Job ready after a PhD?

A doctorate — the highest level of education — is generally thought of as a launchpad for  great career opportunities. Yet, a PhD hardly prepares one for jobs, says Pragati Agnihotri, a scientist in the American biotech corporation Advanced Bioscience Laboratories, Rockville, Maryland. Here are a few things she learnt first-hand that might offer guidance to future PhDs and postdocs in their career journeys.

Pragati Agnihotri

My PhD was from the Central Drug Research Institute in Lucknow, India. Doing a PhD was an obvious option since I had little guidance on what jobs I could take up after a masters in biotechnology. PhD offered a decent fellowship for five years. Unlike the US, in India, no lab rotation and minimum interaction with scientists mean one has limited topics to chose from for a PhD.

I was lucky my supervisor let me study what interested me. Using limited resources, I spent the early years designing the experiment. For a structural biologist like myself, getting a protein crystal, a decent diffraction pattern, or a structure solution were considered the only cause for celebration. Later years saw me focus on data analysis and writing the paper, followed by postdoc applications. Results and publications were the only criteria for success. Life revolved around this.

However, many of us eventually chose careers beyond research. This trend was later highlighted by the Royal Society of Chemistry — only 3.5% of PhD holders get permanent research positions and a mere 0.45% make it to the level of professor.

In the US, after a PhD, scholars do myriad things beyond the conventional — they join reputed pharma companies, run their own blogs or explore entrepreneurship. Indian PhDs, however, stay in long postdocs. They realise later that despite impressive publications, it is difficult to get well-paying jobs in the land of opportunities without strong communication skills and network.

It takes years of effort, articles and career development guidance to learn the ropes of effective networking, efficient communication and tailoring one’s CV. Based on my experience, I shortlist here a few skills that might prepare future PhDs for better job opportunities.

Networking

Researchers need support from colleagues throughout their career — whether it’s for  recommendations, job referrals, help for green card applications or troubleshooting experiments. During PhD, we somehow forget the importance of networking till we start our search for postdoctoral positions or for a job. In about five years of doctoral studies, we come across Principal Investigators (PIs), peers, alumni, application scientists, marketing people and multiple keynote speakers. That is one strong network to stay in contact with.

But we attend talks on specific fields. Nobody ever tells us we won’t necessarily end up working on the same topic, and that we need to know much beyond core subject areas. Also that PhD and postdoc are a transition phase and one still needs to choose a career after that.

During my PhD, I never felt the need to have an updated LinkedIn profile. The job search was frustrating because even after being an exact match in skills, there was no encouraging response.

Developing a LinkedIn network helped me improve my CV, it provided real-time vacancies and referrals. Joining professional associations and social media networks brought me in contact with people in the same boat. Though it is unreasonable to expect a job by simply networking, it provides helpful feedback. Thus, it is always beneficial to attend poster and mixer sessions, talk to speakers and stay in touch with peers.

Scientific Writing and Communication 

Every PhD is a scientific writer but being proficient requires time and effort. “English needs improvement, take help of native speakers,” is a frequent reviewer’s comment on our manuscripts. Competent writing can save us long hours and improve the quality of publication. Courses and workshops on writing skills should be part of PhD coursework. There’s a lot of freely available material on EdEx, Coursera and LinkedIn Learning to improve writing. My personal favourite is “Writing in Sciences” by Dr. Kristin Sainani on Coursera.

Presentation skills are key. I have learnt there is much more to a good presentation than data and that presentation is a skill that can be learnt like all others.

Specialization/Certifications

Doctoral work is specific and rarely a perfect match with available jobs. However, there are multiple certifications that open up a plethora of career paths.

Project Management: If you are good at collaborative projects, this can be interesting. Certifications like PMP, Prince, CAPM can boost job prospects. Data is the most expensive resource. Automation of drug discovery or manufacturing is a big focus of innovative research.

Data Science: Expertise in biology and data science is a rare combination with a significant edge. If one is working on clinical samples or is interested in such jobs, certifications from CCRA, ACRP-CP, CCRC and CCDM can help find clinical jobs.

Regulatory Framework: Specialisation in regulatory affairs is an advantage for jobs in industrial and regulatory authorities such as FDA and FSSAI.

