Connecting yourself to research opportunities beyond borders | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 17, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, May 17, 2019

Connecting yourself to research opportunities beyond borders

Opportunities to pursue independent research in this country are quite rare. Lacking in structural and monetary support for academic activities, educational institutions here are not very helpful for students who wish to conduct independent research in their chosen fields. Research firms are rare, and often don’t grant liberty to students working for them owing to their unidirectional approach to research.  However, it’s not always feasible for students to conduct research in a foreign land, even if opportunities and sources available there are better. Here are a few easy methods that can help you build effective connections abroad when it comes to research opportunities. 

Citation

If you are a published researcher, increasing citations should be one of your top-most priorities. Citations by peers in your field from foreign universities will carry great weight. You can use these citations as references if you approach an investor or firm, both local and global, for funding your research.  You can e-mail an abstract of your paper to students and faculty members who are working in similar fields and request them for citation. Sometimes it’s hard to connect yourself with other researchers concerned with your field. However, websites like ORCID and Elsevier are designed to create networks between authors of scientific papers with a similar focus. Elsevier also stores information and references from ongoing researches in the North American region, which you can use to support your study.

Formatting your journal

When you are sending your paper to foreign programs, it’s important to ensure that your paper is formatted correctly. The standard varies from region to region. It may create problems if you are using the same format for all programs, but it’s also going to be time-consuming if you have to look for a new format every time you send your paper to a different country. Websites like Typeset can help you in this regard as they store over 100,000 verified formats to choose from for researchers. You can also use this website to connect to peers and customise your citation style.

Research concentration

Determining research concentrations can be a daunting task. Students often find themselves wondering whether a particular issue they want to address through a study is a worthy cause or not. There is also the risk of conducting work on existing researches. A way to tackle this problem is by surveying the current status of contents of your intended document. There are multiple academies dedicated to helping you navigate through this. For example, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) is one such initiative that has an algorithm to track and analyse topics of research by various scientists. You can use its database to discover topics that may interest you and connect you to an ongoing research program that has been verified by the national academy.

Fellowship programs

Apply to fellowship programs of universities and global research firms if you want to experience a work environment. For applying to fellowships, you need some basic credentials. You have to be a full-time student who completed some mandatory courses in science. You will need a reference letter, along with a recommendation from someone you worked under. Faculty evaluations are accepted as well if it’s from a faculty member you worked with on a research project. Universities and firms highly encourage students to start writing a paper before applying, even if the paper is not published. This helps them understand what your interests are and what style you like to follow when it comes to scientific investigation. Big firms like CERN take in online applicants every year as interns, who can apply for fellowships after completion of their internship. They also take direct fellows, but those positions are usually reserved for graduate students.  You can use ProFellow Academy’s website to find out about potential fellowship opportunities online. It has a strong alumni network that constantly updates its database with emerging positions and helps its members in applying successfully to these positions.

Study abroad programs     

Enrolling at study abroad programs that offer research scholarships to students will allow you to generate funding for your intended research along with an enriching academic experience. DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service, offers numerous grants and scholarship opportunities to both undergraduates and post-doctoral students. You can find information regarding paid internships, funding for your research studies and scholarships for study abroad programs through their center located in Dhanmondi residential area, Dhaka. NAFSA, Association of International Educators, is an organisation that connects these study abroad programs and interested faculty members with students looking for professional resources. Connect 123 is a useful website as well for this purpose, even though they aren’t exclusively tailored to research opportunities.

 

Noshin Saiyara is an aspiring conservationist who is deluded into thinking that she can save the planet from dying. Reach her at nsaiyara12gmail.com to bring her back to reality.

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