Scientists Simplifying Science

Category archive


The week that it was – 23rd to 30th April, 2017

in ClubSciWri by
  • 1933371_10153999379946703_2733512253653291524_o.jpg?fit=2048%2C1360

The week in the scientific community has been hugely highlighted with plans and meetings around ensuring that the March for Science momentum doesn’t fizzle out. And communication of unaltered facts has clearly gathered a lot of attention and has been rightly prioritized. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales launches Wikitribune to provide ‘correct facts’. University of Split, Croatia and Rita Allen Foundation with WGBH could not have been better in timing the announcement of their Summer School in Science Communication and fellowship in science communication, respectively. Plos Pathogens has started a new series – Research Matters – for researchers to write how their fundamental research matters. NASA goes public with its 104,000 pictures, videos and audio files. The European Research Council is actively gathering data from researchers in Europe as well as outside to know how to get the community more engaged in publishing in open access journals. Mozilla has offered paid fellowships for 10 months to train those with ideas in open access science and help them materialize their ideas. Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has joined hands with BioArxiv (the open access repository for life science research from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory). On a local scale, initiatives like Pint of Science and Pune drunk on Science (details available on Facebook, at the moment) are gaining popularity. After all, open access to science is going to be beneficial to all – lay public to entrepreneurs and industrialists.

Another benefit of having science in open repositories will also help in better peer review. The current way of evaluating research is killing the risk appetite among researchers, limiting scientific progress. It becomes imperative to discuss this now as Springer decided to retract 107 of its papers from Tumor Biology for being published with ‘fake reviews’. On the other hand, the field of oncology is also going through one of its most exciting times – Nanoparticle vaccine for immunotherapy, to target multiple types of cancers, developed by researchers at UT Southwestern, is the talk of the town now. And for novices in this area, you can’t miss the overview of the exciting and inspiring development of this field, from Allison and Sharma‘s eyes, the successful couple of the field.

Potentially entrepreneurial ideas are regularly being churned out of IITs, with IIT Madras this time, developing a hand glove to study the hand kinematics – a promise to help detecting the severity of Parkinson’s disease, and also translate the hand movements into speech. An MIT graduate student, an MIT – Tata fellow, is working in Mumbai towards developing ready to use therapeutic food to fight malnutrition in India. WHO is ready to start clinical trials for its malaria vaccine in three African countries. It might now be possible to think of growing premature human fetuses, of 23 weeks and above, outside wombs. If you are buzzing with an idea that can be translated, it might interest you to know that Millipore Sigma has joined hands with LabCentral, a nonprofit startup incubator in Massachusetts.

Despite these, hardships of traditional academicians haven’t changed much yet, with the indecisiveness of a postdoctoral tenure and the heavily unfavorable ratio of academic positions available with the number of applicants for tenure track. The first draft of Trump’s budget for this fiscal year is out, with sizable cuts in biomedical funding. The proposal claims that better planning will ensure achievements aren’t compromised. It has been a year since Germany announced plans to introduce 1000 tenure track positions in academia. University of Göttingen is trying to set an example by inviting suggestions from the current postdoctoral fellows in penning the proposal.

And finally let’s talk of the jobs available around –

  • Immunologists, take note of scientist positions at Biogen, Antibody Discovery, MA, NIBR Biologics Centre, MA, and multiple positions open at CSIR-IMTECH, Chandigarh in areas of therapeutic R&D and drug discovery
  • Electrophysiology experts might want to check the scientist position, at Synapses and Circuits, Roche, Basel, Switzerland
  • Check the exciting scope of ‘designing your own role’ at Chan Zuckerberg Biohub
  • In this age of CROs, know what are the skills that are sought for in a Clinical investigator, and see if the position of Clinical Trial Manager at Celgene suits you.
  • For those interested in advancing and revamping science education, check this interesting postdoctoral fellowship at Yale-NUS College, Singapore
  • Those interested in exploring industrial collaborations while being in academia, take a look at calls from Boehringer Ingelheim for research proposals around GPR68, and an industrial postdoctoral position at Biogen, MA to study neurodegeneration
  • Interested in working on RNA mediated gene regulation? Check the Research Associate position at Cambridge, UK
  • For the non-biologists wanting to transition into biomedicine, Francis Crick Institute is looking for group leader positions in physical sciences
  • For the psychologists among us, there is a lecturer position open at University of Reading, UK
  • For those imaging lovers with commendable interpersonal skills, see if the Microscopy Specialist position at PicoQuant, Berlin, Germany interests you
  • Those without a PhD and wanting to explore industry might want to consider the Scientific Assistant position at the Biorefinery department, Luxembourg Institute of Health

And if you are confused among what to choose from, do consider the possibilities of having multiple careers at once – there are many now who can vouch for its merits.