Patent Certification: Another career augmenting certification is studying patent law.

Science Writing: If one is good at conveying complex research to a range of audiences, professional writing skills and certifications are valuable additions to a PhD degree. Communication skills, mentoring experience, adaptability, critical thinking and management can take you a long way.

PhDs are experts at learning. Some direction regarding what to learn in addition to the highly specialized PhD topic is always useful. So, it’s worth broadening one’s horizon and to never stop learning.

Nature India Annual Volume 2020 is out

 

Cover image: S. Priyadarshini/ Design: Bharat Bhushan Upadhyay

2020 was defined by the global pandemic. Throughout the long, difficult year, disease and death came in tragic waves, testing the limits of healthcare systems, especially in countries with limited resources. In India, one of the worst affected countries, significant outbreaks continue in 2021.

A positive outcome, however, has been the triumph of science. In record time, scientists rushed to sequence the genome of the virus and its variants, created affordable diagnostic and treatment solutions, and produced multiple vaccine and drug candidates to control the pandemic. We have been covering the pandemic in India and the subcontinent in depth through the lens of science. Besides our regular journalistic coverage, we produced two special issues on the COVID-19 crisis in India – one on how the pandemic was affecting life in a country of 1.3 billion people, and the other on affordable engineering solutions being developed in haste by India’s scientists to confront the virus. In our quest for disseminating trusted information during a global public health emergency, the pages of Nature India were prominently filled with information on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.

Meanwhile, despite challenges thrown up by a series of lockdowns and funding issues, science in other disciplines unrelated to the pandemic has continued to flourish. One criticism of scholarly science publishers and science magazines has been that their overwhelming engagement with the pandemic (public health, medicine, virology and epidemiology) has squeezed out other disciplines of science during 2020. In this annual volume, therefore, we are spotlighting Nature India’s coverage of all sciences, efforts around which quietly continued through 2020.

The biodiverse Himalayan region, straddling the borders of many countries in Asia, including India and China, offers immense potential for collaborative scientific research. However, the inhospitable terrain and geopolitical strife in the region, have created obstacles to a joined-up research climate. Our cover story tells of the growing call by researchers in the two countries to go beyond political differences and make the Himalayan region a hub for scientific collaborations. Migratory birds from across the region coming into India and the need for heronries to protect them are also highlighted in this issue.

The country is weighing the challenges and opportunities of an ambitious ‘one nation one subscription’ policy that aims to make scholarly knowledge freely accessible to everyone in the country. We analyse the merits of this proposed plan.

The pandemic is never far from the immediate consciousness of any of the world’s people, and our annual photo competition on the theme brought inspired images of this era, where masks, sanitation, immunisation, and innovative solutions to health needs are paramount, and the focus of our daily lives

The issue is free to download here. We will soon make all our previous annual volumes free to access.

You will find more on our archival annual issues here: 2019201820172016, 20152014 and 2007-2013.

We hope you enjoy reading the latest volume.

My science failures: How to err wisely

Science stories are equal to success stories. Right? Wrong. In thinking of scientists as successful people, we often assume that their career paths are straightforward, meticulously planned, and yield positive outcomes. However, things don’t always go as planned. Behind every small success, there’s probably a string of failures — work that did not make it to the curriculum vitae, rejected papers, turned-down applications, declined grants, unsuccessful job interviews, and many closed doors.

Science blooms in these failures as much as it does in the glory of accepted manuscripts, grants, awards, and patents. In this blog series “My Science Failures” we will hear some straight-from-the-heart stories of these secret milestones in the lives of scientists — and learn how they turned these events on their head (or did not).

Vijay Soni, an instructor at Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, says the actual reason why science is so successful is these failures.

Vijay Soni

In science, we fail more often and at a rate higher than in other vocations. Hypotheses go wrong, experiments do not deliver the expected outcomes. There are contaminations, misleadingly simplistic or representative models, false-positive results, experiments without controls, rejections of manuscripts, and failed projects. The actual reason, why science is so successful, is all these failures. It is, therefore, imperative to learn the real value of mistakes.

