The Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship was conceived in the year 2006-07 with the idea of encouraging scientists (Indian Nationals) working outside the country and would like to return to the home country to pursue their research interests in Modern Biology, Biotechnology, Life Sciences and other related areas. The principal aim of the scheme is to improve the country’s human resource capacity in life sciences, modern biology and biotechnology research – both in terms of development, translation and diffusion by means of attracting young scientists settled abroad.
A decade since its inception, the Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship programme has come a long way. During the last ten years, 1492 applications were received and out of these 396 were offered fellowship and 280 have already taken up positions in Indian Laboratories. So far, 188 fellows have already been able to seek permanent faculty positions in various host institutes in India. The fellowship over the years has picked up the momentum and resulted in creating a brand value in itself. Fellows have performed extremely well and they have been able to publish their research work in peer reviewed National and International scientific journals. Over the past decade, the program has been able to transform the scientific scenario of the country through innovative technologies and outstanding research with special emphasis on issues of national relevance.
The work done by fellows is regularly monitored by organizing three days conclave to listen to their research, mentor them & try to help them in understanding the scientific ecosystem in the country. On the successful completion of ten years, the department is now hosting conclave meeting to celebrate the achievements and revisit the journey of the programme over the years. The 8th Conclave is being organized by National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) New Delhi during 15th – 17th February, 2018 on behalf of Department of Biotechnology (DBT) at The Ashok Hotel, Diplomatic Avenue, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi and NIPGR, New Delhi. The meeting would be presided by the Hon’ble Union Minister for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DBT. The Conclave meeting would monitor the progress of the fellows, provide a platform to interact, discuss and exchange innovative ideas. The program also would also cover key note lectures and mentor lectures by eminent scientists of India. The mentor talks focus on how, despite all odds scientists are able to establish themselves and create a niche for themselves. Guidance will be provided on how to set up a lab and grant writing to the newly joined fellows. Besides, the alumni shall also be encouraged to share their experiences as a Ramalingaswami Fellow. The directors and Vice-Chancellors from universities across India have also been invited to discuss on improving the ecosystem provided to fellows to do good science at University / host Institution level.
The overall idea is to provide a fertile environment to the fellows, who have returned to India on terms of resources and funding. The fellows also would be made aware of the current scientific scenario of the country and the pressing issues that need to be immediately addressed so that the enthusiastic scientists can work together for the progress of the country.