Ways Student can actively be engaged in Independent Projects while studying in University

There is nothing called failure in Student Life. It`s all learning and improvising.

Every student has some dream of either becoming a scientist, an athlete or an actor. The internet is really divided into extremes and has content either for elite university students or entrepreneurs who are drop out from the top-notch university. But I do not belong to neither of them. Therefore, I started this blog for students from developing countries or students with low resources or opportunities. The only prerequisite is that you have to start the process of executing as early possible. Let’s say that you start in your high school or first year of undergraduate school.

If you are interested in getting to know about my journey of studying and working in different countries as a Ph.D. student with scholarships. You can check my blog here- 

How to win Scholarships?

Is it your 50th or 100th project that you have actually tried and have failed to execute? It is the hardest part of the progress. But you got to realize that you had the strength and patience to try at least 20,50 100 projects. Both numbers and results do not matter while you are trying and learning different ideas. But the speed of your executing definitely matters as it defines that you are actually thinking and creating ideas to execute your idea either you are contacting the collaborator, shooting a video for your academic or fitness project, writing an in-depth blog or ebook.

Time management and information about working hours is quite subjective which keeps changing as per the demands of your activities and lifestyle. I usually don’t understand the concept of time management for the student who is engaged in so many things. But there is one thing that a student can control and distribute its energy to specific activities which are utmost important.

Channeling all your energy to the important actions or events of your day will increase your productivity with ease, time and happiness. This can be done by organizing your mind with the idea of the amount of energy you have in you to utilize it with a focus on completing certain duties with complete attention.  This idea of energy management will grow into awareness with the practice of utilizing your energy precisely.

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I am referring everything to the energy because I am pretty sure you have heard these sentences –

I am in a relaxed mood

I am tired

I am quite energetic and so on.

If you can understand these moods and energy to channel it towards related productive activities, it will automatically grow in different directions with the consistent and solid grind. The application of energy management in your daily life also enhances your strength to accept the changes.

The uncommon and unique trajectory of a student with precise utilization of your energy will indeed shape your energy investment into some unique product in terms of personal and professional development.

But students focus on time management which leads to so many ugly stories of students. There cannot be more ugly and terrible news that rate of depression, suicides, and emotional disorders have increased tremendously across the globe.

Ideas to manage and invest your energy as a Student

Enter and choose the field where you like to devote completely. In some or most cases, you cannot choose the field because of one or the other reason. I can understand but in that situation, choose that as your sub-field and work on it religiously. Invest good quality of your energy in the project either fitness or writing.  There is no one systematic way of learning a subject and field that you enjoy. If you are really passionate and devotional about the project, you will figure out the ways to invest your energy and find and unlock new strategies to learn anything.

Did you ever notice your performance during the peak hours or during the high rush of the deadline approaching? It is indeed fantastic how so many students can outperform themselves and achieve incredible results.

Do not establish a routine

It creates unnecessary resistance and limitations to stay within the time frame. Instead, if you are really enjoying the process of your work, there is no way that you will be bound to time. Enjoying the process pumps you to do an extra pushup, run a mile longer even if you are exhausted. The enjoyment in the work will kick you in without breaking any mind and time barriers. Enjoying the process and channeling your energy towards the work that you like the most will produce more work than you are supposed to do in a timeline.

There are always a few things like writing, communicating your project or handling administrative work in your project that you might not like. Notice these things carefully and never put this off until the last minute as nobody is going to come for you.

If you are a student and if you want to do your dream project, you will have to do everything on your own in the beginning stages. 

The idea of shifting and delaying to learn the difficult tasks needed for your project will not work. Try to avoid using the famous line “I work effectively under pressure”. It`s fine as it’s your genuine way of working.

But one only reach the spot of working under the pressure with consistent delaying and procrastinating about million other micro things which do not matter.

Eliminating the distractions in your School and University time period is of the essential elements for your project to flourish at a high rate. Everyone has different distractions but the most common will stealing minutes in between your work to watch a youtube video, communicating with your friends about useless and micro things. This is you investing your finite energy towards distractions which will ultimately kill your motivation to execute and finish the tasks of the day.

Engaging with social and cultural groups

This one is not easy to understand and explain when you are in your High school and undergraduate. Interactions and communications in these groups happen at a different level in an interdisciplinary approach. Social and cultural groups which are distributed uniformly and connects every single entity of the system or any organization that you are linked with.  These social and cultural groups will have common platforms in the University and digitally where they will gather for meetings.

