25 April 2023 – In the week from 27 February to 3 March 2023, a delegation comprising 23 EMBO Members, EMBO Young Investigators, EMBO Global Investigators and EMBO staff visited nine research institutes located across India with the goal of fostering collaboration and ties with scientists in the country.
The day-long programme at each location included scientific talks by EMBO community members as well as presentations informing Indian life scientists about EMBO opportunities available to them such as EMBO Fellowships and the EMBO Young Investigator Network. Furthermore, EMBO Solutions trainers ran soft-skill workshops and EMBO Press editors discussed scientific publications. EMBO Associate Members from India joined the proceedings. Participants had the chance to network and exchange ideas.
The events were organised by EMBO together with scientists, their lab members and EMBO community members at the institutes in India. “The scientific talks and the talks on EMBO opportunities and scientific publishing were received with a lot of enthusiasm from the participants, especially students. The softskills workshops offered young PIs insightful solutions while addressing teamwork, motivation and conflict resolution in lab management. All participants had an exciting time and felt enriched,” said EMBO Global Investigator Aravind Penmatsa from the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru.
“Participation in the delegation was not just a professional journey, but an enriching experience that broadened my horizons,” said Markus Ralser, EMBO Member and professor at Charité Universitätsmedizin in Berlin, who was part of the delegation that visited the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Thiruvananthapuram. “Interacting with brilliant Indian scientists, understanding their scientific challenges and exploring their diverse cultural heritage, has been a humbling and eye-opening experience that has left a lasting impression on me,” he said.
Participants also took a lot away from the events. “There were various talks, from host-pathogen interactions to cancer biology and plant biology,” said a PhD student who participated at the event in Chandigarh. “It was quite informative, and we got to interact with the professors as well. It was a fruitful experience,” he added. “I was fortunate enough to attend the talks arranged by EMBO. I was able to access knowledge from a range of disciplines,” said another participant at the same event, currently also doing a PhD. “I got to make many new contacts and I also got to make many new friends,” she added.
“I gratefully acknowledge the Department of Biotechnology and Indian scientists whose groundwork led to India becoming an Associate Member State of EMBC, the EMBO funding body, in 2016. The original aim of strengthening scientific interaction and collaborative research between scientists in India, Europe and beyond is being achieved,” said Fiona Watt, EMBO Director. Researchers working in India are eligible to participate in all EMBO Programmes and activities, including EMBO Fellowships, EMBO Courses & Workshops, as well as the EMBO Young Investigator Network. EMBO communities and networks extend around the globe and include scientists at all career stages.
The institutes visited were the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru; Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh; Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai; Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology, Delhi; Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, Hyderabad; Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata; Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai; Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune; and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram. EMBO delegates also met with officials in the Department of Biology and other government and non-governmental agencies.
Find the programmes of the events at events.embo.org/india/