Nevertheless know the essentials of effective networking from the uber successful in the industry – Chris Fralic talks of his networking stories in the pre-LinkedIn era. And today with technology helping you in your pursuit, you really don’t have to wait for an opportunity to open up to express your will to work with someone – just cold email, the right way though. But at the same time, it has also become more common to have not-in-person interviews. Know how to ensure you make the best impressions on the telecommunication based interviews.

And when this gets too daunting and overwhelming, make sure you are getting enough of that sun. With the regular CSG meets happening all around, here is an interesting outdoorsy and nerdy enough an idea that you might want to consider. Happy May coming soon – we will ensure that you use the summer cheer to the fullest to grow personally and professionally!



The week that it was : 17th – 22nd April, 2017

in ClubSciWri by

This week on CSG we celebrate Earth’s Day and assert our support and integrity towards ‘Science’ while endorsing the worldwide ‘March for Science’. Our cover-page for CSG and the Weekly updates this week is an illustration by Ipsa Jain, specially for the March for Science enthusiasts.

Zika vaccination reaches clinical trails in India

Scientists in Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech develop a novel vaccine using inactivated virus of the African strain (MR 766). The vaccine showed 100% efficacy against both the Asian and African Zika species in animal studies and is due for Phase 1 clinical trail in India next month.

Yet another reason to do a PhD in India

UGC approves a proposal to consider any period spent in active service during a PhD in India to be accounted as teaching experience for young graduates aspiring to apply for vacant faculty positions around the country. for Science

Scientists across the globe march in unison demonstrating their support their support towards the scientific community. Follow blogs and articles by people across the world as they five an account of their experience in various places such as Göttingen , USA and more.More updates and shares on March for Science are published on the CSG Facebook page using the hashtag #marchforsceince

CSG: the new Hogwarts in the scientific world

Hitesh Verma rightly deemed CSG, as the Hogwarts for the young PhD graduates, as Ananda has kindly compiled various initiatives in a post. Various articles on our page this week would benefit aspiring reviewers, consulting enthusiasts, MS –aspirants and other alternatives to a post-doc. Additionally eLife has complied a series of interviews with recent PhD graduates in early stages of their Science-related careers about how research helped them get where they are.

A lot can happen over coffee… or maybe Easter eggs!!

As the week began with an Easter Monday, we’ve had various initiatives for meet-ups in NYC and Bay area. Kindly respond to participate or to initiate meet-ups in your city or country and let the CSG family grow. Gottingen CSGians have gone a mile ahead with their hiking adventure to network over Easter while NYC-CSG had a very motivating coffee chat with Dr. Jun tang about his career transition as a Research analyst at Cancer Research Institute (CRI), Clinical Accelerator and Venture Fund.

Story of the week

This week’s inspiring scientist is Nobel Laureate Eric Betzig. Read on to know his association with microscopes, being labelled a physicist/chemist/biologist and how he deals with Nobel limelight.

More power to women…

As John Hopkins areto screen The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and this inspirational quote re-iterates the value of self-respect, we have an eye-opening read on how women are discriminated in leadership roles and how you need to walk to off-beaten path and be different to achieve your dreams and discussion following the article on our Facebook page.

Postdoctoral positions 
In host-microbiota interactions
At MD Anderson Cancer Centre
In ImmunoOncology at NIBR
In Oncology Discovery at Johnson and Johnson

At the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in Science communication research

Other Opportunities

Some of the opportunities advertised this week were

The Schwarzman Scholars Application is live!! (Contact Nikhil Gupta for help with your applications)
IISc AANA National Conference 2017

Bloggers with fresh ideas for American Society of Cell biology (Contact : Sushama Sivakumar )
Expert Scientific Writer position. Email :

Deputy Scientific Editor for their membership magazine Infocus

Life Science consultant at Navigant Consulting

Have a good week ahead  🙂

About the author

Nisha Peter is a recent PhD graduate from Genome Damage and Stability Centre,UK and is now working as Research Fellow at Sussex Drug Discovery Centre,UK. Her research interest involves cell biology (I’ve spend a lifetime admiring mitotic cells during my PhD!!) and oncology. She works for Club SciWri as a freelance writer to pursue her love for “words”. Apart from being bench scientist she actively participates in science communication events, enjoys teaching, globetrotting and experimenting with music.


Do”nots” of Networking

in Planet Gurukool by

Image design: Ipsa Jain

Networking by definition is spreading your net to enhance your working visibility. We all have networked at some point of time in our careers. It’s scary and gawky if your are an introvert, and overtly enjoyable if you are an outgoing person.

