How to Win Scholarships? My First Publication

Many doubts will raise with time when you will prepare the manuscript for the first publication. It is another big challenge that can come up in your undergraduate, Master, Ph.D. and in your lifetime of research. But if you are lucky enough to get some results or have prepared detailed secondary research manuscripts such as a review or a chapter which can be published in a good journal. Writing a manuscript will take time if you have no previous experience in writing specifically scientific writing.  To manage all this additional work along with your coursework is indeed challenging.

But scientific writing and content creation is a valuable asset in today`s market.

It is also crucial to understand a bit about Journals and online publishing platform which is already a billion dollar industry and are also categorized in several brands that are valued according to their impact factor ore reputation in the scientific society.

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Prepare your mind ready to receive high-level criticism from the editors because most probably, you will send your paper to a high-end journal. It is a good strategy because the comment and recommendations from the editors of high impact factor journal can help you to improvise your research article or chapter in many ways. There could be many reasons for the rejection which you will understand more with experience and time. But most common roadblocks in your publication could be the novelty of the project, poor writing skills, lack of supplementary data and so on.

I had to face specific rejections from journals with an impact factor of 5 or 6. After rejections from a few journals, I was fed up for a moment, but I kept working on improving the paper with my supervisor. Before I submitted the publication again, I shortlisted the journals along with subject-specific journals where my writing can contribute or demonstrate something relevant in the specific field of bioenergy and environment sustainability. Ultimately the manuscript was accepted in 2015 in a good enough journal for an undergraduate student. It was the result of 3 years of undergraduate research which involved working in the laboratory, learning from teammates, improving scientific writing, meeting people in conference and workshops. In this course of constant rejections and improvisation, you cultivate more strength and fluidity in your nature for more strong challenges.

Writing a scientific paper requires a proper understanding of paper structure and writing style. Therefore, to learn deeply about scientific writing and publication, I was regularly working with my supervisor throughout the paper. It was indeed an upgrade in my overall skills which helped me a long way in the journey.

At some point in your life, you will do specific important professional tasks which include writing and publications either academic or non-academic where you will be thanking your undergraduate research experience.

Scientific publication in your undergraduate or master program will undeniably strengthen your profile for global scholarships. On the other hand, Open science and science blogs have made things so easy and efficient that experts are sharing their precise tips and detailed strategies to write and publish your scientific paper.

Writing and Publishing will always remain as an essential pillar, that affects your overall scientific career extensively.

Can you use your blog as Publication??

Stay tuned for my next blog ūüėČ

Cheers

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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.

How to Win Scholarships? Work on your Networking

Working on your networks features a lot of aspects and the first thing that will pop up in your mind will be ‚Äď How do we get started? To accomplish something by networking, you need to spend a good number of hours in the right direction. ¬†Learning how to make effective networks in your college experience is the first crucial step to open the new doors of learning and professional progress.

In 2011, In the first year of my undergraduate school, I was interested in scientific research and creating an independent project in addition to the coursework. I had zero interest in the course-work, but I cannot escape it either.  So, I thought that getting a hand on laboratory experience will be the most effective way to open the new path of learning

I always had the motivation of working in a lab back in high school where you can see different life process happening live. This gave me the idea that learning and practicing science are two different things.

But you can at least invest:- 10 Hours/Month for Networking via Email, facebook groups, LinkedIn, Researchgate, conferences and so on.

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Fixing hours and permanent schedule works for some and does not work for some. Keep your time management flexible according to your goals and objectives. But it is important to define your short- term goals precisely. Investing extra hours of networking will indeed require some time management and schedule planning in advance. Most students underestimate or misunderstand the meaning and importance of networking.

With the formula of networking and driven energy in my mind, I started my search of the laboratory in my University by interacting with senior students and researchers. There were hardly any other students either master or undergraduate who was participating as a volunteer researcher. But my experience in high school research projects had put enough enthusiasm to take immediate actions to enhance my communication and learning abilities. The networking has to begin with certain common direction and which could also fit within the framework of your college lifestyle.

I adopted a very simple strategy.

I approached many researchers with a rough project idea of using ‚ÄúEssential oils as Herbicides‚ÄĚ. But I didn`t get any positive response for the next six months from anyone. I was not aware of the mistakes I was making at that time. I then went to known seniors for suggestions or if they have worked in any laboratory. And I also for opportunities in other departments as well. Spending time to find useful connections around the department accidentally introduced me to the Director of Parasitology department who happily attended me who was quite an exciting person. He was about to retire now, but in over an hour he gave me a lot of useful information. He also shared the story of her granddaughter who was pursuing her graduate school somewhere in the United States of America. He said and focused on a point that the relationship between supervisor and student is the drive change for all the ideas. It was a critical conversation for me as it made me realized the importance of your relationship with colleagues and supervisor in every step. Communicating with different researchers enrich your experiences and add more strength to your undergraduate school other than exams and assignments.

Moving on

I kept reaching different researchers in my department which has a maximum number of funded projects at that time.  Few gave me the contact details of other seniors who have worked in a laboratory as a volunteer, and another suggested me to contact the director of the department.

With all the hopes, I went straight to the director office and explained my situation in the reception and fortunately, I got the meeting with the director at the same time. I presented him as precise and clear I could tell as per my understanding, and he was completely attentive to what I was saying. I requested him that I want to work in a laboratory. And without wasting a minute,  he connected me with one of the scientists who had recently received funding from the Department of science and technology to work in the project of algae biorefinery to produce biofuels.

Do you want to know what happens next? Stay tuned ūüėČ

Fully Funded Masters in Material Engineering

Energy, health, environment and human security is becoming a major concern for every living being in the planet.  The master program in Functional Materials and Engineering mission is to tackle these issues at every stakeholder level in an interdisciplinary approach. It is important to have students with leaderships and creative thinking mindset which is of utmost importance to solve the world most troublesome issues in energy and environment domain.

The course structure will cover the topics in the area of micro and nano technologies, material sciences, functional ceramics,¬† nano materials and hybrids etc. The program is jointly run by 8 European Universities –¬†Grenoble INP,¬†TU Darmstadt,¬†U. Augsburg,¬†U. Aveiro,¬†¬†U. Bordeaux,¬†U. Li√®ge,¬†U. Louvain.¬†

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It will support 11-12 students from around the world with full funding that will cover there tuition fees, living and relocation depending on there present location. The deadline to apply for this program is Mid of January,2019.

For further details- Check the following link

http://www.fame-master.eu/

Fully Funded Masters in Security and Intelligence Studies- Deadline- 25th January,2019

Are you interested in studying security and intelligence studies?

It is indeed a fascinating subject for students who are interested in studying security and intelligence that are linked to civil war, terrorism, cyber threat or other security issues that has potential to damage human welfare.

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The program is jointly run by 3 universities РUniversity of Glasgow (UK); Dublin City University (Ireland); and Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic).The program has limited number of scholarships for students who are not from European Union. And the scholarship covers tuition fees, living and relocation for all 24 months of program

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The primary objective of the program is to train students with the technologies that are used by both government and non government organisation to combat national or international security threats.

To know more about the application process. Check the following link.

Webpage- http://securityintelligence-erasmusmundus.eu/

The deadline to apply for the program is Р25th January,2019 

Nutrition is not Universal and Permanent

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

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

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

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

What is Nutrition?

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

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

Let`s get started

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The basic steps to get complete control over your nutrition

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

For example –¬†

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PhD Students- Do you have your DIGITAL CV?

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

GOOGLE YOUR NAME”.¬†

Are you ready to create some MAGIC ūüėČ