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Exposure and Opportunity: Path to Success

Exposure and Opportunity is the only thing that makes one unique from other. So before you think and jump towards a particular stream and before you take up a project be prepared about your job responsibilities. People can find lucrative jobs after completing a bachelors or getting a post graduation degree but you should judge yourself about your future plans. You can seek information from others but if you copy and take the path given to you by others it will be dangerous. So better "The path not taken". Since you are reading through this blog site under "Go For Science" I can think by default you are interested to do something new and unique in the bigger scientific platform. On the global scientific culture before you join for your doctoral or post doctoral studies at national or International level, what makes a student unique is to fetch a funding. Without Money even a Group leader cannot continue the research neither a student can work in a lab, ultimately its money to do science. I will just share a bit of my experience of some of the research internships that opened many doors and this just a sequential process that goes on and on.


If you are really interested to do something you will definitely get it, and obvious the dream will come true. I have been awarded the INSPIRE Scholarship in 2009 from Department of Science and Technology (INDIA) that I feel was a turning point and the path to do something different. I got chances to both Engineering and Medicine courses after my Schooling but I quit and joined natural sciences course. Offcourse its not for the 80,000 cash scholarship from INSPIRE but only for my interest to be in a research oriented career and DST came as a consequence. Well very few person from Engineering and Medicine background do join in research. What showed the path is to work in some premier research labs in India and with a fellowship. I was selected for my IISER-Kolkata Summer Fellowship in 2012. It was near to my home town still when I first joined my lab my mentor told me to take hostel accommodation. The reason I got when I started to do experiments. I used to reach lab by 9 a.m. and better not to scare anyone I used to return back to my hostel late night. This doesnot means we have to continuously do experiments and all. Its all about fun and chatting with each other. Knowing more about other lab works and overall it was a wonderful 2 months internship. What is important to know is how you can keep your patience even if you get negative results for continuous 2 months. This makes you adapted why you may need more than 4years for your PhD and also to make you realize if you are not apt to keep your nerves down and be cool with your experiments, doctoral studies is not for you.


Very few people do ultimately end up with some publications and that indeed a result of good luck and hard work, but the important thing is to know some cutting edge research techniques that you may not get in your routine study curriculum. The internship showed me the path to choose for my Phd and before that got my next internship under Indian Academy of Sciences Fellowship at National Centre for Biological Sciences in 2013. So in a nutshell, carry on applying to internships and I must assure that sitting idle in the room and chatting in the facebook you can do a bit science and more fun along with your own work that you otherwise will do in home you can easily do in a lab during the summer.

With all best wishes for your future endeavours and hope to see more young generation scientists of leading India.

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Sounak Sahu
B.Sc (Gold Medalist)
DST-INSPIRE Scholar (2009-14), University of Oxford


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