Very recently someone mailed me on my company email. The first scary thing is, this puts many people off. LinkedIn and other platforms are meant for these, direct mailing is a no no, unless the contact has given you a visiting card. The first line on that email stated I had met this person 8 years back( great I am already blanked out now). The next states directly they want a referral for so and so posting (wonderful). Even worse, there was no introduction of what background this person has, no common ground of how we might have interacted. Worst at the end they asked if they would like to see their CV(if that helps right). Just think what image you have left on your precious catch(oops contact). This is how a real bad “networking example” was. An exception, you might think, but it happens very regularly to many professionals.

Categories of Networkers

Over the years I have come across different categories of networkers.

  1. The “Shy me”: The silent readers and unusually quiet watchers. One who reads every advice on internet, smile and actually imbibe them practically. In conferences, they love to be a part of the crowd that surrounds the more talkative ones. Seldom do they realize their own potential. You don’t have to ask many questions to grab attention, even one is good enough. When you walk out of your shy zone you actually realize what all you were missing. Passive participation doesn’t gain much, active talks do. So next time you want to open up, take a deep breath and just type or ask, a world is waiting there for you to open up.
  2. The “talkative”: They love to talk, almost everywhere. Almost to the point that they forget the motive of networking. It’s not just for commenting; it’s a way to make others realize that you would like to know more about them. Talking a lot sometimes makes others dilute your thoughts. Fun and serious discussion should be rightfully balanced. At the end your “talks” should broaden and solidify your network not make people avoid you.
  3. The “Opportunistic” : One of the major networking categories. Their whole purpose of networking seems to ask for a “job”. Right from that LinkedIn message to the first email. A line about how you know or came across “the networthy” to the very next line talking about jobs and can they “refer” you. For any good person who is in industry or academics it’s this category that’s the most scary to deal with. The art of saying “no” is very difficult for most of us. Have you ever thought, how the other person thinks of you. Yes, desperation is fine, but directly asking with no scope of developing a relationship is a plain “no”. For professionals who don’t know you, giving referrals is like giving guarantee about a stranger. Next time, try to spread your network, much before you reach that desperation.
  4.  The “never valued you”: A very strange breed. These people get help without asking, that means the networking worked even with zero efforts and input. So what you do with it, you use the offer to your advantage and then walk away. You never bother to keep your contact active. “Use and throw” marks your personality and believe me it’s something that will make your helpful contact aversive of your approach next time. Next time you plan to fall in this category be assured your “nice” contact has learnt the lesson and decided to walk off from you.
  5. The “hard workers”: These people work really hard to reach out, intermingle. However their success rate is in the negative. They themselves don’t know why it didn’t work. One piece of advice is don’t just nurture your network. Ask them questions and share your journey and go out and speak your needs. Often since you didn’t speak your need you missed the bus. I myself am from category five. Roamed in conferences, met the right people but never leveraged the real resources. It’s ok to be naive, no one is perfect. However, learn from every advice and your own mistakes.

Not-so-networking behaviors

Directly asking on a forum “if someone knows someone from a particular company”,and people are good enough to help you out is not Networking. That’s called “using”.

Mailing or messaging a job number and expecting others to refer you without understanding their comfort level is “harassing”.

Expecting others to search for a job based on your skill sets and requirements is “free loading”

Calling contacts at unearthly hours, mailing them after years and expecting them to “help you”, is actually being “selfish”.

I know all this sounds negative but for any person who is willing to help one has to face several of these other kinds, it’s a total put off. You are diminishing your own chances and actually inducing aversion for any future interactions.

The “do’s” of Networking:

  1. Make contacts to build common interest relationships
  2. Maintain contacts to utilize the other person’s experience
  3. Build your own knowledge bank, nurture the bond for openness
  4. Seek out without fear when you know they too “know” you well enough
  5. Learn to thank them even when the need ends
  6. Learn to reach out and let them know how you “valued” their advice
  7. Learn to keep them updated about your progress
  8. Learn to appreciate that someone was kind enough to interact with you and shared their knowledge and experience bank
  9. Learn and “earn” a good network
  10. Let the net “work” for you

About the Author:


Smita Salian-Mehta is currently a senior scientist at Abbvie (Chicago). She finished her Masters in Microbiology and followed it up with a PhD in Biochemistry (specialization in reproductive toxicology) from National institute for research in Reproductive health(ICMR) Mumbai. She moved to a post doctoral position in neuroendocrinology at the  University of Colorado before joining Abbvie in 2015. Smita loves to write fictional stories especially fan fiction and has an ardent fan following that eagerly waits for her next stories.

Featured image source: Pixabay

Social Media-based Career Mentoring- The Do’s and Dont’s

in Planet Gurukool by

Gurukool (derived from ancient Indian language Sanskrit) is an experimental platform which drew inspiration from the PhD Career Support Group (CSG) based on social media networking where people get connected with those who have already moved to either academic position or in industry, based on “pay-it-forward” principle. A group of PhDs from the industry and academia came together to form a mentor group and decided to spend a couple of hours educating the selected mentees every week, who are planning their next step to post-PhD careers. It’s a mentor-mentee program which runs almost virtually using social media platform and skills. With growing number of social media-based career development platforms all geared to help PhDs, we thought that there is a need to create an awareness on how such platforms can be maximally utilized to get an upstart with one’s career.