Failures are a sign that you are inventing,” says Elon Musk. Curiosity guides us to learn better and faster. We have been taught to attach connotations to words and are accustomed to believing that success is positive, and failures are negative. However, learnings are never black and white – they are a full rainbow. Each colour is an experience that must be enjoyed, lived, and felt.

Scientists hardly speak of false starts. There is nothing glamorous about dead and failed stories. And so there is a big chunk of knowledge that goes unreported or unpublished.

How do scientists cope with recurrent failures and grow? In my own research journey, many times I wish I knew about earlier false starts so that it didn’t have to go down an already failed path. I did not find any resource where scientists shared their wisdom from failures. Therefore, I started FailWise to offer learnings, information, opinion, and guidance around such failures. The inspiration came from Brandon Mull’s words: “Smart people learn from their mistakes, but the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.”

Every scientist has a personal relationship with failures, and evolves uniquely. I have too. As a biology undergraduate, I learnt a big lesson early on when my lecturer published under his name all data from a research project I was working on to get a grant. Similarly, a lab mate presented my data without my consent or acknowledgment to get a postdoc position. Lesson I learnt: don’t disclose all your data and research to anyone. Never circulate your lab reports or critical data even among close friends.

There are more things that I learnt as a researcher:

  1. I studied undergraduate in a Hindi medium. I always felt it would be a problem when I go for higher studies. But I was wrong. Language is not a barrier in science but lack of knowledge is. I never stopped reading books and research articles. If you do not read background literature, maintain notes or connect the dots to frame your questions, you will likely fail. Learn to ask better questions, you will automatically be guided towards better answers.
  2. Once I was told that I would not have been hired if I was not from a certain lab (my master’s and undergraduate studies were from a very small state university in India). It was discouraging. But I reminded myself that people who follow their path passionately and honestly make great scientists and labs, and they may not necessarily be working in a world-class institute. No matter what your background, chase your dreams with perseverance.
  3. After Masters, I was working as a project assistant at a renowned institute in India. I was treated like a labourer there — never allowed to ask any question, asked to help in my principal investigator’s household work. He used foul language, forced me to work at least 12 hours every day, even on weekends. I tried hard to stay but gave up after 6 months and joined another lab. The lesson I learnt: Quit (as soon as possible) if you are not respected or treated properly. A mentor who does not provoke thought or gives you the freedom to ask questions, will likely not aid your career much. Choose your research mentor wisely. You can not do science when you have a micro-manager or a bad human for a mentor.
  4. During my undergraduate, I was selected for a presentation for a national-level scholarship. I researched hard for a project on neural tube defects and but I was not well prepared for the presentation. And thus I failed to get the scholarship. Lesson learnt: Bad communication or presentation skills will dampen your science. Work on them, ask for feedback from your mentor and lab mates. Do mock presentations, write notes, try recording and listening to them to improve your sentences and script.
  5. While I was doing Ph.D. I never explored anything beyond my lab. But during postdoc, I started attending various courses on entrepreneurship and leadership skills. This helped me start my own company (Scipreneur). Researchers seldom explore things beyond their labs. Remember, your network is your net worth. Try to participate in courses, meetings, competitions, and networking events. Use social media wisely and to your benefit. Read biographies, listen and watch good talks and podcasts. They will help you in multiple ways. Like how to manage stress and time, how to cope with failures, how to deal with relationship hurdles, and how to envision your future with a better goal? Do more informational interviews, where you ask an expert’s time to discuss how they achieved their goals.
  6. Entrepreneurship was always on my mind but I never explored it as I felt I lacked the skills required. I failed to start on some interesting ideas and later found that someone had worked on them successfully. It took me 6 to 7 years to realise that Ph.D. and postdoc leverage us with so many traits like leadership, mentoring, communication, negotiation, perseverance, collaboration, and entrepreneurial skills. Do not undervalue yourself. Learn to swim beyond your safe zone and against the currents. It will not only boost your confidence but also enhance your ability to cope with challenges.
  7. I have seen researchers working day and night but failing to achieve big. Donkey work will seldom give you great science and big breaks; smart work will. You need to polish your ideas, questions, plans and execution. Teamwork is dream work, so never hesitate to ask for help. Collaborate and discuss with peers. I also learnt to use technology in the right way to accelerate the pace of research and increase efficiency. For example, use software and languages for better and fast analysis, LinkedIn for better collaboration and learning, Evernote for writing and as a virtual notebook, simple web-based software for colony counting and standard curve plotting, and different online tools to make beautiful figures and presentations.

