Category Archives: FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Application Check List

With the deadlines approaching for the application, I would like to inform you about the application requirements and provide with checklist for last minute reference.

The application for the master’s programme in Molecular Techniques in Life Sciences can be done through KTH Royal Institute of Technology, as it is the host Institute for our joint programme.  It is easy to find on the University admissions application website by searching the key words ‘Molecular Techniques’. Choose the programme that shows 120 credits and hosted by the KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Further, as an applicant, having good grades in Bachelor studies and a complete summary sheet is very important. You can find the detailed list of all requirements and specifics on the programme website. I have also made a checklist to ensure that you do not miss any important  document that needs to be submitted for a complete application.

Checklist

  1. Passport
  2. English Proficiency test (Test scores should be sent to the Institute officially through the testing services)
  3. Degree Certificate (If you have not received the degree certificate, then alternatively a provisional certificate can be uploaded)
  4. Academic Transcripts
  5. Curriculum Vitae
  6. Letter of Recommendation (minimum: 1, maximum: 3)
  7. Summary sheet
  8. Documentation of relevant work experience (if any)

Please note that everything listen needs to be scanned and uploaded in the documents section. The scan should be of the original documents (Not from the xerox).

You can find more information on writing motivation letter in the summary sheet and English proficiency test in previous blogs.

If you have any specific questions regarding the application then feel free to contact me.

Second Course: Applied Communication

The course of applied communication is one of the best courses at KI. It is a course that focuses on the development of individual’s ability to communicate scientific knowledge. It can be often observed that a groundbreaking research when poorly presented makes it unappealing to the audience. Thus, presenting one’s research in an engaging way is of utmost importance. The course of applied communication targets to do the same.

The course is very well designed to cover various aspects of communication. The course starts with Poster presentation, Scientific writing, Rhetorics and ends with Bioethics. Each section is explored in an interactive manner over a period of a week.

In the first week we started with introduction to Poster Presentation. We were divided into groups and given a list of research paper to a select from. After few weeks of preparation, we presented to our peers in an interactive and constructive feedback session. We were able to see and understand the use of different styles of organizing the posters.

Here is an example: My group’s poster

Further, in the course we had lectures on Scientific communication. In these sessions we learned about practical details of screening papers for literature review, reading, writing and finally publishing papers. We gained practical experience of peer review during the course. Each of us had to write an abstract from an already published paper. Then we were assigned a peer reviewer (fellow classmate) to send it for a detailed review. The reviewer had to read the paper, assess the abstract and write a report on the same. This report was later discussed in a group as a constructive feedback.

An example of peer reviewed abstract.

Coming to the best part of the course; the Rhetorics session. Our first session was a body language class. A dramatics director and performer from Uppsala University was our instructor for the day. We started with freeing our body with small exercises, and actions in form of a game. Later, we performed an exercise to amplify our voice and feel more confident to speak. It was hilarious, as it was making funny, weird, loud noises that are of different tones and pitches.

After all the body and sound exercises, we explored the aspect of details and imagination. One week before the class we were asked to prepare two things. One of which was to recollect a memory that would include adventures or different experiences. We had to narrate our memory to our peers with maximum details like the description of the landscape, life style of people around, auditory cues, olfactory elements, etc. so that they can live and experience the same feeling sitting inside the room. At the end, the listeners were to describe the feeling they experienced during the narration.

The post lunch session we integrated everything we learned in the morning to our acts. We had to present a poem or a song of our choice that we were asked to prepare in advance as the second task. Except it had to be expressed with all the emotions to make the audience give a feeling of actually living the experience. There were various suggestions and improvements made to this by the audience and or instructor.

The poem I choose depicted struggle, and in order to show that, we did something out of the box. I was being held back by two friends and I had to try moving: depicting the struggle. In the second round I did it without anyone holding me back. This enabled me how simple things can be done to improve one’s expression on stage.

Me, acting in the Rhetorics class                                                                PC: Vijay

Later in the week we also had a chance to practice the same with scientific presentations and try innovative things. We learned the difference styles of presenting specific to the type of audience.