With increased interest and participation this group has grown in size. The mentors had been consistently backing and training the mentees for their upcoming job applications and interviews. As admins, we, therefore, decided to list out our learning from these interactions and help pave the way for making for making the mentees more professional in their mannerisms while seeking crowd-sourced mentoring at Gurukool and CSG.

General Etiquettes and Good Practices

  1. Acknowledge receipt: Be prompt in replying to emails. Even if the communication does not explicitly ask for a reply, just write a line acknowledging that you received the email and are thankful/ working on the subject. This lets the sender know that you are cognizant of the tasks that need to be undertaken in future.
  2. Respect time and come prepared: Especially with respect to Gurukool, but also in most other interactions, if you are seeking help (mentorial or otherwise), remember that the other person has especially taken time out to help you. So come prepared with your questions/problems/queries so you can jump straight on to facts and derive the maximum benefit from your meeting.
  3. Credit where it is due: Appreciate and acknowledge people appropriately, no matter how small the way in which they helped you. Especially after the end of a mentoring session, make sure you write to your mentor and let them know personally what the results were (could be positive or not so positive) and that you are thankful.
  4. Social Media friend requests: Never send Facebook friend requests unless you actually personally know the person. Request them on LinkedIn instead.
  5. Think before you write: When composing emails, double check what message your email is actually conveying. It is wise to keep in mind that electronic mode of communication (emails, texts, chats) often fail to communicate emotions correctly. It is wise to take time composing a message rather than sending one that conveys the wrong message.
  6. Native English Speakers: Accept the fact that a lot of us need help with the English language. Ask for help from fellow colleagues/ native English speakers. Being shameless in asking help in the beginning, will help you be smart later on.
  7. Accept Differences: Learn how to deal with angry/annoying emails/communications, tactfully. We no longer live in a world where negative emotions are taken well. It is in your best interest to not lose your cool and save the day with a thoughtful and reasonable attitude.

Specifically for the Gurukool mentees:

  1. Keep realistic expectations, evaluate yourself first.
  2. Remember that you own your development, you mentor doesn’t. It’s up to you to identify objectives as well as keep the relationship focused and moving forward.
  3. Be prepared to ask for specific advice on your skill set, ideas, plans and goals. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for your mentor to respond.
  4. Be complete, yet succinct, in your comments and explanations.
  5. Make it easy for your mentor to give you honest, specific feedback. Ask for it early in your relationship.
  6. If you get some corrective feedback, don’t defend yourself. Thank your mentor for being honest with you. Then ask, “What specifically don’t you like about ___?”
  7. Be considerate of the mentor’s schedule. Respect the mentor’s time and respond to emails promptly.
  8. The mentoring community is not meant to serve as a recruitment device or job placement program. Do not ask for a job. You may ask your mentor for a letter of recommendation if you’ve spent ample time together and you feel comfortable.

Make a good Impression:

  1. Introduce yourself: Take some time to introduce yourself. Let your mentor know not just your professional abilities/ qualifications, but a few highlights of your personality (both positive and negative). This could help them guide you through tricky interview questions/ scenario.
  2. Do research: Before continuing contact with your mentor, gather information on your mentor and his/her organization. Knowledge about your mentor’s area of specialty or organization will help you prepare more intelligent and productive questions.
  3. Ask questions: This is your opportunity to learn as much as you can from your mentor. Be prepared with a series of open-ended questions that will help stimulate your discussion and enable you to learn as much as you can about your mentor’s profession or industry.
  4. Be enthusiastic and respectful! Remember, your mentor has volunteered her/her time to talk with you.
  5. Leave a lasting impression: At the conclusion of any conversations, be sure to thank your mentor. Follow up any significant meeting or conversation with a thank you note.



Featured image: Pixabay

About the author:

Anshu Malhotra is postdoctoral fellow at Emory University and she is actively involved in co-ordinating the activities in CSG’s flagship mentor-mentee program (Gurukool). She is actively involved in bench-based research in pediatric oncology and is strongly interested in developing skills in data science. In her spare time, she dabbles into artwork of 3D murals.

The week that it was – 10th to 16th April, 2017

in ClubSciWri by
  • 902141_10151593351246703_1842057750_o.jpg?fit=2048%2C1251

Ah, the long weekend in one of the most enjoyable seasons is here. And obviously it’s time to sit back and rejuvenate. Leave work at work, get that work-life balance back. And if at all, you must indulge in work, it would be a nice time to start actively listening to people around you, invest it in deciding your next career steps, know the market out there, see how it aligns with your interest. Maybe you realize it is, indeed, time to release your dream project as a startup!