Contribute to these platforms

Find an International Societies and nonprofit organization

The advanced members in these societies have already developed a sense of leadership and management skills which comes with experience. It is a strategic decision to work on these skills if you are not a born leader/manager. These international societies are usually advised by senior researchers or leaders who have links around other international societies and can put you in the related networks which will help you push your career.

How to engage in International Societies or nonprofit organization?

The best way is to join and volunteer for the organization. Once you have entered the place, interact with people from a different domain, create online projects, create content and fundraising events for them.

These strategies will help you understand the fundamentals of networking which can you use all your life. If you want to enhance your networking-

Follow these steps

  • Interact consistently with all the members in the societies or groups
  • Offer your services within or outside the system for free. It will act as a catalyst for your future ventures
  • Be humble and share opportunities with students who don`t know new things.

It will always be WIN- WIN for you 

 

 

 

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The importance of attending subject-specific workshops or conferences

I have already mentioned the importance of national and international symposiums and seminars that bring people from a different background that share similar objectives and challenges in solving the common problems.

Importance of Workshops, Symposiums and networking events in Graduate Student Life?

Let us focus on the importance of subject-specific or small scale workshops which brings in a number of people working on a rising or new subject in an interdisciplinary approach.  At the beginning of something new, it always starts with a small scale workshop which a student can only identify if he is consistent and up to date in terms of information and activities happening both online and offline about the subject area.

Attending small workshops or subject-oriented programs defines your maturity level to understand the subject in detail. This is one of the major shift that can happen in your student life either academic or non-academic. I always bring a small note about the Internet which has created a huge change in every single individual life either in the commerce sector, fitness sector and it is already bringing a big change in the student or independent academic researcher life.

Through small scale workshops, a lot of conversations and ideas can happen around the meetings. The primary aim of the small workshops or subject-oriented workshop is to derive the maximum benefit from the debate and discussions on the subject to find the directed solutions and new insights. The workshop theme usually solves the same problem in different geographical communities.

My supervisor in Spain was quite an active and smooth operative person who helped me out in all the paperwork while I was completing my administrative work in Portugal to get the work permit of Spain. In the meantime, she also created a space for me in an International Workshop in Croatia even before I got officially enrolled in the program. This workshop was the part of the massive program related to European rivers and water-related issues which helped me a lot to prepare myself mentally.

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Pic- DNAqua-Net, EU Cost Action

I arrived in Croatia in the month of November, and it was freezing out there. I had the brief idea about workshop theme and I was incredibly happy and overwhelmed because of the countries and new experiences.

Well,

Most of us are aware that we are living in a world of supercomputers and artificial intelligence, but I was not conscious about it until I attended the workshop about metabarcoding and diatoms. It was the moment I realized that artificial intelligence and computers are indeed hitting all the subjects equally. Moreover, this workshop introduced me to questions like the use of algorithms and machine learning to study biological data and biodiversity of microbes. Supercomputers, biological barcodes, and algorithms are the biggest biological shift we will ever live in the society. It has become practical and efficient to change the fundamentals of everything in the ecosystem. The combined technology of barcoding and supercomputers can tag every single microbe and living life on the planet earth. But for the moment, this program was focused on just DIATOMS and RIVER ECOLOGY.

Many researchers and Ph.D. students came across all Europe who were presenting their progress in the use of powerful computers and algorithms to treat biological data. It was not new, but the speed of growth in this field was astonishing because of fast development in computer processing power.   It is not so simple, but various researchers have identified the problems and the plausible computerized solutions which are way cheaper and faster than traditional methods to study the ecology of rivers.

It is not that these computers will replace all the bioscience research but can speed up the specific process such as classification of species or genes using defined algorithms.

Now here is when I learned a valuable lesson, I noticed that there were nearly 10 Ph.D. students are trying to mimic the use of a microscope. Further, when I explored this subject genuinely made me realized it could make the freelance Research possible with an economic upside for Ph.D. researchers especially that who enjoy algorithms and tech-based work. It will be beneficial to the biology students to learn or expose themselves to algorithms and a coding language.

In the workshop, there were people from the laboratory in France where I had to visit for the training and understand the new technologies that they have been implementing in studying the ecology of rivers. So, my supervisor introduced me to all of them.

Within the span of 2 days of this workshop, there was a macro change in my perspective and strategy towards science and life. Taking a step, attending a small scale workshop can load with information which indeed takes some time to out the knowledge in use in real time will be a serious help. I think the small scale workshops have the power to fill up the missing information and understand the evolution of the subject from others perspective as well. And, I have never been so grateful after meeting incredible researchers and students around the world.