We cannot predict failure, but we should keep the lessons learnt imprinted in our minds. Collaborative learning and sharing help us see mistakes more positively. Failures can rewire our brains and give us the confidence to approach problems from a different angle. They force us to question our hypotheses, plans, protocols, execution, and experimental setups. The greatest thing a scientist can discover is “a novel or better question”. Give yourself permission to fail and explore.

Genetic sequencing tools key to pandemic fight

Indian-born British chemist Shankar Balasubramanian recently won the Millennium Technology Prize, instituted by the Technology Academy Finland, for development of revolutionary DNA sequencing techniques. Vanita Srivastava caught up with him to understand the award winning genetic sequencing work that has widely impacted the fields of genomics, medicine and biology.

[Shankar Balasubramanian is a Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, a Senior Group Leader at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He won the one million euro prize jointly with David Klenerman.]

Shankar Balasubramanian

University of Cambridge

Q. Tell us about your genome sequencing technology and how it has impacted the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A. Prof David Klenerman and I are co-inventors of Solexa-Illumina Next Generation DNA Sequencing (NGS). The technology was fully developed at Solexa into an integrated, commercial system, then further improved by the team in Illumina. This technology has enabled fast, accurate, low-cost and large-scale genome sequencing, which is the process of determining the complete DNA sequence of an organism’s make-up.

During the pandemic, NGS has been providing an effective way to study SARS-CoV-2’s genetic make-up and help us track the viral mutations, which continues to be a great global concern. This work has also helped the creation of multiple vaccines now being administered worldwide and is critical to the creation of new vaccines against new dangerous viral strains.

Q. India is now a hotspot of coronavirus mutants. How can this technology help address problems relating to this?

A. By studying and understanding the genetic make-up of the new mutant using our technology, we can identify its potential as a new threat by knowing how it differs from the other variants. Further, I hope that our technology can be useful in sequencing the genomes of people who have had COVID and trying to get an understanding of why some people are severely affected by the disease and others are asymptomatic. This approach could identify risk factors in specific people that may also be applicable to other viruses in years to come.

Q. What other potential use does this technology have?

A. The technology has a huge transformative impact in the fields of genomics, medicine and biology. It is being applied widely in the basic research of living systems, as DNA and RNA are fundamental to cells and organisms. Aspects of living systems include genetics, the expression of genes, the structure of DNA in the nucleus and differences between cells, to name but a few.

The technology is beginning to be applied in medicine, particularly in the areas of cancer and rare diseases. The applications in medicine will grow as we sequence more human genomes allowing the idea of personalised medicine where diseases are more optimally treated by understanding the individual and the drugs that are used are designed to correct the molecular pathway that has gone in a specific person. It will also be used in agriculture to breed species with desired properties.

Over the past few years, there have been tremendous advances in cancer, both with therapy and also detection and diagnosis. Over the coming decades, the goal is to use this technology to help make some cancers become manageable diseases because they are detected sufficiently early and it’s clear what has to be done. This could also hopefully be extended to other complex diseases such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Q. What are the challenges to personalised genomic medicine?

A. Developing an effective and efficient infrastructure for sequencing patients on a large scale and using their genetic profile to help make the decisions in regard to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of their disease is currently the biggest challenge.

How outreach blends my worlds as a scientist and mom

Karishma S Kaushik, an Assistant Professor and Ramalingaswami Fellow at the Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology in Savitribai Phule Pune University turned the pandemic into an opportune time to spur children’s interest in science, including her own son’s.

Karishma with son Abhay.

My phone pinged in the middle of the session. It was a message from my almost 10-year-old son. “Spelling mistake in slide 36. Instead of 1st you wrote ist” – the message read. I chuckled. Here I was, conducting a summer science quiz for children and their families across India, and getting instant feedback from the next room in the house. This was a heart-warming moment. It effortlessly represented how in a pandemic-stricken year, science outreach bridged my worlds as a scientist and a mother.

