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B4 Science and Technology Fellowships at Harvard



Up to 5 Science and Technology Fellowships for 2016-17 will be offered in fields related to the biosciences at Harvard University and other institutions in the Boston area. During their time at Harvard and Boston area, Fellows will be connected with faculty across Harvard and other academic institutions in the Boston area as relevant to each Fellow’s area of research. SAI will organize seminars at Harvard for Fellows to discuss their research with the broader community at Harvard and beyond.

A Colloquium will be organized in India at the conclusion of the Fellowship where the Fellows will engage with Harvard faculty, Indian academics, and industry leaders and highlight what they have learned during their time in Boston/Cambridge.

Fellows are expected to reside in the Cambridge vicinity starting October 15th and to actively participate in the events and intellectual life of the Institute. In addition Fellows are expected to contribute to the greater Harvard community by teaching, mentoring, or advising students.

Stipend per month: $3,000
Health insurance and round trip economy travel expenses to and from India and Boston will also be provided.

Deadline: August 15, 2017 for 2017 – 2018
SAI aims to notify applicants by early October regarding decisions.


The fellowship opportunity is open to scholars who have completed their PhD within the last five years from an institution in India and working in B4 Program Partner Institutions in Karnataka in one of the following disciplines: systems and synthetic biology, neurosciences, genomics and bionformatics, and soft robotics and biomedical engineering. Fellows will typically be recent Ph.D.s that can benefit from a 1-year project in a lab in the Boston area. Exceptional senior doctoral students, with demonstrated independence and maturity, may be considered. Applicants must be Indian citizens currently residing in India.


Application Instructions:

  1. Visit and fill out the Online Application Form.
  2. Upload an updated curriculum vitae which lists your academic degrees, disciplines, dates the degrees were received, your publications, research presentations, previous grants and fellowships, as well as shows scientific background and productivity to the Online Application Form.
  3. Upload a statement of 1-2 pages (no more than 600 words, 12 pt, double space) on why you want to be a Fellow, and given your current work, why you are a good candidate.  Additionally, explain what you hope to accomplish/learn in one year, which labs might be appropriate (see about lab selection), and what you plan to do when you return to India.
  4. Upload a transcript
  5. Two letters of reference should be emailed or mailed directly to Diana Nguyen by the deadline.

Please note incomplete applications will not be considered.

Harvard South Asia Institute
Attn: B4Fellowship
CGIS South Building, 4th Floor
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Please note: Do not write directly to Harvard faculty regarding SAI’s Fellowship opportunities. 



Meet the 2016-17 fellows:

GayatriGayatri Ramakrishnan

Home institution: Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
Field/specialization: PhD in Computational Biology
Harvard faculty mentor: Prof. Martha Bulyk (Harvard Medical School)
An overview of the research you will conduct at Harvard: I have begun to work on structural basis of DNA-binding specificity of transcription factors. In simple terms, the study aims to understand and analyze: a) rules that aid interactions between DNA and certain biomolecules known as transcription factors (that “activate” a gene); and b) rules (mutations) that could potentially damage such interactions. The inferences from such a study are valuable in directing experiments on genetic diseases in human and cancer research.
What are you most excited about for your year at Harvard? Exchanging ideas and having healthy discussions with pioneers and experts in science.


Parvathi SreekumarParvathi M Sreekumar

Home institution: Department of Crop Physiology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore
Field/specialization: Plant Abiotic Stress Physiology/ Molecular and Cell Biology
Harvard faculty mentor: Professor Philippe Cluzel, MCB
An overview of the research you will conduct at Harvard: My role in the entire research interests of Philippe Cluzel’s group is to extend the principal idea of optimization of gene/protein expression levels in eukaryotic system, starting with yeast as model system and then extending further to plant/ mammalian system based on the progress/ success. At present, I am involved in the bacterial research part to fine tune and taper the ongoing experiment, meanwhile gearing up with all the logistics for the yeast experiments.
What are you most excited about for your year at Harvard? This fellowship is actually the best thing that could have happened to me to fulfill my dream of doing a good postdoctoral fellowship in a reputed lab, which would add value to my credentials. This opportunity gives me the capacity to equip myself with new and diverse skill sets and technical knowledge so as to gain confidence while designing to set up and establish my own research group once when I am back to India. I am excited about the enriching experience that will give me the opportunity to learn new aspects of scientific research.



Premananda Karidas

Home institution: Indian Institute of Science
Field/specialization: Plant developmental biology; Molecular genetics
Harvard faculty mentor: Prof. Elena Kramer
An overview of the research you will conduct at Harvard: The Columbine flowers have unique modified petals called spurs. I will study their development at molecular, cellular and organ level using reverse genetic and other approaches.
What are you most excited about for your year at Harvard? I am excited to learn directly from one of the happening places in science and innovation. And also happy to be part of the great academic ambience that Harvard is known to have.



ramya - CopyRamya Purkanti

Home institution: National Center for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru
Field/specialization: Evolutionary cell biology
Harvard faculty mentor: Prof. Michael Desai
An overview of the research you will conduct at Harvard: I will be working on experimental evolution of yeast populations as it adapts to nutritional stress. Allele frequencies will be monitored over the period of adaptation thereby providing a window into evolution in real time. This will enable us to ascertain the role of different evolutionary processes towards the final adaptation.
What are you most excited about for your year at Harvard? I am very excited that I will be working alongside leading scientists and be exposed to the culture of one of the world’s oldest universities. I also look forward to experiencing America first hand.


PraveenPraveen Anand

Home Institution: inStem, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Previous Institute – Indian Institute of Science.
Field/Specialization: Computational Biology
Harvard faculty mentor: Prof. Sean Eddy, Ellmore C. Patterson Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and of Applied Mathematics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. (
An overview of the research you will conduct at Harvard: Gene expression in an organism is driven by a variety of RNA processing events. These include 5′; capping, 3′; polyadenylation and RNA splicing reactions. RNA editing is one post-transcriptional process that involves insertion, deletion, modification or substitution of single nucleotide or a stretch of nucleotides on RNA. These modifications result in production of transcripts that differ in their primary sequence from the corresponding genomic template. I will be working on deciphering the `cis elements` that guides this process of RNA-editing.
What are you most excited about for your year at Harvard?
The research environment at Harvard is intellectually stimulating. I would like to discuss research with as many people as possible and gain new perspectives. I will be exploring lot of avenues for handling, analysis and interpretation of high-throughput next-gen sequencing data. Looking forward towards a collaborative and productive stay at Harvard for a year.

Media: At Harvard, city scholars get to know what ails Indian research

PP_P403109 (1)Questions? Contact Savitha.G.Ananth, Program Coordinator,