Dear Student Researchers, Now, you have your Chance !!!

The digital platform gives you 100% control to say and publish things loudly without any fear. Do you want tips to develop your digital work? Have you found your research or work interest? It does not matter if you are a first-year undergraduate or about to submit your Ph.D. thesis. There are 4 billion people on the internet, and the number is only going to rise. So, everyone has their share of attention.

In the beginning, students tend either to lose control as they face challenges in the project to move further making them quit before they have started. The interference of these movements and hurdles in your game are the warnings to calm down, take a step back, analyze and solve it. Instead, these hurdles should motivate you to make different moves. Especially, with the availability of the flexible tools which accepts alternative solution freely without any entrance exams or cut off the list.

Learning about digital tools online through various Internet laid the foundations to build my basic digital profile such as website, linkedin profile and a blog. Since I was in the late third year, I created my first blog and tried to involve as many undergraduate students in writing in different domains. The blog was not a success, but I learned many things about blogging, communication, and people management.

The undergraduate school is the perfect time to analyze the stillness between your ideas and execution. You may notice, if you are prepared to hustle and execute consistently, there will be regular and systematic progress in your vision. There is a moment of frustration and stillness, but most of us lack the courage to move into the next phase.

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Let me share an interesting story with you about Foldscope which is a microscope under $1. It was invented by the students and researchers of Stanford University. The first prototype was released back in 2010 and they have planned to distribute at least 1,000,000 foldscopes in the year 2020. So, It took almost 10 years to come at this level with so many resources. The product is incredible and revolutionary but it took a lot of hard work, research, patience, and consistency to achieve this masterpiece.  The moral of the story is that if you have an idea in your undergraduate school that you believe in and that this project will not make you wait for weekends to enjoy your life.

Instead, it will help you forgot the concept of weekends and understand and fall in love with the concept of passion and process more.  

The time cannot be more exciting. The age of fast information, fast communication, and fast processing is already existing with incredible infrastructure. You have got a super mobile phone and fast speed internet which does not leave us with any excuse to share our ideas with billions of people WITH A CLICK.

You have almost 5-6 years of University to understand and practice your skills and craft in different digital platforms to analyze the people response and further expectations. But I am sure that you will succeed and manage to find it out if you are consistent in your efforts.

The way of student life is already changing and the digital research or projects will contribute a big part in student success.  These digital platforms are not just for fitness, music and travel industry. There is a significant need to rave all these platforms with Students research and their philosophies. You have a way to replicate your knowledge in real and virtual life.

Why Create a Personal profile?

The digital profile will be the substitute for your CV or cover letter for your future applications and collaborations all over the world. The presence of the internet is essential to grab all the opportunities. The digital profile is fantastic and is way better than a piece of paper that highlights your grades and a couple of awards. It gives you more room and independence to sell yourself creatively.  It makes you visible to other people who can directly contact you even if you have not sent them your CV which opens opportunities from another way around. The employer or future collaborator have an idea of your vision and creativity from your wide presence on the Internet. If you are contributing the real values and content in the social media and digital platforms related to the subject of your future employer, it helps him to pre-evaluate you which can give you edge over other candidates.

It does not matter; if you enjoy or support the extensive use of social media, it is happening.  Getting and building your digital profile is not easy, but the access to the resources and unlimited free tools can make things happen with hard work, dedication, and mental focus. The primary thing about using a digital platform is content creation which can be done in multiple ways. It is indeed true that the starting point is always confusing. Now here is all the management and smart work lies ahead.

Content creation is easy if you are studying and creating content about the subject that you really like and deeply passionate about. It would be efficient and straightforward if you define a big theme which can be used to create multiple short pieces in the form of words, pictures, and art on different social media platforms.

Choose a theme or subject that you want to talk about and keep it as a seed of your further piece of content. The first thing you should do is create a large piece of content which could be in the form of video, article or podcast to be used as a reference to develop other related content. Writing or recording a detailed piece of content is much easier to accomplish as compared to short and specific content.

Let me give an example

If you are biologist interested in studying plant kingdom. Record or write your understanding about plant kingdom in detail which will subsequently be used to create other pillars of your digital profile. And in initial stages perfection is subjective, focus on the detailed information related to the subject. Once you have built the base of your content, you can try to create pictures or short video content suitable for other digital platforms like Instagram and blogging platforms that have a large population of graduates, master and other tech researchers who will be interested in scientific content.

Furthermore, you can create content for the people who are interested in enhancing their information about plants based on medical properties or geographical regions. The first way is to develop useful microcontent to grab the attention of the people. Microcontent only takes 30 seconds to 1 minute of your selected population in return of helpful information that you give them

Digital Researcher demonstrates the immense potential to challenge the routine of the Universities and Schools. Public opinion about your work will be of utmost importance in the coming days and will produce a more significant number of digital researchers in science which won`t require any green signal from the defined body.

