Water Thinking Stages

In my first post about water thinking, I deeply focused on water thinking and developing educational programs to develop an intimate relationship with water. Water Thinking

All the alternative, eco-friendly, public-private relationship prototype that we have tried in all geographical locations to solve the issue of water has failed. But a whole new approach of water thinking can help us and the future generation to question our choice of consuming as everything in your life from wearing fancy and clothes to eating water-intensive food are produced and manufactured on the most fundamental and abundant solvent in the planet “WATER”.

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Water thinking will help in questioning, challenge assumptions and redefine our policies about water. It will question the Humanity to drink or consume any food or beverage that is produced by 5-10 liters of water or even more. Most of the single serving of junk food cost the planed more than 600 gallons of water.

There are many variants and challenges to implementing the process of water thinking which will have to go through different stages and modes of channel either political or non-political. However, both political and non-political changes will have to implement similar fundamentals of water thinking to all the stakeholders either producer or consumer.

Is Water Thinking Process bad for the capitalist world which is indeed water intensive and water-dependent? Not at all. Because all the industries are now aware of the depleting or extensive polluted water resources.

Can we define the water thinking stages? It is important to note that water thinking stages cannot be sequential at the moment as all the methods of conserving or saving water have been human-centric which has failed to succeed. The approach of water thinking will completely reframe the present water policies and put humans in the equation parallel to nature rather than in the center.

To help you understand water thinking process, try to break down every single material or food that you buy into the amount of water it has taken to produce it. What is special about water thinking that this process can help humans understand the water with empathy and gratitude.

The problem of with existing water policies that it does not help students or common people to understand their daily consumption (food, beverage, clothes, etc) in terms of “What it is not”.

We have developed a tendency to think about everything in a human-centric approach and so did our inventions and scientific technologies have progressed in a similar manner. Therefore, there is no linear approach that can be used to understand an intangible concept of Water Thinking. The first most thing for accepting and adapting to water thinking approach is to break out from the repetitive process of consuming and buying just because of your compulsive behavior. Once we have achieved a significant control over our behavior along with the basic understanding of water thinking, these principles will assist the humans quickly in applying the same knowledge and ideas towards other natural resources.

Indeed, it is hard to sell just “Water Thinking” but imagine labeling the amount of water that is being used to produce every packed product in the supermarket, every fabric that being converted to final fashion product. 

A label of the amount of water is used in producing a kg of beef, a kg of ice cream, choco cream, a fancy polyester fiber that you are wearing, and all the daily products that you can provide a consistent reminder to the individual about the amount of water he/she is using.

It is our natural tendency to challenge assumptions and technology because our complete life is dependent on them and it is not easy to start from scratch again. Even the top-notch researchers, leaders or managers rely on the same kind of routine although, it looks like they are more productive to the economy or society, the fact is water quality is degrading and even in the world richest and developed countries have to drink water packed in a plastic bottle.

Stay tuned to more stories on Water Thinking 🙂

 

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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 Scholarship? Attend Conferences 1.1

It was 2013 just in the middle of the 2nd year of undergraduate school when I attended my first International conference. In my last post, I shared the importance of attending conferences How to Win Scholarships? Attend Conferences 1.

In this, I am gonna tell you my personal experience and impression of attending the international conference in Tiruvannamalai in the southern state India, Tamil Nadu.

There is no doubt that our scientific reach has become global and effortlessly collaborative. The community based scientific events such as conferences, talks, workshops or symposiums bring all the stakeholders working in research and development together to explore new dimensions of a specific research theme and strengthen the future outcomes. Events like this, familiarize you to the advancements in the technology and research that is happening around the world. The exciting thing is that the frequency of conferences has increased and are being organized globally across all areas. The group scientific meeting is an excellent place to soak yourself an enormous amount of information and knowledge. In International Conferences, there are researchers from diverse countries and culture who are discussing one topic in an interdisciplinary approach.

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These events have been used for a long time to honor the renowned researchers and promote new ideas and new questions to young and aspiring researchers. It gives you the full window to communicate your science and maximize your networking with the renowned researchers.

Sometimes, it is essential to break the routine and try to do a different activity which is equally productive such as attending these events which also offers incredible food. I must tell you I have never been disappointed with the food and accommodation in all the conferences that I have attended in India.

For those who are stuck in their research or seeking new direction to connect their ideas, scientific meetings are the operative stage. The use of this stage to ask the right questions with a specific intention can nourish and embrace your work. These activities trigger and raise your sharpness or attitude of seeing a thing from a different angle which can work wonders in a research project either academic or industrial.  You learn to interpret your work more profoundly and link their objectives with your overall idea.

It is useful to synchronize your research objectives competently and effectually with the current advances in technology to see the potential impact of your research on human welfare. The real existence of any research output or product depends on the overall strategy of communicating the finding and conclusions with the scientific network. Attending these events are one time shot to meet your potential mentor that can take your career to the next level. It plays a very fundamental role and is indeed critical for the smooth execution and movement of your career curve.

