News and Updates

  • Registration is now open for Sci-ROI Annual Event, YIM-C 2017

    Sci-ROI is pleased to announce that our second multidisciplinary Young Investigators Meeting at Chicago, 2017 (YIM-C 2017) will be held in September, 2017. YIM-C 2017 will provide a forum for networking among scholars from academia, industry, entrepreneurs and policy makers from India and the United States to facilitate interactions, exchange of ideas and experiences to help promote multi-level collaborative initiatives across various disciplines. Register here!.


  • Sci-ROI Annual Event
    Young Investigators Meeting - Chicago 2017

    Sci-ROI is pleased to announce that our second multidisciplinary Young Investigators Meeting at Chicago, 2017 (YIM-C 2017) will be held in September, 2017. YIM-C 2017 will provide a forum for networking among scholars from academia, industry, entrepreneurs and policy makers from India and the United States to facilitate interactions, exchange of ideas and experiences to help promote multi-level collaborative initiatives across various disciplines. Stay tuned for more details!.


  • Young Investigators Meeting, 2017 at Chicago

    The Young Investigators Meeting (YIM) held in Chicago on October 21-23, 2016 was recently featured on TV Asia. The video segment can be viewed below.


  • Dr. Tarun Mohindra

    Science Counsellor (S & T), Embassy of India, Washington DC

    Webinar by Dr. Tarun Mohindra, Science Counsellor (S & T), Embassy of India, Washington DC

    Sci-ROI members can watch a video featuring Dr. Tarun Mohindra in which he talks about the growing science and technology partnership between India and the US and the various initiatives that have been undertaken under this partnership. Dr. Mohindra is the Science Counsellor/Attaché (Science and Technology), Embassy of India, Washington D.C.


  • 150 Sci-ROI members attend YIM2016, Chicago

    A three-day Young Investigators Meeting - Chicago (YIM-C) was held at the Consulate of India, Chicago and the prestigious University of Chicago with about 150 young Indian scientists gathering in the windy city to discuss ways for getting the best of minds back to their country, India. The first YIM hosted in the mid-western United States was organized by Science and Research Opportunities in India (Sci-ROI), a volunteer not-for-profit organization comprising research scientists, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students under the auspices of WINStep Forward (a 501(c)3 organization). YIM-C aims to be instrumental in showcasing the diversity of talent in the mid-west to policy makers, institutional heads, and talent hunters from India, while exposing Sci-ROI members, many of whom are undertaking cutting-edge research and development, to the unlimited opportunity for engagement and collaboration in various sectors thus, enabling establishment of a network between individuals and agencies in India and the US.

    The Consulate General of India, Chicago, hosted over 100 YIM-C participants in the forum titled 'Indo-US Partnerships' on October 21st, 2016, at the Consulate premises to to promote multi-level collaborative initiatives across various disciplines in Academia, Industry and Government between India and the United States. Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India, Chicago delivered the welcome remarks and urged the young investigators to actively participate in nation building by making significant contributions to the socio-economic development of India. He also invited them to wholeheartedly participate in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Flagship Programs, including "Make in India", "Skills India", "Digital India", and "Green India". He advised the YIM-C participants to engage with the Government of India by using the portal: MyGov.in. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. R. Brakaspathy, Secretary, Science and Engineering Research Board, Government of India, New Delhi. He explained the research funding opportunities, extramural funding availability to individual researchers and fellowships for faculty members in SERB. The session was also addressed by Dr. Mangala Sharma, Program Director, Office of International Science and Engineering, National Science Foundation, Mr. Jonathan Ward, Principal Commercial Officer, United States Department of Commerce, Consulate General of United States in India, Kolkata, Dr. Shekhar Mishra, Deputy Project Manager, Indian Institute and Fermilab Collaboration, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Vinod (Vinny) Gupta, Chair, Ohio Board of Regents. The speakers appreciated the importance attached to the India-US collaboration initiatives and the efforts of the Government of India to include the various segments of the scientific community and the industry to accelerate the pace of development in several sectors.