After all, the big names are also putting money into riskier projects. Apple becomes the latest name to invest in devising blood glucose level sensors after companies like Google have already been unsuccessful. On the other hand, Medtronic gets approval by FDA – this insulin pump based therapy will be available to patients in about a year. Strand Life Sciences gets one step closer to personalized cancer treatment with development of liquid biopsy test. And, Bengal Chemicals, the oldest pharma company in India, registers profit after 60 odd years! Excitement all around in health care and pharma sector!

And not just companies but traditional research and educational institutes are developing potentially viable revenue generating products. Researchers at IISc, India develop electricity conducting graphene  at room temperature, a model predicted only theoretically so far and one that can help make more effective electronics. IGCAR, India develops a new method to ‘see’ temperature without having to strain your eyes to read a thermometer. Doctors at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India finds a new neurological genetic disease in ‘Multiple mitochondrial dysfunction syndrome‘. Does that open up ideas for the geneticists and neurologists among us?

Talking of geneticists, did you know the Human Genome Project (HGP) is considered to one of the projects to look out for in 2017. Do attend the GP-Write at New York to know everything from scientific direction to social and legal engagements to available infrastructure in GP, May 9th and 10th.

With China’s exemplary growth and investment in research as well as industrial development in biotech drugs sector, India is taking steps to improve its stance, the Union HRD of India declared doubling of funding for research and development. In addition, it is also working on a proposal to establish National Research Foundation to leverage resources from industry and support collaboration between institutes in India and abroad. However, it also brought declarations of higher benefits for higher ranked institutes, which risks the lower rung universities without even basic amenities worsening further.

The universities, themselves, worldwide are facing criticism for lack of professional development for scientists. There are plenty of misconceptions that PhD students hold that hamper the way they go about developing their careers. It is the universities’ duty rather to take responsibility of its students; University of British Columbia and University of Chicago are setting examples in distinguishing needs of students from different fields. And there is nothing more important than the students’ ownership in the regard; make sure you develop a healthy student-mentor relationship.

We hope to develop together an utopia where each one of us chooses a career path based on what we like and not what we get. Explore many different options before you decide for yourself. Howe do people get into science policy? Or who are application scientists in industries? Do you even know how scientific writers write papers for other research groups? There are many, many different career paths to choose from those who are interested in science communication (Of course, at Club SciWri we can’t undermine this :)).

For those who are sorted, check some of these available opportunities:

Those interested in consultancy, check interesting training options at McKinsey (for women, except in the USA) and by Columbia Graduate Consulting Club.

For the entrepreneurial ones especially, make sure you do not miss the networking events – there are plenty of them coming up in Basel, New York and San Diego.

Try to get face to face interviews instead of email communications. When you can’t, a good cover letter is what you count on. Make sure you do not make the usual mistakes while talking to a recruiter, know how much are you worth in the market while you are readying for your interviews and meetings. Keep in mind there is still a gender wage gap!

And as I wrap up, I would like to beware our Indian readers in Europe of the fraudulent calls demanding money. We join hands with the Embassy of India in the efforts to reduce the possibilities of such mishaps. Wishing safety for all!

About the author:

Somdatta Karak works with Club SciWri as a project co ordinator and Corporate Liaison. She is a doctorate in neuroscience from Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany and has been a Teach for India fellow (2014-16). She loves putting her analytical skills to build newer and more sustainable solutions, enjoys traveling and communicating and takes every opportunity to expand her horizon.

You can reach her here.




The week that it was 3rd April-8th April 2017

in ClubSciWri by
  • 17814669_10154218992732038_8905383875815249508_o.jpg?fit=2048%2C1833
    Tejeswini Padma's vision of dynein regulation in fission yeast via Myo1

This week we applaud Indian scientists in various parts of the world putting themselves on the World science map with their amazing discoveries and innovative ideas.

From cancer to drinking water

An India researcher at Johns Hopkins develops world’s first 5D ultrasound system to assist cancer detection and treatment while Indian scientist at the University of Manchester have used graphene oxide sieves to desalinate sea water by 97%. This technology if used commercially could contribute significantly to drinking water issues in different parts of the world.

More jobs in New York

1.2 billion-biotech development promises to generate 12,000 jobs in New York City area.

Greens are good for the heart!!

Greens have always made it to our meals since childhood claiming they are ‘good for health’. While we despised them as kids, this innovation by scientist transforming spinach leaves to a beating human heart surely puts greens on our favourites list as scientists.

Sci-Art for the younger generation

As Tejaswini unveils a brilliant piece of Sci-art describing ‘gut feeling‘ in her own way ,  Ipsa Jain inspires younger minds to interpret science more creatively as she conducted the first 2 sessions of her Workshop series titled Summer Sci-Art Workshop for kids.