I was fuelled up since the beginning of the conference and attacking any chance to indulge with prominent guest speakers or group discussions. Of a relevance, I remember I could steal a few minutes of one conversation with a renowned scientist aka professor who is now presently working with the US army.  My purpose in this conversation was to get clarity about the subject. The most significant component of scientific progress in an individual journey to learn and unlearn when needed.

Conferences are not merely a platform to present your research; it helps you to convert your networks to sustainable relationships that can recommend you some scholarships or suitable opportunities. Furthermore, I was fortunate enough to meet a few more scientists with whom I inquired for the possibility of short-term research stay or internships. The first experience of my conference was fruitful and full of new skills which pushed me to characterize my research strategy and implement the suggestions that I have received.

My experience was unusual as this act of meeting and greeting everyone in the hall was essential for me to look at things differently. For most of the students in University, there creativity and ideas are usually crushed by the demands of the system and society. But you need to understand the concepts requires input and nourishment in many ways; otherwise, it will only exist in the past but never live the present.

Getting exposure to these events will help you to overcome fears and doubts related to research and development.

It is a complete win situation.

How to Win Scholarships? Consistent Interaction with scientists, investors or leaders.

In my last blog, I shared the importance of networking in University and high school to build your diverse networks that have Huge impact in your profile to Win INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS.

Today, I am going to share one of the important networks that I made in my University time which has helped me in every step of the journey to winning International Scholarships.

Here is the link

https://talkwithnik.com/2019/05/09/how-to-win-scholarships-work-on-your-networking/

Continuing the Journey after the director of the department introduced me to one of the Young Scientist working in the area of Algae Biotechnology.

When I first met the scientist, I didn’t have any clear idea about what I am going to say. So, I explained to her my broad interests and shared the past research projects that I had done in High school. She said that her funding is for a specific project but, I will get to learn everything new. Getting a chance to be a part authentic laboratory is an excellent opportunity. I got introduced to various projects about industrial applications of algae which have now booming industry.  I was ecstatic. My supervisor introduced me to a Ph.D. student who was my instructor in the laboratory. It was just six months past of my 1st year of undergraduate school, and I have already landed an excellent place to work.

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Some of you might call it luck, but It was the constant communication with seniors, professors, and director of the department that led me to this lab. Reaching out all the possible options will increase your overall value and chances of being a part of something bigger than you, and as a result, you will receive far more diverse knowledge than other students. To extract the maximum juice from your university life, you need to acquire more non-cognitive skills in addition to cognitive skills.

The way you interact with all the team members in the laboratory is the way your learning ability and career curve will progress. Since the beginning, I had great relationships with all the members and Ph.D. student who was my guide in the laboratory. She gave me the related reading material to know about the become project in detail. Though I knew that reading hardcore scientific articles will be difficult at that time, but I continued the process to know the right way to develop my scientific reading and writing skills. It was my responsibility to take the personal initiatives by going through various online blogs and magazines which are the best source of interdisciplinary information in any subject which was indeed useful to know more about the renewable energy market and research. In the next few weeks, I started learning new techniques like to grow algae and make biofuels from them. Taking a course which is opposite to regular customs of the university such as exams and assignments will expose you to brilliant ideas and inspire you to think differently.

Ph.D. and other senior students are aware of their responsibilities and daily tasks.  It is an official program where faculty, department and other team members regularly interact to keep track of every aspect of an individual project. The things will be different for an undergraduate student but if the student makes the excellent use of the opportunity both in lab and bench can turn out to be the most fulfilling experience. Students who work in their undergraduate school either scientific or non-scientific by learning new workflows, tools, processing data and formulating further questions.

For much of your school and university life, you are trained to be a right part of the system which is essential for law and order of the society. But if you want to think beyond this single and defined strategy. One must adapt to the change with technology and market to attain a more diverse experience. Undergraduate school is the best time to know if you like the idea of research or if it meets the requirement of your career curve. Getting into the laboratory or even in regular contact with one supervisor working on a secondary research project gives you a broader idea of the scientific world. The working experience in a laboratory or field will teach you additional vital skills that can be incorporated easily in other domains of work such as time and project management. A biologist will experiment either in a laboratory or environment whereas a business student can research the specific market or clients.

One should adapt to use bold strategies in undergraduate school as it expands the profile in many ways which shows the potential of the student. Most of the students have assumed that securing good marks will make them achieve the fulfilling experience or dream project which is the tragic way. Instead, they should expand there horizon by learning from the experience of your supervisors or seniors. One way to do this is to communicate frequently with your supervisor and next immediate senior about your doubts and ideas through email, WhatsApp or any other medium which is acceptable by both parties. Have the presence of mind while communicating with your colleagues. What makes your undergraduate successful is not the efficient completion of monotonous college routine which million other students are doing around the world. But it is the diversity and richness of your experiences that make you unique.