The pandemic forced a nation-wide lockdown in India in March 2020. It was around this time that my research colleague Snehal Kadam and I co-founded Talk to a Scientist. Schools were closed and I was giving informal science lessons to my son at home. He had so many questions – What is this virus? What is a pandemic? Why do we need to wear masks? Does the virus spread through food? As our science conversations gathered steam, I saw an opportunity in this rather distressful time to get children interested in, and excited about, science. I asked my son, “Do you think other kids your age, your friends for example, would be keen to talk to a scientist about all that is going on?” He was excited, “That would be great mom, but not just COVID, other topics as well.”

The first session of our webinar series went live on March 30, 2020, befittingly on COVID-19 for kids. Snehal and I made the visual content for the session, and I ran it by my son. He made edits and suggestions, and we got ready to roll. We expected 5 children to show up, and I was counting on my son and his cousins to be three of them. Much to our surprise and excitement, we had 75 children from across India join in. On popular demand, we started a weekly webinar for young minds.

The project has grown, and my son and I have spent hours brainstorming. For a session on medicines, he asked us to change the word ‘drug’ to ‘medicine’ on the slides. ‘Kids should not think you are talking about those kinds of ‘drugs’ that make people woozy, mom!” he said. I laughed and thought, my son is growing up. When I suggested a theme for a season, he would quickly come up with names from among my colleagues to be the guest scientists. “What about that scientist who works on peafowls, you shared a room with her in the Delhi conclave?” He has been a part of my professional life through conversations and conference books I brought back home, and now he was using it all to contribute to our outreach programme!

On the momentous occasion of us winning a grant to grow the platform, he stood near me, jumping with excitement, as I called Snehal to tell her the good news. Through weekly sessions spread over one year, he has enjoyed doing small jobs for the outreach – suggesting new features in the website, ideating for hands-on sessions with home supplies (as a parent myself, I did not want families to go out shopping for supplies in the middle of a pandemic), checking for typos in the slides, and sending flyers and posters to his school friends. For him, the ownership and importance of being a part of a national outreach programme has been thrilling. I would like to think that he will grow up to remember how it all started, with a casual conversation between us at home, and the time we spent together growing it in what was otherwise a tough year.

For me, in a year filled with professional uncertainties, pressures of working from home and home-schooling, science outreach has been a beautiful amalgam of my roles as a scientist and a mother. When the world was turning to science for answers, the scientist in me wanted to contribute to science outreach and education in the country, by sharing the process of scientific discovery and its power to transform lives and livelihoods. That I could co-create this with my son made this initiative even more special. Since the time I was a pregnant PhD student, determined to balance my life and career as a scientist and mother, I have day-dreamed scenarios where my son and I would talk about scientific advances, when he would join me on conference trips, and even imagined the possibility of us working together some day. I would like to believe that ‘Talk to a Scientist’ is the beginning of this journey.

While there have been numerous fun moments, one has been extra special. In the middle of one of the sessions, I caught my son taking a snack break in the kitchen. I looked at him questioningly, “Why are you not attending the webinar?” He replied matter-of-factly, “Your slides got a little boring mom, I will help you make better ones for next week”.

In addition to correcting typos, such no-filter feedback has been part of the deal!

Announcing winners of Nature India Photo Contest 2020

After a week of open voting for favourites, and selection by a global jury of Nature Research editors and designers, we are ready to roll out the verdict of the Nature India Photo Contest 2020.

The photographs have been judged for their adherence to this year’s theme ‘pandemic’, for their creative thinking, quality and print worthiness.

The winner of the Nature India photo contest 2020 is:

Partha Paul

for his powerful composition ‘Sampling immunity’, which has a child in the middle of the COVID-19 triangle, and symbols of the virus and the protective mother on either sides.

In Partha Paul’s words: “A health worker collects blood sample from a child in Kolkata, West Bengal as part of a sero survey to determine prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in populations. In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, these surveys were conducted to determine what part of a population had developed antibodies. This was the first day of antibody tests in Kolkata’s Belgachia slum, one of the worst affected by COVID-19. This child, seen here with her mother, came from a ‘red zone’ where the government had enforced maximum containment measures.”

The second prize goes to:

Amitava Chandra

for his striking picture ‘Immersive innovation’, which makes a beautiful juxtaposition of faiths — of religion and of science.