    Session 1

    The venue of the second day (October 22nd) event was the Donnelley Biological Sciences Learning Center (BSLC) on the University of Chicago campus, more than 150 participants were in attendance. The opening remarks were delivered by Professor Aseem Ansari, University of Wisconsin - Madison who is the xo-founder of WINStep Forward and serves as a mentor for the Sci-ROI committee that organized the YIM-C event. He was followed by welcome notes from Dean and Director Nancy Schwartz and Vice-Provost Melina Hale of the University of Chicago. The first session “Research and funding opportunities in India” had talks featuring Dr.R.Brakaspathy, Secretary, Science and Engineering Research Board, Government of India, New Delhi and Dr.Shahid Jameel, CEO, Welcome-DBT Alliance. Dr.R.Brakaspathy and Dr.Shahid Jameel listed the various fellowships and funding resources available to the individuals interested in moving back to India as well as the new faculty recruits in various institutes in India by their respective agencies.

    Session 2

    The second session started with an inspiring talk from Sam Pitroda, who has served as advisor to the Indian Government over the years. The session further explored emerging trends from Institutional perspectives, where participants learned about the various opportunities for research in India and got useful career tips from experienced scientist and heads of institutes. Speakers include Prof. Dipankar Chatterji (Indian Institute of Science), Prof. Ajit Chaturvedi (Deputy Director, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur), Prof. Sudhanshu Vrati (Executive Director, Regional Center for Biotechnology), Prof. Ramaswamy (National Center for biological Sciences) and Dr. Shekhar Mishra (Deputy Project Manager, PIP-II Indian Institute and Fermilab Collaboration).

    Session 3

    The panel discussed Building a Research Career in India, the opportunities and challenges faced by young investigators actively exploring careers in India, highlighting how and why many young individuals have succeeded despite the present hurdles in India. In addition, the panel looked at some of the more recent dynamic policy changes initiated by the various institutions and government. YIM-C participants presented their perspective on the challenges they face while applying for faculty position and establishing a connection with Indian officials at various levels and stages. The panel also recommended that those seriously interested apply early and connect with host institutions in India. They were also reminded of the growing competition and the challenge for them to be truly globally competitive irrespective of their international experiences. On being asked about the serious challenges that need to be addressed, including that of basic supplies, research funds and quality of research, Dr. Brakaspathy, Secretary, SERB India said, although the government is making every effort to arrest shortcomings,it should enhance measures to attract these issues to ensure the Indian talent returns back to the country.

    Session 4

    Johnathan Ward, Principal Commercial Officer, United States Consulate in India, Kolkata emphasized that both US and India had mutual interest in generating sustainable economic growth, creating jobs, improving the business and investment climate, enhancing livelihoods, and sustaining the rules-based global order. Professor Sam Ramesh (Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University) highlighted the need to focus on fundamental needs of the less privileged community. Michael Rosen, Managing Director of Rosen Biosciences, LLC and Co-founder and Board of Directors, Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (I-BIO) discussed science parks and how they fit into the life science industry in India. He explained how the parks with a mixture of small and large companies will allow for insightful commercialization. Gopal Dasika, Vice President, Biologics Development Center at Pfizer engaged the audience with his personal story of moving as faculty from UT Medical Center at Houston to India. Dr.Dasika said, “Candidates contemplating relocating need to clearly identify the motivations and strongly consider familial needs so as not to develop cold feet at the very end after having engaged in a long-tedious recruitment process.” Dinesh Jain provided an overview to the attendees of the various opportunities, initiatives and trends in India today. Finally, Dr. Lukhwinder Hundal, CTO, InNow, LLC, presented the audience with various commercial initiatives to clean water of effluents. The growing need for clean water, the large unserved population of India, and the dearth of wastewater treatment facilities were underlined as part of his presentation.

    Session 5

    The venue of the third day (October 23) event was also the Donnelley Biological Sciences Learning Center (BSLC) on the University of Chicago campus. Session 5 continued the previous day's discussion on Emerging trends based on institutional perspectives and started with Prof. L. S. Shashidhara, Dean (Research and Development) and Chair of Biology at IISER, Pune, Vice-President of Indian National Science Academy (INSA), New Delhi followed by Prof. Siddhartha Roy, Director, Bose Institute, Kolkatta, Prof. S. Ramaswamy, Senior Professor, NCBS, Bangalore, Prof. Tapas Kundu, JNCASR, Bangalore, and Prof. Yamuna Krishnan, University of Chicago.

    Session 6

    Session 6 was dedicated again to Innovation landscape - Make in India/Entrepreneurship continuing the series of talks in session 5. Prof. Arun Goyal emphasized other aspects of research where youth can play a big role and become successful entrepreneurs. He encouraged audience members to focus on sectors like waste management, food processing and disaster management which are the need of time in India. After this, Prof. Assem Ansari talked about how Sci-ROI came into existence from Bose-Khorana programme and Winstep Forward in his concluding remarks. Prof Ansari urged young scientists to come along and do science for the betterment of our society and country.

