By Ragoo Raghunathan
ISW co-sponsored a networking event with STEMPeers, a non-profit organization at the India Day celebration at the DCU Center in August 2019, where professionals from various sectors (biotech, computer science, business etc) participated. It was part of an effort to bring together our local STEM students & professionals and provide a platform to interact, support, learn and gain from each other.
STEMPeers was founded in 2015 by Ananda Ghosh and Abhinav Dey, both postdoctoral researchers from IISc, Bengaluru, with an idea to build a community that can openly discuss issues pertaining to the life of STEM graduates and to create a supportive and a creative community.
The foundation of the community is based on values that are relevant today with a vision to:
- Create equal opportunities through shared resources and encourage creativity
- Create an open environment where members can make informed decisions and succeed in their endeavor
- Invest in the professional development of the members
In order to achieve that STEMPeers have come up with various programs that its members can avail and contribute to like: Career Development, Mentorship, Work Life Balance, STEM Education, Science Policy, Ethics in Science, Women in Science, Building Tomorrow’s Leaders, Social Entrepreneurship and Fellowships & Awards.
Some of the activities run and sponsored by STEMPeers include: Club Sciwri – an online magazine to give visibility to the members’ scientific writing skills in social media; CSG Consultancy Club - a breeding ground for aspiring ‘consulting professionals’; The STEMPeers Weekly - the official newsletter covering the highlights from the World of STEM with a volunteer editorial and writing staff.
Currently the organization has over 16,000 members from around 70 countries and currently run on Facebook as a closed group. New members are always welcome and added to the group by a fellow member. The annual conference held in major cities in USA and Europe generally attracts ~200-250 members and showcases a number of professional panels, speakers and networking events.
STEMPeers (www.stempeers.org) is run by the founding members and volunteer ‘leaders’ supported by a board of advisors (including Ragoo Raghunathan from ISW). Recently STEMPeers organization was recognized as the World’s biggest STEM Community Network by the scientific journal Nature Biotechnology (https://rdcu.be/b4Tad).
With a large representation in the STEM professions, ISW members are encouraged to share their time and talents with others in their field. STEM students and professionals interested in being a part of the STEMPeers group are encouraged to reach out to Dr. Ragoo Raghunathan (https://www.linkedin.com/in/ragoo/) or Dr. Jagan Srinivasan (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jagan-srinivasan-a71b653/)to be added to the group.