"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 is a group of non-profit research companies. It aims for an idealistic academic environment that is open to everyone. We create intellectual outputs towards a sustainable society and develop opportunities to seek answers to open questions. Creative thinking and curiosity-driven minds are the two core principles of the group. If we need to build a textile technology, we can not leave a weaver. Similarly, if we need to understand poverty, we bring economists. We avoid looking into academic achievements, instead seek talents and nurture them for the use of a sustainable society. We do not want to predict the future of our creative thinkers and fellows. We firmly believe in 'bright minds for a bright future'.
The academic settings in a country like India impose constraints to forget how to think freely and sublime the creativity of young minds. 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 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.
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Tagore Rabindranath. (1922) Creative Unity. London: Macmillan & Co.
Tagore, Rabindranath (1961) Towards Universal Man. New York: Asia Publishing House.
Tagore, Rabindranath. (1917) My Reminiscences. New York: The Macmillan Company.
Tagore, Rabindranath (1917) Personality. London: Macmillan & Co.
Tagore, Rabindranath (1929) Ideals of Education, The Visva-Bharati Quarterly (April-July), 73-74.
Lieblein, G., Breland, T. A., Francis, C., & Østergaard, E. (2012). Agroecology education: action-oriented learning and research, The journal of agricultural education and extension, 18(1), 27-40.
Jensen, B. B. (2004). Environmental and health education viewed from an action‐oriented perspective: a case from Denmark, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 36(4), 405-425.
Multilateral Knowledge Pool: Bringing active researchers/artists together under OAR from around the globe who value open research.
Stint Workshops: Short workshops for public - independent curiosity-driven problems.
Long-Term Independent Fellowship: Year long fellowship for curiosity-driven problems.
Short-Term MKP-driven Program: Solving advanced problems and create contingency. program in emergency situation like Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
Innovation for low/middle income countries: Developing products relevant for low-cost.
Advanced Research Conference for MKP: Topical conference to update MKP.
Citizen Open Hub: Citizen open hubs will create open space to welcome liberal academic. exchange of thoughts for mobile diagnostic lab and citizens' research conference.
Optimal supervision: We will continue to experiment towards optimising supervision for creative-thinking.
Quality improvement program: Profitable organizations can update from MKP.
Research Grant: Continuous fund writing platform to become a large body of resource for open research and innovation.
Our target audience is students from high school to PhD students. We would also to work with different economics sectors (agriculture, carpentry, architecture, athletic, masons, etc)
Allow the young minds to think freely by giving them opportunity to create and ask their open questions.
Short term programme
Primary objective: Bring encouragement of curiosity driven research among young students.
Secondary objective: Talent search for OAR long-term programme
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 takes place for one week. In the workshop, we continuously interact with the young minds. We setup theoretical and experimental setups in the workshop. After the workshop the students remain in contact with their supervisor throughout the year and continue the research at home. A peer-reviewed publication of the report is published during the month of August-September from their work.
The setting of workshops are always close to nature, which removes the classroom like concrete boundaries from their thought process. The venue will be changed every year.
The only evaluation criteria for the students:
First level screening for research proposal
Second level screening for analytical skills
Final level screening is personal interview
Long term programme
Main objective is to perform long term advanced curiosity driven research.
Target audience - we primarily select candidates from the short term programme, wild-card entry can be acceptable in exceptional cases.
Members of OAR are not encouraged to bias the creative-thinkers' research during the supervision.
Minimum two peer-reviewed research outputs or equivalent is expected from each creative-thinkers per year.
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.
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.
FAQs for OAR #1:
Where exactly is this camp is going to happen?
The venue of the Winter Research Workshop 2017-18 will be in KMS library, Melur village, Kerala and
What exactly is the responsibility of a volunteer?
The responsibility of the organizers are mentioned in the call. 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 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 support for fundamental research and creativity is limited. 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.