    Concluding note

    “We are always on the lookout for great talent, and this event addresses that need”, said Professor A.K. Chaturvedi, Deputy Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. “It was a very good event”, said Professor Dipankar Chatterji, Indian Institute of Science, Banglore. India is indeed rapidly becoming a global research, design and development hub. To this effect, more than 1,000 companies from around the world have set up their R&D centres in India. Ambitious bright scientists left India for better opportunities and, over the years, gained vital exposure to the best global research labs. After years of experimenting and collaborating with some of the top scientists in the world, they have now chosen to return to their homeland. There are over 2,00,000 scientists and engineers are working abroad, at least a fourth of whom have returned back to India. Several more continue to seek such opportunities. YIM-C organized by the Science and Research Opportunities in India provides a multidisciplinary platform for these young scientists to seek advanced career opportunities in India.


  • Young Investigators Meeting, Oct 21-23, 2016 at Chicago

    Science and Research Opportunities in India is pleased to launch the first ever Young Investigators Meeting - Chicago (YIM-C) in our 2016 annual event on Oct 21-23, 2016.

    The event is co-hosted by Consulate General of India at Chicago, University of Chicago and WINStep Forward. The event is limited to 125 participants.

    The YIM-C event will help facilitate interaction of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists, scholars, industry leaders and entrepreneurs with senior policy makers, scientists and entrepreneurs from India to promote multi-level, multi-disciplinary collaborative initiatives in academia, industry and government between India and the United States. This meeting will be an important resource in finding your niche in India as well as in the United States.


  • Annual Event to be held on Oct 21-23, 2016 in Chicago

    Sci-ROI is pleased to announce that our next annual event will be held on Oct 21-23, 2016 in Chicago. An exciting program is being planned and the details will be shared with you very soon. We look forward to your participation in the event. If you have any questions, please write to us at info@sci-roi.org.

    To receive updates about the annual event, please register to become a Sci-ROI member. To know more about the annual event, you may read about the inaugural 2015 event here.

    Photo: Prof. T.K. Chandrashekar, Secretary, Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), Govt. of India addressing the audience at the 2015 event held at the Consulate General of India, Chicago.


  • Sci-ROI Annual Event, 2016

    We are in the process of putting together our annual event where you will get to network with leaders from industry, academia as well as officials from the Government of India at Chicago. The event will be held on either 6-7th October or 11-12th October, 2016.We have put together a poll to decide the date of the event. Please submit your response before Tuesday, July 5 midnight Central Time. Also, please feel free to forward it to your friends and colleagues who might be interested in attending.To receive updates about the annual event, please register to become a Sci-ROI member. To know more about the annual event, you may read about the inaugural 2015 event here.


  • Prof. Aseem Ansari

    University of Wisconsin, Madison and WINStep Forward

    Opportunities in India: Webinar rescheduled for February 25 at 6 p.m. CT

    Prof. Ansari's webinar, originally scheduled for January 28, will now be held on Thursday, February 25 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time. If you did not register for the January event, please click here to register. Registration is required to attend the webinar and an access link will be e-mailed to registrants 2-3 days prior to the event.

    Prof. Aseem Ansari's webinar is titled Opportunities in India. He is a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and the Genome Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is also the Chairman of WINStep Forward, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote scientific exchange between USA and India. Prof. Ansari serves as a mentor for Sci-ROI.


  • Prof. Aseem Ansari

    University of Wisconsin, Madison and WINStep Forward

    Opportunities in India: A webinar on January 28 at 6 p.m. CT

    Sci-ROI will be conducting regular webinars on topics of interest to scholars keen on exploring opportunities in India. The first webinar will be held on Thursday, January 28 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time. Registration is required to attend the webinar and an access link will be e-mailed to registrants 2-3 days prior to the event. Click here to register.

    The first webinar will feature Prof. Aseem Ansari and is titled Opportunities in India. Prof. Aseem Ansari is a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and the Genome Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is also the Chairman of WINStep Forward, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote scientific exchange between U.S. and India. Prof. Ansari serves as a mentor for Sci-ROI.


