship, applications will be pouring from all the over the world which will be highly competitive. Therefore, the network and communication that you have developed in your undergraduate school while participating in internships, conferences, symposiums or publication time will help you to use those skills while competing for international scholarships.

 

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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

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.

 

Little-Bit about Wine

Of course, you are Interested to know more about wine. And may be some of you or most of you are only interested in drinking but it`s always good to know the process. There is a old saying that its very important to know your wine as it is indeed personal. To know more about wine, it would be good to know brief history about the grapes.

Grapes are one of the oldest domesticated crops discovered nearly 5000-8000 years and out of which more than 50% is used to make vine and 36% of them are eaten fresh. Since then there has been lot of changes in berry size or the overall bunch size depending on the breeding pattern and agricultural style.

In one of the research, it was found out that the grapes that are desired for wine are usually smaller in size usually found in the Christian dominated areas whereas the table grapes or grapes just to eat are of big size that are usually found in Islam dominated regions. They concluded that religious or cultural beliefs have marked a strong impact on the diversity of the Grapes.

Have you ever asked yourself if your wine is natural or industrial?

Natural wine is a wine that produced organically without adding any external substance. But remember, in a natural wine there is nothing added or removed from the start of the wine making until the end.  The wine that comes out after natural process is the wholesome fruits along with all the microbes and sugars that are present in the process. So one of the most important biological cycle which is important in wine making is known as TCA cycle which gives the important intermediates (like basic building blocks) for amino acids and nucleotide synthesis. This cycle also gives the citric acid as one of the intermediate which is important for the wine making process as it is responsible for the aroma and acidity of the wine. In natural wine, there is no addition of citric acid or other similar acids to change the flavor or aroma. As far as i know, the taste and aroma of  the complete natural wine  is going to be really strong with little sugary taste. Sometimes, wine makers complete the fermentation of wine inside the final bottle as it gives the wine more sugary flavor, with some fizzzzz and pulp of the fruit.

Considering the industrial wine, researchers have been doing an incredible job in an interdisciplinary approach to make your wine the best wine and even trying to make the wine as personal as it can become.

I am sure you must be feeling bit lost with statement.

But i wanted to say that a start up called Vinome is claiming that they can provide you the best wine of your life by comparing your DNA and taste buds. The wine they make is unique and is only for your taste buds. But it looks like that they are not joking as they are backed up by the biggest sequencing technology of the world called Ilumina sequencing technology.

Until now, I read that researchers are working on personalized medicine – the medications or treatment according to your DNA, now the personalized wine and in future, science will give us the personalized food, perfumes, and never ending day to day products.

Coming back to wine..

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We know that there is massive rise in population, huge demand of good wine, and the attack of changing climate, evolving pathogens that is killing the production of grapes and apples. Moreover, growers are not hesitating to use the deadly chemicals to protect there harvest. And what about the consumers demand of tasty and wooden flavor wine? There are so many questions but no answers.

Do you think that we will be able to produce a good quality wine in 22nd or 23rd century?  😉 

How do we protect the harvest without using chemicals?

Yes there is a solution

With the development of sequencing and genomics technologies, there is a hope that we can try to solve or know the problems occurring in the process of wine-making at early stages of the process. These technologies are the new advancements in the overall agriculture field to identify pathogens in the fields at early stages or develop the crops with traits that are adaptive to the changing climate.

Thanks to genetic diversity 😀

Stay tuned for more update and remember WINE IS ALWAYS FINE

Are you sure about yourself?

Do you think that you are 100% Indian, Spanish, French, English or Irish. There is a big chance that you are wrong and  I am going to tell you something that will blow your mind. There is a DNA test that can tell you your exact origin and reunite you with cousins all around the world.  I have never taken it but a lot of people have reviewed this product and are quite surprised to know that they 20% British, 70% spanish and 10% German and so on.

Just imagine, A simple DNA test can tell you the complete ethnicity. My heritage is an online platform developed in Israel that creates the new family based on family trees with global historical records and other features.  This is the simplest test to tell you the real truth of your identity. You will have to order the kit, swipe your cheek with a swap and send the sample to the laboratory. They will analyse your DNA, covert it into digital form and compare it with database to find your close and distance cousins.  It will create new dots for you to join and find your new ancestors. According to there database, the Indian population have ethnicity – 73% South Asian, 10% English, 9% Scandavian, 9% Northwestern European and 6% West Asian.

So do you want to know your real Ethnicity?

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This test will completely change the meaning of your passport, rules of immigration and citizenship. Also, there will be some theories saying that this will give the big nations more power to control global genetics of the world which can make them easy to manipulate the DNA and control the global health. There are always pros and cons of everything just like social media. It depends on how you use it and how you tackle it.

Want to cut your fat?

Are you tired of being fat? Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars in your diet and fitness programs.

Until now we have been doing research on rats by feeding them different types of diet varying the composition of fats, sugar and carbohydrates and checking the impact on overall metabolism of rats by focusing on one or more genes. But with the changing  sequencing technology and super computing power, the progress will be faster to fight obesity. I am sure a big part of community won`t agree with me but I am just sharing the possible real changes that will happen. This community is the one that says that social media is killing the generation but what happened? Technology is winning and it will always win as it exposes people.

Things are changing and big change is already coming in future. It does not matter if you like it or not. You have been using green tea, fat loss program and everyone knows about it. Now, the time to edit some genes in humans is very near. Are you ready to change your genetic structure? Also, we cannot ignore the fact that the rate of obesity or number of unhealthy population is at the maximum the earth has ever seen. So, its the perfect time to introduce the world with the technology that will edit your GENE or GENES related to your belly fat. Isn`t?

Also, I won`t say that consistency and hard work cannot give you the desired fitness results but only if you are consistent and hard working.

What if you are not consistent and istead you are lazy, not at all determined and needs the quick and easy fix? There will be million of people around the world like this. There is a solution in near future for you guys. And this blog is dedicated to the beautiful lazy people who wants to sit and see the cutting of fat from there belly.

One of the major gene that is linked with your obesity is FTO which is around 456820 bp.  Now I am sure most of you will ask what is 456820bp. Bp is base pair and our human DNA is made up of 3 billion base pairs. Now you will ask what is a base pair? There are 4 base pair i.e., A,G,C and T and our human DNA of 3 billion base pair is made up of only 4 letters [A,G,T,C] in different combinations. Each living being on this earth- humans, dogs, plants. insects, cats everyone has these base pairs but all of them have different number of base pairs.

So, the overall bad weight [fat] will vary according to the types of FTO you have in your DNA i.e., it has been noted that if have two variants, you are expected to have 3kgs more as compared to normal human being. In addition to that, some researchers have found certain regions in your DNA that are linked with obesity and these certain regions contain many gene that have different role in management of overall weight. Well, i am not sure if this will require to edit or omit the complete 456820 genes from your DNA.

 

What do you think if you could edit these genes completely and never get fat?

Will you do it?