Working with a collaborative mindset increases the efficiency of research in the workplace; therefore, sharing ideas with colleagues and supervisor will bring out the maximum output for the team. It is critical for personal and group success in science or any other venture as it increases both individual and group participation. Furthermore, with positive guidance from your supervisor and team members can strengthen your ideas. It is important to coordinate your ideas between two or more people to achieve the final purpose.

Next blog will be focused on Ideas and expressing your ideas without fear…

Stay tuned 😉

PhD Students- Do you have your DIGITAL CV?

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

GOOGLE YOUR NAME”. 

Are you ready to create some MAGIC 😉

 

 

Find your PhD- Best websites and quotes

PhD is the garden of the questions. If you keep your mind and heart open, you will able to find all the answers to all the mysteries. Although a PhD student search for the universe, just to find his own. His soul always search for wisdom rather than the publications. Please bring in the magic back in PhD. Here is my contribution to help my fellow colleagues to search there PhD and lab partners.

https://www.findaphd.com/

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https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/

 

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https://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/jobs

 

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https://jobs.sciencecareers.org/

 

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https://www.wemakescholars.com/

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https://www.eurosciencejobs.com/

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https://www.daad.de/deutschland/promotion/en/

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https://www.seek.co.nz/PHD-jobs

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https://scholarshipdb.net/

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https://www.phdportal.com/

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https://www.universityvacancies.com/

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https://www.glassdoor.com/

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https://academicpositions.com/

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How to get PhD when you are not from Top Tier University?

Do you know that your academics or your grade or marks only counts for 10 to 15% in the overall PhD selection process? There are millions of students who score B grade or 60% but are passionate about scientific research and wants to pursue PhD. But most of them think that getting the high score is the only criteria to secure a PhD position in abroad. But let me tell you one thing, that your University name and your score only account for 10-20 percent of the overall selection process. And it does not mean that you will loose all these points if you have 2nd division.  For ex : Selection process involves these main factors as the criteria.

  1. Academic Score (10-20 points)- You will get 20 points if you have A or A+grade, 18 if you have B+ and 15 if you have B. So even if you have B grade, you will still get 15 points and rest it depends on how you make the best of your other 80 points.
  2. Skill set (30-40 points)- It is one of the most important criteria for the selection process and you will realize it when you will start interviewing for the PhD or research positions. As the selection committee will ask you the skills set you have related to the project. If you have 80% of the skill set related to project, your chances of winning the PhD position increases.
  3. Publications/ Research Experience (30-40 points)- Most of the Indian Private Universities does not focus on this part of the system with sincerity at all. They have made the complete mess and are making the business out of it by opening the private research institutes that offers your internships without any real exposure to research work. I have seen most of the students during there junior or sophomore year of college pursuing there internships from private institutes that charge you INR 6000 for the 8-10 weeks of project and also provide you the research project. This is one of the big reason and serious concern that many of us looses the interest in science at early stages.

You have to remember that it the investment of time and hard work that you will put in your graduation time to get your desired PhD. Utilize your summer vacation and internships effectively and make networks with PhD students and scientist all over India. I am aware that securing the PhD in a good institute is not easy but I am also aware that many of us looses hope easily. Sometimes, it takes 2 or 3 years of constant effort and convincing the scientist with whom you want to work for the summer internship. Try to identify your broad research interest during your sophomore or junior undergraduate year and list all the research institutes and scientist where you are planning to work. Prepare your draft email clearly mentioning your research interest and skills you would like to learn. It will be good if you mention little bit about future ambitions but its not so important if you are in 1st or 2nd year as you are just starting your research journey. Remember, its a journey a a long journey. And you are going to fail and get 1000s of rejections. Just prepare yourself mentally and note the points why are you getting these rejections. It is really important to analyse the reasons of your rejections at all the levels of your research journey. This happen even to the big scientist all around the world. No big deal. These words will keep you on the move always. Remind yourself with these words.

 

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The goal during your graduate years should be to maximize the results coming out of your research internships even if it takes to miss couple of classes and loose few marks in your attendance or assignments as it wont mean anything for long term goals. Trust me. The other important skill is scientific writing which will only improve if you practice writing.

The best way is to start writing reviews on the topic you like the most or you would like to explore. 

And if you are working on the above mentioned skills, you are automatically working in your public relations with researchers and graduate students in the laboratory who will definitely help you out to achieve the things you want to. Good public relation means good recommendation letters (10-20 points) which is another criteria for winning the PhD position. A publication in peer reviewed journal will be cherry on the cake but there is no guarantee that you will be able to publish a good research paper while working in the internships or dissertation but there is 100% guarantee that your profile will become solid proof which will show your potential clearly to the selection committee.

What about the extracurricular activities?  What kind of activities will describe you as a leader or a team worker? Try to incorporate yourself with social and community activities that are bringing the change in the human welfare. But not just for the certificate. Because, if you are working for the certificate and recognition, you will never be able to understand the problem at grass-root level. Try to collaborate with someone working in different subject or theme and work in an interdisciplinary topic like women empowerment, sustainable solutions, water management. I am not talking about starting a rally against the government, it`s the solution that you will propose to the community which has the potential to bring the change.