Final year B.Sc. Biology student secures admission in University of Paris-Saclay, France

Student Interview: Gadupudi Gowtham
Q: Hi Gowtham, could you elaborate on the master’s program that you are being enrolled in?
A: Sure. M1 Life Sciences and Health – International Track – France, is a Master’s Program in the University of Paris-Saclay, France. I am enrolled in this research-driven multidisciplinary Master’s Program of two semesters that will nurture my research interests and can help me develop individual research trajectories.

Q: Please explain how this course is multidisciplinary.
A: This Master’s program is divided into three parts. During the first part of the program, all students are required to study Core Courses that address key concepts and challenges in the following basic fields of Life Sciences and Health. In the second part of the program, students can choose among a wide range of Elective Courses according their academic and career development goals. The third part is Research training which includes 4-week laboratory rotation period + 8-week internship.

Q: Had you applied to any other University?
A: Along with this university, I have also applied for Master of Science, Molecular Biology and Evolution (MAMBE) at the Christian – Albrecht University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany, and some other universities. MAMBE is an international program, taught entirely in English, and it is based on the fruitful collaboration with the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön. Together with further collaborations (with the Leibniz Science Campus EvoLUNG (Evolutionary Medicine of the Lung), and also the Collaborative Research Centre 1182, Origin and Function of Metaorganisms), it specifically combines the areas of evolution and molecular biology – a combination which has emerged as an extremely successful interdisciplinary research field in recent years but has not yet been available in academic education.

Q: Can you talk about the Universities where you have applied in some detail?
A: In France, the University of Paris Saclay is a collaboration from all the respected universities with more than 300 laboratories with funding from the French government. And Kiel has emerged as a hotspot for Evolutionary Research in Germany. This includes several research groups with a focus on evolutionary topics at Kiel University (CAU).

Q: What are the scholarships that you have applied for?
A: Currently, at Paris- Saclay I haven’t applied for any scholarship yet but it has an Idex Scholarship for those who enroll in the Master’s Program.
In the MAMBE program, I have applied for the DAAD short-term scholarships and Promo’s scholarship for doing my Master’s thesis. Also, MAMBE has HiWi jobs as a research assistant at the desired lab. As a student affiliated to the Royal Society of Biology, I can also utilize the grants for my travel and Research Projects every year.

Q: How was your preparation for applications?
A: When I applied to the University of Paris Saclay, I applied through their University Portal. After verifications, I received an invitation for the Interview. On the day of the interview, I was asked about my current research project at SRM-AP, my motivation to study, and my future research goals and after 5 days I received an email stating that I was accepted.
I searched about German Universities through DAAD which is a database for education in Germany. After selecting the university, I had applied both online and through the post. Currently, it is being processed by the Uni- Assist where after meeting the requirements my application will be forwarded to the MAMBE admission team.

Q: Did you receive any support from SRM-AP and your department?
A: I can’t forget the support that I have received from SRM-AP University in providing me with the required attested documents and also giving necessary permissions during the pandemic. From the Department of Biological Sciences, the recommendation letters from Dr Jayaseelan Murugaiyan and Dr Manjunatha Thondamal supported my application to the universities that I have applied. The support and appreciation from everyone in the Biological Sciences Department has played an essential role in securing this admission.

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