Atul Gopal

Atul Gopal, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

National Institute of Health

Website, Technology and Graphics at Sci-ROI

I am a neuroscientist trying to understand how value signals in the brain affects our motor actions. Or in simpler terms how am I able to reach out to my favorite snack “more quickly” compared to a bowl of boiled vegetables.  My path to becoming a neuroscientist was guided by multiple positive influences that I had at different timepoints. SCI-ROI is an organization which strives to provide a positive influence to the hundreds of research scholars working abroad in their journey to return to India. I was drawn to this idea and decided to volunteer in January 2020. We were a group of 10 people, with varying skills and temperaments working on a mission- organize SCI-ROI 2020 young researchers meeting, in a virtual format. We argued, debated and broke our heads over every single detail of this meeting, for hours, every week, for 8 months. This effort helped us to put together a virtual meeting which was well received by hundreds of research scholars all over the world. More importantly it provided me with an opportunity to meet and form strong bonds of comradery with 9 other individuals even though we were all practicing social distancing. My primary role in the SCI-ROI team was to wear the creative hat and design all the posters and flyers to be used for publicizing the 2020 event. Working with other team members, I also helped in organizing the non-traditional career panel, the entrepreneurship panel during the event and facilitated the virtual interviews during the recruitment week.  Overall working with SCI-ROI has given me opportunities to grow beyond my scientific background, developing skills such as teamwork and event management. Most importantly SCI ROI provides a way to channel my energy in creative ways to positively influence people around me. A way to thank and return the favors of all those people, whose influence led me to my destination.


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