Resume Roadmap

Leading pharma companies’ pen down characteristics of outstanding candidates, LinkedIn makers share how to tweak your profile to attract recruiters and successful women share their strategies of effective networking.

Story of the Week

For young parents who are pushed to choose between career and kids, here’s an inspiring story of how who can take ‘kids to work’ and call it ‘management-skills’ to improve your CV.



Postdoctoral position in macromolecular crystallographic computing at NE-CAT, Cornell University

 Postdoctoral position atin the laboratory of Dr. Guocan Wang at MD Anderson Cancer Center

Post doctoral jobs in John Hopkins School of Medicine

Postdoc position is available at Mallikaratchy lab of Lehman College , City University of New York 

Assistant Professor positions at University of Warwick,UK


Esco Ventures Singapore is hiring Associates with data science/bioscience background.

CRO position in SF bay area

Associate Scientist : ImmunoOncology Research at Amgen

Senior/Lead Scientist at one of my local Biotech clients in Central NJ.

Senior Associate Scientist/Scientist I Biology, Fibrosis Research at Celgene

Scholarships and Grants

Early Stage Researcher with Marie-Curie fellowship at the National Research Council, Institute of Genetics and Biophysics A. Buzzati-Traverso – Naples, Italy.

PhD openings in IIT Kharagpur

Workshops and courses

Women in Science Career Development Workshop in San Diego.

Cell modelling workshop in Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

Annual meeting of Experimental Biology Interest group is scheduled in Chicago on April 22, 2017.

For data scientists Neural Networks for Machine Learning bring together 30 free courses by  Geoffrey Hinton, a computer science professor at the University of Toronto.

A three-day insider’s look into management consulting at McKinsey for those considering a job in consulting

Call for PhDs and MSc graduates with analytical background to kick-start their career in data science with a 5-week programme.

Loreal Young Women in Science Scholarship, India


About the cover image

Title: Dynein regulation in fission yeast via Myo1.

Made for Dr.Vaishnavi Ananthanarayanan, INSPIRE Faculty Fellow, BSSE,IISc

Scientific Depiction by Tejeswini Padma.

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

Explanation: The oscillations of the horsetail nucleus of fission yeast, along with the participating proteins- dynein(purple men) , Mcp5( green coloured anchor protein), Myo1 (in pink) , microtubule (blue rope along the diagonal) and PIP2  (pink circles in the cell membrane)  is depicted here.

Reference paper: Fission Yeast Myosin I Facilitates PI(4,5)P2-mediated Anchoring of Cytoplasmic Dynein to the Cortex’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017)


About the author

Nisha Peter is a recent PhD graduate from Genome Damage and Stability Centre,UK and is now working as Research Fellow at Sussex Drug Discovery Centre,UK. Her research interest involves cell biology (I’ve spend a lifetime admiring mitotic cells during my PhD!!) and oncology. She works for Club SciWri as a freelance writer to pursue her love for “words”. Apart from being bench scientist she actively participates in science communication events, enjoys teaching, globetrotting and experimenting with music.

The week that it was- 27th March to 2nd April, 2017

in ClubSciWri by
  • 920864_10151596531186703_1560058850_o.jpg?fit=2048%2C1389

The new week starts, with the cherry blossoms bringing in optimism. And we are steadfast in bringing you the resources that you might need to alleviate your apprehensions, regarding funding, next steps in careers and the cutting edge science happening worldwide.

If you are a researcher in the US, and the NIH budget cuts are keeping you worried, you might want to see what does the proposal say to mitigate the cuts. Will it work or not, is yet to be seen. On the other hand, stable funding and impressive infrastructure attract researchers from all over the world to Canada. Is it your destination next too?

On the medical health and research front, researchers from IIT-Kanpur, India repurpose malaria drug to fight drug resistance in metastatic cancer. While efforts to eradicate tuberculosis are still on – Researchers in Houston, USA come up with a blood-based technique to detect TB, which costs less than 10$ while Serum Institute, India start with trial II/III vaccine trial for TB.

The entrepreneurs are taking health care to the next level with machine learning. Is really Elon Musk hacking the human brain? Or are NVidia graphic processors change the face of health care? Welcome to the future!!

Doudna and Charpentier rewarded on the European front – CRISPR Therapeutics win  a broad CRISPR patent in Europe.

After the last antibiotic developed in 1984, here is funding again in market by BARDA and Wellcome Trust to foster research in the not-so-economics-friendly antibiotic development.

Open science efforts, while are undeniably necessary, are also marred by fake predatory journals. But there are ways to identify them in the pool. Open science gets a boost as now big names start backing it – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub join the league. And if you are a researcher in Europe, do your bit by filling up the EU survey form to help the community understand how should they develop the infrastructure.