  • Sci-ROI Vision Document now available

    The Vision Document for Science & Research Opportunities in India (Sci-ROI) is now available on our website (click here to view document). This document describes the vision, scope, and core values of the organization and also lists specific events and programs that will be planned by the Sci-ROI initiative.


  • A Report on the Inaugural Sci-ROI Event

    Science & Research Opportunities in India (Sci-ROI) is a new forum for research scholars in the U.S. to interact with senior representatives from Indian science organizations and institutes. Led by Prof. Aseem Ansari of the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the WINStep Forward organization, the forum intends to increase awareness about career options in India and to allow scholars to get more information about the research environment and science policy in India. Sci-ROI welcomes scholars from all nationalities and is open to undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members as well as industry employees.

    The inaugural Sci-ROI event took place on Friday, May 22 at the Indian consulate in Chicago. This was a joint event with the 2015 Khorana and Bose Scholars and was attended by over 150 people including 25 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from a variety of scientific and engineering disciplines. Sci-ROI participants came from a diverse set of institutions including M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Ohio State University, Purdue University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago and at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

    The event was divided into two sessions. During the morning session, attendees got a chance to engage with Prof. T. K. Chandrashekar, Secretary, Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Govt. of India, Dr. Rajiv Sharma, Executive Director, Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), and Dr. Tarun Mohindra, Science Counsellor (S&T), Embassy of India, Washington DC. This interactive session involved Sci-ROI participants posing questions to the visiting science policy leaders. Scholars sought information about funding opportunities, the feasibility of doing interdisciplinary research, and the availability of research infrastructure and computational resources among other issues. All three leaders painted a vibrant picture of the research scene in India and conveyed sincerity on part of the Indian government to promote research exemplified by Prime Minister Modi’s efforts to bring accomplished scholars back to India. Some participants expressed their concern about obtaining specialty reagents and mouse strains in India, and others enquired about transition grants equivalent to the NIH K99 program. The latter concerns were addressed during Prof. Chandrashekar’s afternoon presentation.

    The afternoon session featured a welcome address by Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India, Chicago and talks by Prof. Chandrashekar and Dr. Sharma among others. Prof. Chandrashekar gave a 25-minute presentation about research opportunities in India with an emphasis on different fellowship and funding schemes including mechanisms for promoting partnerships between academia and industry and for encouraging women scientists. Dr. Sharma gave an overview of the various programs promoted by IUSSTF and how it offers a mechanism for international collaboration between the U.S. and India. Prof. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India also conveyed his best wishes to the Sci-ROI initiative through a pre-recorded video. Presentations from the afternoon session would be made available on the WINStep Forward web site.

    Following the talks, participants got an opportunity to engage in one-on-one discussion with visiting delegates and fellow attendees during a brief networking session. Towards the end of the day, remaining participants had an informal conversation with Prof. Ansari about the opportunities and challenges in doing research in India and how to move Sci-ROI forward.

    While some concerns remain, this event was a promising start to a sustained dialog between American scholars and the Indian science establishment. Dr. Sumitha Nallu, a Research Associate from the University of Chicago reflected on the event stating “It was a wonderful opportunity to meet and listen to prominent Indian scientists and policy makers regarding the exciting prospects for young scientists in India at the first Sci-ROI event in Chicago. I think the Sci-ROI forum that is currently under works would prove to be a very helpful resource for all the scientists aspiring to build their careers back home.”

    Prof. Chandrashekar, in his talk, referred to the long-term policy of increasing the number of personnel in the Indian research and development sector by five-fold, the intention of opening an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), an Indian Institute of Management (IIM), and an All-India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in every state, and the possibility of doubling research investment from 0.8% of GDP to around 2%. Such a dramatic scale-up, evidently, would present many opportunities and challenges. Sci-ROI should play an important role in this scaling up process.

    This post has been authored by Dr. Sri Ram. Dr. Ram is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is a member of the organizing team of Sci-ROI.


  • The Sci-ROI Forum is up and running!

    We have created a new Google Groups forum for Science & Research Opportunities in India. You will need to subscribe to the Sci-ROI Google Group to access the forum.

    The forum will be used to communicate information about Sci-ROI events and to host discussions on topics such as funding opportunities, job openings, and research climate in India. The forum welcomes scholars from all nationalities and is open to undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members as well as industry employees.

    The forum can be accessed using the web interface or by e-mail. You can submit a post by sending an e-mail to forum@sci-roi.org from the e-mail address you used to subscribe to the forum.