Full name: Nirupam Biswas
PhD Food Science and Biotechnology, Monash University (2017)
If you were on a scholarship or received awards, please specify what they are?
FRGS/1/2013/SG01/MUSM/03/2 and Monash Financial Support.
If you are working, who is your current employer and what is your role?
I am currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio-43210, USA.
Why did you choose Monash Malaysia?
Monash University is one of the top 100 ranked universities in the world. Its strong research-oriented background, good reputation of high quality education standards, extremely distinguished faculty members, research facilities and especially the university’s motto - ‘Ancora Imparo’ (I am still learning) are the main factors which motivated me. And the most important reason was the attractive scholarship.
While at Monash, what type of opportunities did you participate in?
I had participated many events like the Monash Science Symposium, Evening Industry Meeting and Research Open Day. And I also attended events with Monash University Postgraduate Association (MUPA) tea break, coffee talk session, annual dinner, Christmas event, etc, which gave me the opportunity to meet new friends.
What insights, skills or experience made a difference to your own life or the lives of others around you?
It was a wonderful experience. The workload during my PhD degree at Monash has given me a strong foundation on food physical chemistry. As part of my PhD study, there was also a strong focus on networking and communications skills. Monash taught me how to build a network because doing research only does not help to compete and get better job.
Whilst at Monash, did you have any industry exposure/placements? How has it benefited you?
I worked with Malaysian Cocoa Board in Nilai for part of my PhD project “Chocolate Production”. I also collaborated with Malaysian Palm Oil Board as part of my project.
What do you love most about your student life at Monash?
I get to meet people of different cultures and learn about them. And I really enjoyed Malaysian food.
If you moved to come study at Monash, where did you live? How did you find that experience?
I used to live at Lagoon Perdana Apartment, which is near the campus. I usually just walk to campus, but the Shuttle Bus system was also very efficient for daily commute.
Outside work or study were you able to build on your interest i.e. volunteering, mentoring other students, other educational pursuit?
I did. Besides my PhD, I was able to demonstrate the right method of handling the various apparatus to undergraduate students during laboratory work.
If you are a graduate, have the experiences you have been talking about above made a difference to the way you approach your work and your career?
My experiences during my PhD studies helped me to get a research position in the US.
What is your goal/dream in life, where are you headed to in the future?
My ultimate goal has always to work in a renowned and well-established research laboratory. Keeping this in mind, I have always kept in touch with friends and professors who work in the US. After completing my PhD, with four Q1 research papers, I got the opportunity to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio. Currently, I am involved in a research group on “Functional Foods and Human Nutrition”.
What is your advice to current Monash Malaysia students?
My strong advice for current research students is that they should set their future goal before the completion of their studies. Networking is very important to get a good job, especially for those who would like to continue a career in the research field. It is always advisable to communicate with respective people at least six months before the PhD completion. I strongly believe attending an international conference is one of the best ways of collaboration and networking with others.