 

This course helped us learn about the importance of presenting in correct style to the respective audience. It was not only a chance to learn, but also to develop one’s confidence on stage and in daily life. It filled us with new energy for the new courses.

First course at Karolinska Institute: Genetics

In the first semester at Karolinska we have 4 main courses:

1.  Genetics

2.  Applied Communications

3.  Applied Programming for Life Sciences- 1st part

4.  Frontiers in Translational Medicine

Today I am going to tell you about our first day as the master’s student and the first course of Genetics. The courses at Karolinska are full time courses that run in parallel to other courses.

Our semester started on the 3rd of September, 2018 at the Scilife Labs with an introduction to the programme. Programme directors from all the institutions spoke a few words about the course at the respective institute and then the Director of the Scilife Labs gave an introduction to the Scilife Labs and the intention behind this programme and its close association with the Scilife Labs.  After which we had lunch break, where we met all our new classmates for the first time.

Post Lunch we had our first lecture on Genetics.

The course of Genetics was a fast paced course. It was designed such that different students from different backgrounds of Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Chemistry can understand the general concepts. This course enabled everyone to be on the same page and have the same understanding of the basics concepts required in future courses.

The subject covered the basics concepts such as Fundamentals of the Genome, Core DNA technologies such as different types of Sequencing, Gene Regulation, Epigenetics, variation in the Genome and its association to monogenic and complex rare diseases.

In parallel to the theoretical knowledge, the course was made more practical and self-learning using the virtual lab simulator called the Labster.

Screenshot of the Labster simulations

Labster has various modules that allowed us to learn the flow of the big complex experiments.  Further, the simulator showed short animations of various biological processes that are complex and difficult to visualize based on description or images.

To give you a better understanding, here is a video of Labster simulation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUtdZ8A18fw&t=22s

Furthermore, along with this we were suggested a few research papers for further reading on specific topics.

The course was graded based on two parts. A final written exam and a research paper presentation. Our first final written exam as a master’s student was four after the start of the course on 28th of September. Two weeks later we had the second part of the exam, which was organized as a symposium on rare genetic diseases. We were divided in different groups and assigned a paper. Each group was given about 20 minutes to present and 5 minutes of question answer session.

Our first class photo after the Genetics presentation.                                                                   PC:David

Write a cover letter: sample and thoughts

For many, the end of an academic year marks the transition from students to employees. Whether you are seeking a job in a company or a PhD position in a university, mastery in writing a cover letter is critical. Here, I will share a sample from my own writing, and hope that it helps 😉

“A model cover letter” would be an overstatement for the sample I am going to present, because I know that anything I wrote/write is far from perfect! Nonetheless, with the help of cover letter I was shortlisted in 2 out of 3 PhD applications. It still works!

Writing a cover letter is the art of matching and elaborating. You match your skills and qualifications with those demanded by the employer, and elaborate curtly and convincingly why you are the best. The first things I did, was to sift out the requirements, either written explicitly or implicitly in the advertisement.

By doing so, the advertisement was simplified into four key items. They can be regarded as the four pillars, on which the content of your letter should be built.

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Course Review: Proteomics

Proteomics BB2510 is always the subject I am compelled to talk about. There is a reason: three months after the course ended, I started a master thesis project highly relevant to proteomics; another six months I got a PhD offer from a proteomics project! In another word, Proteomics BB2510 shapes my career path and I would love to share with you how enchanting it is!

“-omic” is not merely a suffix to protein such that it rhyme with “genomics” and “transcriptomics”. Indeed, it refers to the large-scale analysis  of proteins in biological samples. We know that protein is the last chain of the so-called “Central dogma of molecular biology”, the end product of DNA, which is your exclusive genetic material.

What does that imply?

Just imagine that our body is a university that is called KTH. Then, DNA would be our vice chancellor, Sigbritt Karlsson, who has the highest command; “proteins” would be best to play the teaching professors, as each of them have different tasks and whether a course is good highly depends on them!

In school, we evaluate the teachers’ performance to decide the quality of the courses; similarly, scientists are especially interested in proteins as they have everything to do with disease and health!

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