12th Science Communication Workshop- Report

18 Sep 2015

12th Science Communication Workshop- Report

The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance

12th Science Communication Workshop

14-15 September 2015, Hyderabad


      The 12th Science Communication workshop held at the Daspalla Hotel in Hyderabad from 14-15 September 2015 was attended by 34 PhD students, Postdocs, junior Faculty and Clinicians from 29 different institutions across India such as, IISER Trivandrum, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad, Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research, Kolkata, DAPM RV Dental College and Hospital, IIT Bombay, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida, Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, Mysore, CSIR- Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Indian Institute of Advanced Research, Gandhinagar, BITS-Pilani, Hyderabad Campus, ACTREC, Mumbai, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology Hyderabad, , Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB), Bangalore, CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, Amity University, New Delhi, Institute Of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, University of Mysore, Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), DRDO, New Delhi, CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute, School of Life Sciences, Manipal and Pondicherry University.

The first day of the workshop focused on oral presentation skills and what is required to make an effective professional presentation. This session was conducted by Mrs Sumathy Haridas, an HR consultant from Bangalore, who gave useful advice on how to prepare the message of a presentation, appear confident, speak articulately and engage the audience. Her session consisted of various hands-on exercises for the participants that ensured active participation. Following this session, India Alliance Public Engagement officer, Dr Sarah Iqbal encouraged the participants to deliberate on the topic of Public Engagement with Science and in what ways, as scientists and clinicians, they could take their research to the public and collaborate with them to get fresher research perspectives. She also initiated an interesting discussion on what ails productive communication between the clinicians and basic research community in India. Grants Adviser, Dr Madhankumar Anandhakrishnan concluded the first day by giving a brief overview of the India Alliance Fellowship schemes and application process. The participants discussed various issues concerning the workshop, career choices and their current research with the India Alliance staff and the workshop mentors over the Networking dinner.

The second day of the workshop covered topics such as, Ethics in Research, Clinical research, Grant and Manuscript writing, talks on which were given by Dr Anant Bhan (Yenepoya University, Mangalore), Dr Anurag Agrawal (IGIB, New Delhi), Dr Lolitika Mandal (IISER Mohali), Dr Mahak Sharma (IISER Mohali) and Prof Sandhya Visweswariah (IISc Bangalore). The Mentors stimulated various discussions on these topics and ensured the participants were not wary of asking important questions about research career development, setting up a lab, postdoc opportunities, clinical research and many more. The highlight of the workshop for the participants was the research proposal discussion, where participants received useful feedback and advice on the structure and content of their proposals from the mentors.

The enthusiasm and active questioning at the workshop by the participants reinforced the importance of Science Communication in nurturing and training the future researchers of India.