"One of the students wanted to understand waves and we spent an entire morning at a pond creating ripples and thinking of how to describe them to someone who was not there. This led to several interesting questions and I realized that by reading books we take so many things for granted that we fail to appreciate the beauty of simple equations which describe complex phenomena so exactly." Pritam Pai
Open Academic Research aims for an ideal non-profit academic environment that is open to everyone. We create opportunities to seek answers for open questions. We believe in creative thinking and curiosity driven minds.
The academic settings in a country like India imposes constraints to forget how to think freely. This takes away the creativity of a child. In the age of information technology, there is no lack of trained professionals. However, we have an emerging scarcity of creative minds. Only a few undergraduate schools aim to focus on nurturing the creativity. The number of them is less than 10 in India. Hence, our sole interest is to gather creative minds in a platform to help youngsters keep their creativity alive.
For more details, please click here.
For Creative minds
- To target students from higher secondary to masters level.
- Allow the young minds to think freely by giving them opportunity to create and ask open questions.
- We expect to hear from two kinds of students - those who are able to think freely and those who find it hard.
- For the first kind, we will enable and guide them how to seek answers.
- For the other kind, we will teach them how to think and guide them how to seek answers.
- The workshop will take place for 1week. During this process, we will be continuously interacting with the young minds.
- The workshop will take place very close to nature which will remove the class-room like boundaries from their thought process. The living cost should be close to zero because we aim to camp this one month in a place which is far away from the city. The venue will be changed every year.
- The only evaluation criteria for the students will be the limited duration to apply for the workshop (reason: students who will be interested will contact asap). In the next phase, there will be personal phone interviews to verify if the students are curiosity driven.
- To raise public awareness to support OAR.
- We perform collaborative research among the members which does not bias creative minds' research.
- OAR members are from various different background and we combine our intellects to solve and develop advanced research problems.
We are looking for...
Higher secondary, undergraduate, and masters students of any discipline. The participation will be solely curiosity driven instead of any competitive screening. The total number of student participants will be decided based on the total number of supervising project leaders. We will send out calls to all the schools, colleges, and universities in India through email and announce in the newspapers during the last week of September. Since we will have a limited number of project leaders, we will select the students based on first come-first serve basis by giving a deadline. We will create a set of general questions and the supervisors are expected to call the respective students to find if the students are genuinely interested to fully utilise this opportunity.
We intend to give camping facilities such as accommodations, and food to the participants to rejuvenate their creativity.
Frequently asked questions for OAR #1:
- Where exactly is this camp is going to happen?
The venue of the winter science workshop 2017-18 is KMS library, Melur village, Koyilandy, Kozhikode, Kerala.
- What exactly is the responsibility of a volunteer?
The responsibility of the organizers are mentioned in the call - https://sites.google.com/view/openacademia/calls. If you have any specific questions please do not hesitate to ask. The primary job will be leading one or two small projects with a single or group of students. The secondary work will be to organise the workshop and support the concept of OAR.
- Are the volunteers expected to bear any expenses?
The volunteers are not expected to bear any expenses. However, you are welcome to support one or two students' stipend. The current organisers are contributing as much as they can. However, we are expecting to receive funding from several places based on our previous experiences.
- What way is it going to benefit the volunteer?
The benefits of the volunteers are:
1. Enhancing teaching and leading skills. At the moment, in India PhD and postdocs are not teaching much as well as not supervising any bachelor or masters thesis work. Hence, the academic system is in India is not recycling its own resources which is why the teachers in the schools, colleges, and universities are not up to the mark.
2. The government is not supporting fundamental research and creativity. We are trying to build a platform where research will be open and in future the platform has a potential to act like a world class autonomous research institutes which will not have any competitive entrance examination scheme. The volunteers will be a part of this journey.
3. At our age, we may not be able ask many fundamental questions as lucidly as a kid does. So, interacting with them will enable us to find several important research questions and solving them together with the kids will be another way of learning creative thinking for us in advanced level.
4. If one cannot explain things that means he/she does not understand the topic. Sometime it is also true many concepts gets cleared for us when we are explaining to someone else who is not from our field. OAR brings the opportunity to reach youngsters where teaching them will increase our science communication. Today, the world has a very low number of good academic communicators which is why we see so many garbage academic publications and proposals.
5. At the end, OAR brings the concept of recycling knowledge which will enable us to be good researcher who can ask the right questions. This is a significant quality needed for any researcher. The questions raised during the workshops may or may not be solved by the end of the workshop. Our interest is to create a Wikipedia like platform but for different purpose. The OAR platform will publish their questions and their solutions in form of a paper which will be corrected and modified over the time wherever required by an open audience of researchers.