Amitava Chandra says, “The annual Durga Puja festivities end with the immersion of the gods’ idols in river Hooghly, a tributary of the Ganges. Every year thousands of people take part in the idol immersion processions. Following COVID-19 restrictions, the festival organising committees created temporary water bodies to ‘immerse’ the clay-made idols by dissolving them with high power water jets, like in this picture taken at the Tridhara Sanmilani Puja Pandal, Kolkata on 26 October 2020. The benefits were two-fold – no processions, and no pollution of the Ganges’ waters.”

The third prize winner is:

Kaushik Dutta

for his imaginative picture ‘Migrant trouble’, which captures in the eyes of a child the threat of the pandemic symbolised by the ‘gun’ of the thermometer.

“Sending millions of migrant workers from across Indian cities back to their hometowns became a herculean task for the Indian government during the COVID-19 lockdown. This little girl boarded a train of migrant workers hoping to return home with her family. Unaware of the pandemic and what it means, she looks on with amazement at a healthcare worker in protective gear measuring her temperature with a thermal gun at the Howrah train station in West Bengal, India.”

Many congratulations to the winners!

The winners of the Nature India photo contest 2020 will get cash awards ($350, $250 and $200 respectively). They will receive a copy of the Nature India Annual Volume 2020 and a bag of goodies from Nature Research. One of the winning entries also stands a chance of being featured on the cover of a forthcoming print publication.

A special mention for all our other finalists (Deepak KumbharNila Nandi, Sandip Sarkar, Aishwarya Nilakhe, Sourav KarmakarAnindya Chattopadhyay), whose pictures portrayed various aspects of the pandemic’s socio-cultural impact. These pictures will linger in our memories for a long time.

Nature India Photo Contest 2020: Finalist #10

Marking the end of the shortlist, we unveil finalist #10 in the Nature India Photo Contest 2020 themed ‘pandemic’:

Kaushik Dutta, Kolkata, West Bengal

Photo Caption: Migrant trouble

“Sending millions of migrant workers from across Indian cities back to their hometowns became a herculean task for the Indian government during the COVID-19 lockdown. This little girl boarded a train of migrant workers hoping to return home with her family. Unaware of the pandemic and what it means, she looks on with amazement at a healthcare worker in protective gear measuring her temperature with a thermal gun at the Howrah train station in West Bengal, India.” — Kaushik Dutta

Congratulations Kaushik for for your second entry making it to the top 10 shortlist of the Nature India Photo Contest!

That brings us to the final picture in the 2020 Nature India Photo Contest shortlist. Watch this space for the announcement of the winners in the coming weeks.

The Nature India editorial and design teams have chosen ten stunning finalists, that will be rolled out (in no particular order of merit) over the next few days. These entries have been judged for novelty, creativity, quality and print worthiness. Nature India’s final decision to chose the winner will be partly influenced by the engagement and reception these pictures receive here at the Indigenus blog, on Twitter and on Facebook. To give all finalists a fair chance, we will consider the social media engagement each picture gets only during the first seven days of its announcement. The final results will be announced sometime in early February 2021.

Watch this space as we announce the other finalists in the coming days. Like, share and comment on your favourite photos on Twitter and on Facebook with the hashtag #NatureIndphoto to make them win.

The winning pictures will get cash prizes worth $350, $250 and $200 respectively. The top 10 finalists will be featured here, on Nature India’s blog Indigenus and in our subsequent annual issue.

The winner and runners-up will also receive a copy of the Nature India Annual Volume 2020 and a bag of Nature Research goodies. Winning entries stand a chance of being featured on the cover of one of our forthcoming print publications.

 

Nature India Photo Contest 2020: Finalist #9

Here’s finalist #9 in the Nature India Photo Contest 2020 themed ‘pandemic’:

Nila Nandi, Kolkata, West Bengal

Photo Caption: Sole congregation

“A man offers namaz alone at the famous Lodhi Gardens in Delhi following restrictions on religious congregations under the COVID-19 social distancing protocol.” — Nila Nandi

Congratulations Nila for making top 10 shortlist of Nature India Photo Contest!