Depression and academia: the story isn’t new. It is not surprising that science and engineering population shows aging. The current researchers should know the different measures to prevent/ circumvent depression. And it is high time that we start investing in projecting science as a viable career option for it to thrive. Microsoft joins hands with Nat Geo in the pursuit by getting explorers to encourage girls take up STEM careers.

Ever felt retracting a paper might kill your career? Then you might love to know that the community rather rewards such an effort to correct ‘honest errors’.

Are you planning to further your career in data science? Then you should know what your CV should look like.

If you think that staying at home means a stepback in career, think again. Here is a list to help you pick from the jobs in life science that suit working from home.

Contract jobs are becoming more and more common each day in life science industry. If you are confused how to evaluate them, here is some help.

Max Planck for Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, Germany offers diverse postdoctoral openings for biochemistry, microbiology, mass spectrometry and electron microscopy backgrounds.

For those inclined towards industry-

  • Scientist I/II position at Bioverativ, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, to work on blood disorders
  • Multiple positions at Entasis, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA
  • Scientist position, Neuroscience at Genentech, San Francisco, USA to work on nervous system diseases
  • Scientist, Electrophysiology at Sanford Burnham Prebys, La Jolla, USA in collaboration with GSK, to work on neurodegeneration
  • Senior scientist, Neuroscience Medicinal Chemistry at Johnson and Johnson, Flanders, Belgium to work in development of large and small molecules
  • Head of Immune Biology at Roche, Munich, Germany to work in protein therapeutics in Large Molecule Research group
  • Director for Research Communications at Spiegel lab at Yale University, USA

And for those who are still in the phase of exploring, here is a list of opportunities –

  • A 3 day insider’s look at management consultancy at McKinsey for those interested in Health Care (from 1st June to 4th June, 2017 at Philadelphia), and Science and Engineering (from 8th to 11th June, 2017 at Washington, DC) – open only for residents of US and Canada, application deadline – 9th April, 2017
  • Want to know more about filing patents? Here is a free webinar by on 5th April that might be of use

And if you still think you are yet to find your right fit, be patient and steady. Take advantage of the resources here to know what suits your aptitude and attitude, and what skills need to be developed for a career appropriate for it.

About the author:

Somdatta Karak works with Club SciWri as a project co ordinator and Corporate Liaison. She is a doctorate in neuroscience from Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany and has been a Teach for India fellow (2014-16). She loves putting her analytical skills to build newer and more sustainable solutions, enjoys traveling and communicating and takes every opportunity to expand her horizon.

You can reach her here.











The week that it was – 20th to 26th March, 2017

in ClubSciWri by
  • 894856_10151596530946703_1017119723_o.jpg?fit=2048%2C1379

CSG is now a platform with 6000+ members and CSG-Europe has started to bloom. Among the wide variety of information shared on the platform daily, I decided to bring you the opportunities to shape your future (of course, I know how you love to see them), help to deal with them and some refreshing foods for thought.

Time is ripe to attack the predatory science journals under the pretext of open access publishing, as researchers from Sussex carry out sting operation to expose 48 of them.

While Harvard Medical school scientists propose revising guidelines around genetic engineering, Nobel laureate Harold Varmus, Cornell Weill Medicine voices concerns around NIH budget cuts proposal.

Director of IISER Thiruvananthapuram, Prof. V. Ramakrishnan faces scrutiny for plagiarism; many academicians had objections to his appointment in the first place.

While CSIR lost enough of tax-payers money in filing non-revenue generating patents, researchers from IIT-Madras suggest possible solutions.

The market always loves and grooms the ones with exciting ideas –

  • Startup India brings free online extensive 4 weeks program for entrepreneurs to learn from the leading names in the country
  • Falling Walls lab, an initiative by German Centre for Research and Innovation, New York is looking forward to hear your research/ entrepreneurial idea to sponsor your meeting with other bright minds in Berlin, Germany
  • JoVE offers exciting prizes for filming equally exciting research work
  • And do not miss the opportunity to get connected with the pioneers in biotechnology in New York via the GRO BioPharma conference on 5th April

Illumina takes Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) techniques to fisheries; promises its help in increasing fishing yield.

Grab the openings-

With this mighty a list of openings, chances are high one of them interests you. Get started with the application then. Here are some tips on excelling your postdoc application, writing the perfect resume and cover letter. We don’t want to take chances here!

About the author:

Somdatta Karak works with Club SciWri as a project co ordinator and Corporate Liaison. She is a doctorate in neuroscience from Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany and has been a Teach for India fellow (2014-16). She loves putting her analytical skills to build newer and more sustainable solutions, enjoys traveling and communicating and takes every opportunity to expand her horizon.

You can reach her here.



The week that it was : 13th to 18th March, 2017

in ClubSciWri by
  • csg-image.jpg?fit=2048%2C1449

As Holi was celebrated world-over with a plethora of colours, we at CSG launched various initiatives and displayed our unity within the community.