The public will be happy to see the freelancer researchers changing the regular pattern of defined work as many of them are heavily funded with tax payer’s money. But the public is never being informed about the output of their tax money.  The digital world is making the world more transparent which is a big advantage to the independent researchers or freelance researchers.

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Digital Profile Will Help All Students

As I realize after working in the different laboratories with outstanding master and Ph.D. students who have incredible ideas and profound knowledge of the subject but lack the communication skills and networking skill either real or digital.  I am getting the impression that students coming from different generations are getting confused with the sudden change in the communication pattern. Some are struggling to adopt this change and some have accepted easily within the flow.  I can be wrong but if in 2018 you are not communicating digitally even if you have equal attention of 4 billion people, through digital platforms is a big mistake.  I want to bring the attention of all the aspiring students from different backgrounds to lay your foundation in today`s digital platforms to create the fundamental blueprint of your vision which will take years to develop. In some lucky cases, you will be able to see results in just a few months.  As I continue to understand and communicate with students using social media and personal interviews, I have started to notice the amount of stress, anxiety, and misunderstanding in them is at an extreme high.

As most of the aspiring and passionate students are stressing in the early stages by navigating their life by other people and there personal experiences which is not right.

Especially in 2019, it should not be the strategy where graduate students are trying to get hold on to the title to secure a job in industry or academics.

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What is the need for Digital foundations?

In today`s low digital drive, it is a requisite to create a robust digital foundation. For some or most students, digital networking and content creation could be a boring field, but if you want to stay in the information and digital world game, then content creation and digital networking is the most important subject.

Aspiring young researchers, students, and innovators should take this digital chance to create their style and stand out from the crowd. It could have been accepted if you are not able to improve your communication or networking in the 1980s, but in 2019 the things and opportunities we have do not leave us with one excuse. The chances are unlimited right there on your phone. It is also something that gives you the attention of 4 billion people if you are upright and unique in your work. Does not mean that you will be on the top in just four months as you are competing with many people with the same baseline and passion for sharing their ideas. It is worth noting that, if the travel and fitness content creators can create such a buzz in the market, then why not the students from other backgrounds? I am pretty sure; this digital profile will help you to build your confidence, creativity, leadership and networking skills. There is no harm in understanding the digital platforms and putting them to good use for the betterment of society.

Taking initiatives for the community in addition to academics is indeed useful to build up your communication skills and networking that can be done through; scientific podcast, setting up a talk show in your society or among different colleges, a scientific journal among the undergraduate or graduate students. It’s one of many ways to network with researchers and interact with fellow student researchers.

Back in 2013, when I was in 2nd year, I became an associate editor with an undergraduate research journal of Colorado State University, undergraduate students ran that for undergraduate students. This gave a whole new idea about the power of digital tools for coming undergraduate and aspiring students.

Have you wondered how your CV would look in the next 10-15 years? Have you ever wondered how people used to communicate or collaborate back in the 1970s or 1980s? The things and method of communication are never the same and so as the student life and its trend have wholly changed globally. Companies and the academic institutions will see their potential candidate digital profile as a standard requirement- I believe that it worth doing it now to develop your digital profile in every sort of platform available because all the platforms are completely different and need in-depth research to get your whole command on it.

All the elements that are revolved around scientific and technological research are not the same anymore. Therefore, I would advise you to develop or use tools that enhance your communication with people from a different background such as media, IT, digital marketing, video creators or editors which will add significant value in your planned projects.

Even academicians and researchers look for the people to work for them who can perform well in more than one domain. The future and even present entirely belong to the digital world. Getting out of your comfort box and connecting with people from all the background especially who understand the domains like digital, machine learning and artificial intelligence more than you. These interactions and networking skills will be life-changing moments and will help you to grow and reinvent yourself in so many ways.

How To win Scholarships? Publications & Journals.

You got to learn a simple mind strategy of not thinking about the final product, in this case, it is your publication. The publication is the final result of all your hard work and hours that you are putting in reading, reviewing, experimenting and communicating with people in your undergraduate school? Is it possible to get a publication in your undergraduate school? It`s not impossible if you are working consistently in your communication both personal and professional, attending regular public meetings and designing precise experiments after multiple failures over the time period of 3-4 years of your Undergraduate school.

If you are in Undergraduate school, Masters and even after reaching the Ph.D. school, do not think about the publication because it is the end fruit.  Let me explain it in simple words. If you want a flower or a fruit, do not think about the colorful flower, instead think about the soil, manure, seed, regular watering, and daily maintenance. Similarly, think and act about your daily activities such as communication, networking, writing, reading, and editing again and again until you get your final publication.

The reality of students in undergraduate, master’s program even Ph.D. is that they are anxious and impatient about the publications considering its influence in their overall CV. Of course, this gives a positive impression, but it should not be a big concern if you are actively sharing your research and finding on open science platforms which can be mentioned in the cover letter to grab the attention of your supervisor.

Therefore, the desire for publication in undergraduate school should be minimal, and the willingness of learning the process should be maximum. The method of learning is not always enjoyable but be conscious and aware of your vision and outcome. Surviving and adapting through this process can transform your personality. But one can parallelly work on there academic and non-academic writing skills in 4-5 years of University time to produce a piece of content either a review, research or survey-based article. This can be published in various online platforms in addition to academic journals. It might sound a bit difficult, but it is not.

You have almost 1000-1500 days in your undergraduate school, and even if you write 200-300 words on a topic you want to research about, you will have around 10,000 words which can be edited and proofread to be published as a chapter or review article. This is one of the best ways to improve the impression of your profile.

Recognize the moments in your life when you are impatient about the results, instead discuss the process of publication with your supervisor to gather deep insights and put the next steps in action. All these actions are the best ways to learn and know things that are out of systematic university routine. It keeps the flow of new learnings continuous and fresh. The bottom line is that you don’t know about anything or possible opportunities in your University period. So ask from your seniors and supervisors.

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Coming back to publications—

The fast growth on the internet has changed the face of publishing industry especially in developing countries where there are so many journals that are not recognized and promises you to publish your article in 3 days in return small fees. If you want to test this, try to post your worst written paper in a non-reputed journal. They will accept it quickly, and you will figure out the real game. It has become like a small scale business.

According to statistics and surveys, these publications receive minimum attention in the academic world. Most of the researchers won`t give much credit to these publications while considering you for the position in their laboratory.

When it comes to highly reputed journals, one cannot publish the article if the author cannot convince the editor of its quality as the publications in high-end journals are reviewed and edited by the researchers who have extraordinary experience in the similar research field. Therefore, to get published in these journals requires repeated attempts, experimentation, and collaboration.

Considering the present situation, thousands of students and young researchers are losing patience and publishing papers in non-reputed journals to get ahead of everyone, but it is not happening instead it is creating unnecessary stress in young researcher’s mind. They count these quick publications or any quick solutions as a ray of hope, a ticket to the well-funded laboratory or well-paid research position which is not true.  The writings in these journals are unreported and do not contribute positively to your profile as there are many other candidates with similar publications. There is no real quick fix in professional life.

Here, I recall one of my personal experiences while we were trying to publish in a reputed journal with an impact factor of around 3. According to the leading author including me made sure that all the work has been appropriately concluded. The article was rejected by the first journal stating that they already have enough content and similar research data available in their Journal.

Ultimately, it got accepted but after a single repeated attempt.  Sometimes, collaborating with a foreign team increases the impact of the paper considering the collaboration between two countries. The partnership is always a good sign in every domain of professional life.

The number one reason for students failing in their mission of getting published is the lack of patience and desire for quick success. This strategy makes you miss the most critical step is thoroughly enjoy and learn the process of working in a  team.

Stay tuned for more 😉

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.

 

How TO Win Scholarships? Maximize your networking in University years

Recent reports on Global employment University survey concluded that significant employers are giving a lower value to the degree classification on there CVs. Usually, students are actively involved in projects or extracurricular programs that align with there studies which enhance there working experience as compared to other competitors.

Most of the undergraduate students do not focus on a skill such as innovation, leadership, networking, and design which complements there overall profile in both academics and corporate careers. Continuous efforts in these areas will help you to raise your social and environmental consciousness. And most of the undergraduate students are aware that these skills are of utmost importance but does not mean that they are devoting the required time to develop these skills.

It is quite similar to the journey of the fit body which comes with strict nutrition, sleep and exercise patterns.

Your networking skills in undergraduate school can help you envision your plans and provide you all the critical resources and information. It requires extensive efforts in addition to your daily university routine.

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Start by interacting with like-minded colleagues in University either in social, sports, literature or cultural clubs, just like you are learning to use new software. Building your networking can lead you to your new project which is much like any fitness goals. The return on investment depends on your day to day activities which is the outcome of your practice and hard work.

While spending extra hours in cultivating sustainable networks, independent projects or decision will progress over time not overnight. You need to thoroughly enjoy the process of rejections and acceptance which are the main ingredients in any journey. The roots of your strong foundation depended on the diverse experiences and planned the execution of your University years. It will highlight your life with necessary lessons which are mostly taken from the failures. Further trying new ideas and documenting your research experience can raise many questions that require your seeking attitude. Without seeking mind, one can lose the chance to explore the hidden strengths and talent.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.