Workshops are the best annual meetings designed to facilitate the interaction between supervisors and students to enable future collaborations between different groups in the same sector. It will give the strong foundation that has huge upside at all levels.

 

 

How to Win Scholarships and How to maximize networking in your University?

In my experience of University, I was looking for people who had experience or can share insights of working in the laboratory or real projects. Everything is depended on your preferences of hanging out with different groups whose values tend to overlap with each other directly or indirectly. Always note and analyze the social groups that you hang out for work and outside work.  It ultimately depends on an individual about his choices to manage networks and time.  The benefit of extensive and diverse networking as it produces multiple results and lets you decide with whom you naturally connect conveniently.  These different inputs that come with diverse groups or networking can help you determine your personal and professional goals.  University is the best place to initiate investing time in your networking to grow your professional network at different levels. The important thing is to be present in small and large scale events and hold on to the networking part. It is better to invest time in both academic and non-academic affairs as it provides you the diverse picture of the professional world.

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Once you start initiating your independent projects along with other students or collaborators in the nearby communities, consider expanding your projects outside the known area. Interacting with like-minded online communities, bloggers and researchers can broaden your horizon. It will provide various other alternatives in return to your time invested in online communities. It is easy to create an online event or workshop and promote it alongside like-minded research students or entrepreneurs in the university.

Collaborating your fresh idea with someone who brings in another skill is something that can bring in a higher value. That`s what I did to improve my scientific writing skills by connecting with science blogs and portals with different areas of specialty. By Connecting in online platforms, I was aiming to write for new blogs either paid or not paid. I discovered that I was able to use my previous learnings and share it in simple words for which I got paid 75$ per post. Usually, most of the students find it difficult to understand that it depends on your continuous engagement with your talents and skills that creates more clarity in your vision. My aim for the next five years was to increase my practical experiences to broaden my view about everything and create maximum innovative ideas. The experiences should not have any conclusion but will be good if it overlaps with the next lesson that will take you a better position in your professional life.

The network that you make in University time while working in a social or cultural clubs, internships, conferences or community service will always add a definite point in your diverse experiences. Every experience in your university can help you and your team in various ways by developing your skills like imagination, originality, team-working, novelty, resilience, IT skills, and innovation. Diverse experiences come with understanding about the sense of commitment, responsibility, not using excuses and adaptability in a different working environment.  It will be the foundation of your personal and professional life, and sometimes it begins in the places you don`t imagine. The main point is to understand that networking is always improvising along with a consistent change in your social circle or relationships when needed. In any place, Being spontaneous in different channels will help you to make your future proof and keep your overall structure intact.

Recognizing the values that you gain from all your experience and fellow researchers, you can gain access to both right persons and the right place to execute next ideas on your career path. Perfect synchronization of your communication and networking will maximize the overall output of your decision. The quality of your communication and network is the most powerful ally for your ideas which is understood more if your communication is vital and impactful in every move you make. Now you know that communication is an essential factor for all the process and there is a need for a particular emphasis on the use of your networking and communication.

I do not recommend joining a course in communication or business because no school can teach communication and networking that work well for your weird and incredible imagination. Moreover, it will only add burden in your daily routine in addition to your degree programs. Instead, try to identify the networks that align with your area of interest.

Especially in today`s era, when you can express yourself and communicate in a million ways using words, videos, pictures, and animations and reach out to millions of people.

The only suggestion- Practice, Practice, Practice- It is understood that it is a little frightening or anxious while contacting an unknown person either professor or student. But ultimately with practice, you will cope with all the unexpected responses and gentle tweaks in your projects.

How To Win Scholarships? Classify your Interests

Classification is one of the easiest ways to narrow down your research projects or goals. Although it can also be a complex process considering that we have never ending options.  Knowing that you are an 18 or 19-year-old undergraduate student or even if you are a master student, there is no classification which could be complex because you have enough time if you use it wisely.

I am pretty sure that you have a wide range of ideas but are not able to find or choose the best one for you. If the whole thing is a mess, pick one goddamn thing and execute on it by reading, watching or practicing the thing with the best available resources. This will help you to identify your likes and dislikes appropriately.

classify

Let`s talk about academics either scientific or non-scientific.

You can classify your interests by keeping yourself updated with the scientific and social development projects that you can find in excess in various digital platforms completely free. Keeping an eye on incoming funded projects in your university could lead you to follow the idea in detail by discussing the possibilities with the supervisor or leader of the project. This information can be attained easily from your administration department or webpage of the department.