Connecting Scientists beyond Campuses

CSG created history as our ‘Post-doc Skype’ sessions went live with Mayur Vadhvani as our first guest speaker. The session was very well received and attended by IISCians.

CSG Baltimore Meet up

The CSG Baltimore meet up thanks Smita Mehta for sharing her experience and giving insights into the process of transitioning to industry.

CREATE volunteers

CSG calls volunteer editors who are good with CVs and cover letters to enrol in the CREATE initiative. This initiative is to create a platform for PhDs to tweak their CVs and cover letter, to improve out chances of getting hired.

A stitch in time saves ….

While low funding and redundancy have been prevalent in the job market more now than before, we highly recommend fellow scientists to keep themselves aware of the active funding their PI has to make their move in good time. While scientist in USA can use web portals like NIH RePORTER and Grantome for USA, there is DFG for Germany and NWO for Netherlands. These postals are also a resource of funding available while looking out for post-doc opportunities in these countries. 

Alpha chain of clusterin burns more calories

Scientists at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, found that alpha chain of the clusterin protein helps weight controls by preventing fat accumulation through metabolism.

Home away from home ..

The Indian government invites students abroad to register with the Ministry of External Affairs web portal. The portal vouches to help you solve issues in the foreign land through the Indian Embassy.



Art meets Science

Art meets Science as Nature publishes the 3D structure of intact mammalian genomes in individual cells while Robert Lang a physicist created magic with origami that have applications back in engineering. For our future geeky artistes , Art of Science Contest provides an opportunity to send in your most creative scientific art to win an Amazon voucher worth $500.

Keeping stress under control..

While the Pomodoro timer is a highly recommended technique to manage tasks and improve productivity, fellow CSGian recommend Bollywood Zumba to tackle the sedentary lab lifestyle. After all who says scientists don’t have fun 😉

Resume Roadmap

Recruiters at Johnson and Johnson put together a list of CV ‘dos and donts’ that stand out among the numerous applicants. While communication without jargon is a key skill for job seekers, a fellow CSGian explains the importance of seeking help at the right time and networking to address a crisis with her PI. For those who like to work with people, Cheeky Scientist collates a list of career options after PhD.


Various opportunities for fellowships, short-term internships and contests to lookout for this week are

Newton International Post-doctoral Fellowship

Travel grants for life scientists

Short term European research fellowships

Science and SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists


The week that it was-6th to 12th March, 2017

in ClubSciWri by

Women’s day, gender equity, breaking stereotypes and barriers, or at least trying to – we have come a long way and still a long way to go in making the world an equally good place for everyone. But at least people are beginning to talk about tackling the issue everywhere, from academia to corporate.

As Tuktuki Mondal inspires us all with her humble story from being a rag-picker to a research assistant, Indian parliament passed the bill increasing maternity leave to 26 weeks, opportunities open up for women scientists to network, aspire and achieve, and McKinsey opens up applications for Next Generation Women’s Leaders, 2017 event.

But while the world is trying to become a better place, challenges that concern our everyday life are still plenty. Macri’s government in Argentina cuts funds in science and technology by 30%, one more all across the globe following the trend. Will this create more cases of Dr. Carlo Croce?

Google and Rosa Luxembourg Foundation on the other hand, declare PhD scholarships to students enrolled in Indian and German universities, respectively while the International Max Planck Research Schools of Münster and Göttingen open applications for those interested in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences and Genome Sciences, respectively.

Life in science is getting easier with online communication for courses, talks and podcasts-

Check out the Data Science course on Springboard, stay abreast with cutting edge research with Nature’s webcasts and network via CSG talks.

Take a look at the Science and Engineering job market of this decade, 50 best startups worldwide and the trends in pharma industry this year. And also learn how to take your ideas from lab to market with I-Corps.

And those academically oriented, here are your options-

Though firms might start using AI to recruit people sometime soon, here is a guide for you to follow when dealing with its human counterpart. Who are these recruiters, and how do they operate? Alert for Life and medical scientists: you can meet some of them at events organized by Northwest Biotech on March 22 and Bio Talent connect on June 22, 2017.

Be smart and do not repeat your mistakes. Coelho says, if you repeat a mistake, then it is a decision.

If you are still unclear of how to have an effective LinkedIn profile, or write the perfect resume, or HR interviews scare you, do not fret.

Help is right at the tip of your finger.

About the author:

Somdatta Karak works with Club SciWri as a project co ordinator and Corporate Liaison. She is a doctorate in neuroscience from Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany and has been a Teach for India fellow (2014-16). She loves putting her analytical skills to build newer and more sustainable solutions, enjoys traveling and communicating and takes every opportunity to expand her horizon.

You can reach her here.









1 2 3
Go to Top
%d bloggers like this: