5 Oct 2008

Enhancing Opportunities For Postdoctoral Researchers

In India DBT and The Wellcome Trust (WT), London, UK one of the world's largest biomedical Foundations are planning to launch a new partnership to fund biomedical research in India. Operated as an independent, public charitable trust, based in New Delhi, the goal of the new alliance will be to deliver a programme of research fellowship schemes aimed at supporting current and future leaders of Indian biomedical science.

The programme aims at creating a strong, world class human resource platform in the high end of biomedical research (basic, clinical and veterinary). Through identifying and supporting the best researchers it is hoped to develop a critical mass of cutting-edge biomedical researchers, of the highest international standards, whose work has the potential to have a significant impact on health.

Additionally, the programme would act as a magnet to draw the best Indian biomedical scientists working abroad to return to Indian laboratories; nurture the best Indian scientists to perform at international levels; and increase the locations within India where world class biomedical research is undertaken.The DBT-WT Alliance offers a suite of fellowships providing flexible opportunities for the best researchers at key stages of their careers.

Fellowships are available across the full spectrum of biomedical research from fundamental molecular and cellular studies, through to clinical, epidemiological and public health research. Research projects can be based in the laboratory, the clinic or the field and may involve experimental or theoretical approaches.

In Europe, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) has led the rejuvenation of life sciences in Europe. In the USA the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has had an even larger impact. The Wellcome Trust, similar to and much older than HHMI has completely transformed biomedical research in the UK and has succeeded in giving UK an extraordinarily strong position globally; one which is as much a consequence of substantial investment as good management and development of high quality human resources.

The Wellcome Trust is the largest UK charity and Europe's largest grant-giving foundation. The scale and depth of the transformation achieved by the Wellcome Trust in the UK makes the Wellcome Trust's efforts most relevant to India.

In India, DBT has addressed the issue of human resource development in all of life sciences in a variety of ways. These have been hugely effective in building a credible foundation enhancing research in the university environment and in building a capable pool of talented scientists. These efforts have resulted in India being seen, worldwide, as a major and growing research leader and, interestingly, as both a developer and exporter of highly skilled and qualified human resources.

In the context where India is investing hugely in the development of new institutions and rejuvenating old ones, it is absolutely essential that the country puts in place measures to train scientists in key frontier areas, attract scientists back to the country, make sure that they are appropriately placed and can develop in a range of locations where infrastructure and administration is of a high standard. A joint venture between Wellcome Trust, which has a proven track record of global leadership in scientific and medical research, and the DBT provides the synergy that is essential for success in this important and challenging task.

Source : BiotechNews India

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