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2018 AWSAR Awards to Two IISER Pune Members  Mar 15, 2019

Two IISER Pune members, Dr. Ulfat Baig and Dr. Gunjan Verma, have been selected for 2018 AWSAR Awards given by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India.

Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR)” is a DST initiative with an aim to disseminate Indian research stories in an easy to understand and interesting format. The initiative is conceptualized & supported by National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC) Division of the DST to bridge the gap in communicating research to general audience by utilizing the potential of PhD students and Post-Doctoral Fellows (PDFs). The objectives of the initiative include fostering and strengthening scientific temper through popular science writing, and creating a culture of science communication & popularisation among researchers.

Under AWSAR, a national competition for popular science articles is run in two categories. To participate, PhD Scholars and Post-Doctoral Fellows (PDFs) in Science and Technology streams can submit articles about their own research, written in a style that is accessible to non-specialists. The articles are screened by a panel of scientists and science communicators constituted by the DST.

Dr. Ulfat Baig and Dr. Gunjan Verma
Dr. Ulfat Baig and Dr. Gunjan Verma
Dr. Ulfat Baig, a microbiologist working in Prof. Milind Watve’s lab, had written an article about her work on predatory bacteria that kill other bacteria and consume them for their own growth. Her piece has been selected as one of the top twenty articles in the post-doctoral fellow category.
Dr. Gunjan Verma, who has recently competed her doctoral studies in physics with Dr. Umakant Rapol and in collaboration with Dr. Rejish Nath, has been selected as one of top 100 entries in the PhD student category. She is now working as a post-doctoral fellow at the European Laboratory for Non Linear Sprectocopy in Italy. Her article described her work on solitary waves - special type of waves that try to sustain themselves indefinitely -  at the level of quantum physics.
Both awards come with a cash prize of Rs. 10,000/- and a certificate.
Our congratulations and best wishes to both of them!