Since you have spent significant hours in reading and listening to the stuff that you think you might like, try to choose your much-loved topics which should be broad enough rather than specific for ex: food, energy, management, family or transportation. Selecting a problem right now does not mean that you will work or conduct research in this area for your next 20 years.

The next step should be finding your potential supervisor or laboratory where you can learn the process of working in a laboratory. Mentors and senior students will help you define your ideas into experiments or essential objectives.  Looking for a supervisor in a department you are studying is the best place to start as you have many chances to interact with your professors during your day to day premises.

You can also contact the possible supervisors via email, and I tell you that most of them will happily attend you and listen to your proposal especially if you are from the same University.  But make sure that you have conducted an in-depth study of your proposition. The whole talk will be more productive if you are aware of the supervisor work and how you are going to link prospects in his/her team. And even if you don’t have any planned ideas, you can always propose your curiosity to join the team. This is where you sow the seed of your project

As Tibetan Buddhist Master Chogyam said, “ There is no such thing as talent, only awareness” if you have developed the habit of being aware and reading, you will always be driven to work while traveling in trains or any possible free time slots to increase the maximum output with maximum joy. The undergraduate years are indeed critical, and it will yield positive results if you invest your time strategically and try to maximize the output.

There are other university proposed courses or events such as term paper, internships or secondary research project which are the golden opportunities to design your project and improvise on skills where you are lacking.  The best strategy will be to work in 4 different projects or different disciplines to explore maximum domains of research in your undergraduate years.

How To Win Scholarships? Enjoy The Process

It is in continuation of my last blog where I am sharing the detailed importance of conducting independent research projects in your University.

How To Win Scholarships? Undergraduate Research Experience 1

The broader goal is to maximize your learning and try different ideas in your School or University years. The technology and science are developing so fast that you cannot stick with just one plan and one strategy. But instead it should be one idea and multiple strategies or multiple ideas and numerous strategies. Undergraduate school is the best time to try your random ideas which will later help you to find your research interest or innovative venture which could either be academic or non-academic.

But ideas always stay as ideas if you do not execute on them. Therefore, you should plan your daily goals and work with a mindset to extract the maximum from the present moment according to the availability of resources.

process

Talking about the resources, I realized while I was interacting with students from around the world that undergraduate research is promoted mainly through long-term research internships or research-based course structure. Not only this, but they also have the right amount of funds for undergraduate students in terms of research, exchange semesters or travel grants. But how students from developing nations can get involved in undergraduate research with limited time and resources?

There are specific competitive summer research programs which have a limited number of seats with a tough selection process.

Although things have changed a lot with the rise in digital technologies and free resources that can be exploited to conduct detailed secondary research at the undergraduate level.

Connecting with students from a final year or doctorate program can lead you to the favorable outcome as interaction with last year graduates or PhDs are more frequent than the supervisor. The undergraduate research experience can add a lot to the innovation sector of developing nations which is much needed.

The initial doubts of a student are identifying research interest or approaching the professor. It can be confusing, but it should not be a difficult decision if you are using the Internet the right way. Isn`t it?

The goal is to consume information from research articles and other resources from the broad theme that you enjoy exploring. Everything you can get the hands-on topics that fascinate you and gives you the sheer pleasure of doing it. This step could be a little frustrating if you are already worried about the result. Therefore, you got to stay focused and invest hours in reading blogs, listening to a podcast or any other digital tools where you can extract valuable content. If you have already been pursuing this strategy and narrowed down your interest, it’s better to consume more in-depth scientific content from publications that are available for free. The same thing holds for other undergraduate students who are pursuing other fields either business, sales or marketing. The idea of undergraduate research or developing an independent project is to learn the process without thinking about the final product.

Fully Funded Masters in Image Processing and Computer Vision- Deadline-28th January,2019

The use of computers and digital technology has become a daily necessity  of human being and further can be improvised in many ways. This masters programs will teach students about computer vision, processing videos and images in connection to various life domains such as medicine, surveillance, industrial control, remote sensing, e-commerce, automation, etc.

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The program will offer both theoretical and practical knowledge in 3 different partner universities along with one research internship.  The program structure is already designed as following-

– Semester 1: Pazmany Peter Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary (PPCU)
– Semester 2: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain (UAM)
– Semester 3: University of Bordeaux, France (UBx)

There are certain number of scholarships that are being offered to international candidates who does not belong to European union. The scholarship will cover the tuition fees, living expenses and relocation cost according to your present location.

To apply, Check the following link –

http://www.ipcv.eu/

Deadline- 28th January,2019

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