Dr. Sriram is currently a faculty of biology at the School of Arts and Sciences at Azim Premji University. He received his undergraduate degree in computer science and engineering from IIT Kanpur, India and his Ph.D. in biology from Rockefeller University, USA. He completed his 1st postdoc from University of Pennsylvania and the 2nd one from University of Wisconsin-Madison (Wisconsin Institute of Discovery). He was one of the founding members of Sci-ROI in 2015. The following is an edited transcript of an interview that took place between Dr. Sriram and the Sci-ROI Blogs Team.
During your postdoc, when did you realize that you were ready to apply for a job in India?
Did you have any mentor in India or abroad who helped you during the application process?
You were a member when Sci-ROI was founded in 2015. How effective was being a member of the Sci-ROI organization for your transition?
What kind of jobs were you looking for when you started to think about the transition?
Could you tell us about the application process for a faculty position in India?
For research positions, people apply for external funding or fellowships. How did that work for your position?
What was the X-factor in your proposal that you think helped you in getting the faculty position?
What were the necessary criteria that you absolutely wanted in your potential academic institution?
How did you negotiate your start-up package?
Now that you are a faculty at Azim Premji University School of Arts and Sciences, can you elaborate about your teaching methodologies/philosophy that you use in your classroom?
What are the resources available to assist you in your course/classroom? What kind of modern technologies do you use in your classroom to make it more interactive?
Did you have any prior teaching experience while you were in the US. If so, how did you get the opportunity to do so?
Could you elaborate a bit more on the teaching course (Delta Program) you took in UW Madison?
How has your experience been in designing a new data science course?
Do you have a tenure track system at your university? What are the norms they follow?
Now that you have established your teaching position, what do you think are the advantages or disadvantages of being a teaching faculty in India compared to the US?
Do you think that Indian students will benefit from having virtual classrooms and having direct interactions with faculty abroad? Do you foresee any challenges in implementing such virtual classrooms in India?
What is the current funding and collaborative scenario in India?
Do you think Indian universities have started enough number of degree granting courses or training programs?
If you decide to start a research lab with your undergraduate students, how would you go about it? Do you see any potential challenges?
According to you, when should early career researchers start thinking about transitioning?
What are the soft skills you think people should inculcate during their PhD/post-doc?
Do you think a network of young faculty like you across India will be helpful, and if so, how?
Atul Gopal, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow | National Institute of Health, USA
Doctoral Fellow | Purdue University
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Director, Global STEM Operations | WINStep Forward
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Director, Global STEM Operations
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