The Nature India editorial and design teams have chosen ten stunning finalists, that will be rolled out (in no particular order of merit) over the next few days. These entries have been judged for novelty, creativity, quality and print worthiness. Nature India’s final decision to chose the winner will be partly influenced by the engagement and reception these pictures receive here at the Indigenus blog, on Twitter and on Facebook. To give all finalists a fair chance, we will consider the social media engagement each picture gets only during the first seven days of its announcement. The final results will be announced sometime in early February 2021.

Watch this space as we announce the other finalists in the coming days. Like, share and comment on your favourite photos on Twitter and on Facebook with the hashtag #NatureIndphoto to make them win.

The winning pictures will get cash prizes worth $350, $250 and $200 respectively. The top 10 finalists will be featured here, on Nature India’s blog Indigenus and in our subsequent annual issue.

The winner and runners-up will also receive a copy of the Nature India Annual Volume 2020 and a bag of Nature Research goodies. Winning entries stand a chance of being featured on the cover of one of our forthcoming print publications.

Nature India Photo Contest 2020: Finalist #8

And now it’s time for the finalist #8 in the Nature India Photo Contest 2020 themed ‘pandemic’:

Sandip Sarkar, Kolkata, West Bengal

Photo Caption: Safety is in fashion

“As the World Health Organisation deemed cloth masks fit for use, apparel designers across the world made masks that would appeal to youngsters and encourage them to wear the simple protective gear to check the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This young woman was happy to be clicked with her mask on, as she stepped out of home during the festival season, making a fashion statement alongside practicing safety.” — Sandip Sarkar

Congratulations Sandip for making it to the top 10 of the Nature India Photo Contest!

The Nature India editorial and design teams have chosen ten stunning finalists, that will be rolled out (in no particular order of merit) over the next few days. These entries have been judged for novelty, creativity, quality and print worthiness. Nature India’s final decision to chose the winner will be partly influenced by the engagement and reception these pictures receive here at the Indigenus blog, on Twitter and on Facebook. To give all finalists a fair chance, we will consider the social media engagement each picture gets only during the first seven days of its announcement. The final results will be announced sometime in early February 2021.

Watch this space as we announce the other finalists in the coming days. Like, share and comment on your favourite photos on Twitter and on Facebook with the hashtag #NatureIndphoto to make them win.

The winning pictures will get cash prizes worth $350, $250 and $200 respectively. The top 10 finalists will be featured here, on Nature India’s blog Indigenus and in our subsequent annual issue.

The winner and runners-up will also receive a copy of the Nature India Annual Volume 2020 and a bag of Nature Research goodies. Winning entries stand a chance of being featured on the cover of one of our forthcoming print publications.

Nature India Photo Contest 2020: Finalist #7

And it’s time for finalist #7 in the Nature India Photo Contest 2020 themed ‘pandemic’:

Aishwarya Nilakhe, New Delhi

Photo Caption: All-pervasive pandemic

“A researcher at the National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi, picks up a forgotten hobby to relieve the mental stress of the pandemic but ends up painting the very malady he is trying to get his mind away from. Painting by Owais Rashid Hakeim.” — Aishwarya Nilakhe

Many congratulations Aishwarya for featuring in the top 10 of the Nature India Photo Contest!

The Nature India editorial and design teams have chosen ten stunning finalists, that will be rolled out (in no particular order of merit) over the next few days. These entries have been judged for novelty, creativity, quality and print worthiness. Nature India’s final decision to chose the winner will be partly influenced by the engagement and reception these pictures receive here at the Indigenus blog, on Twitter and on Facebook. To give all finalists a fair chance, we will consider the social media engagement each picture gets only during the first seven days of its announcement. The final results will be announced sometime in early February 2021.

Watch this space as we announce the other finalists in the coming days. Like, share and comment on your favourite photos on Twitter and on Facebook with the hashtag #NatureIndphoto to make them win.

The winning pictures will get cash prizes worth $350, $250 and $200 respectively. The top 10 finalists will be featured here, on Nature India’s blog Indigenus and in our subsequent annual issue.

The winner and runners-up will also receive a copy of the Nature India Annual Volume 2020 and a bag of Nature Research goodies. Winning entries stand a chance of being featured on the cover of one of our forthcoming print publications.