DBT to popularize Prakash Labs’s ‘Foldscope’ as a research tool in India

Proposals requested from schools, colleges, research organisations and citizen scientists for use of the Foldscope as a education, training and research tool

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New Delhi: The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India in partnership with Foldscope Instruments Inc. and PrakashLab (Stanford), have invited applications under this request for proposals from teachers, scientists and community members across India for the use of foldscope as an educational, training or research tool.

Selected applicants will be awarded with Foldscope and a small grant, and preference will be given to government schools and colleges in resource constrained environments. The selected applicants will be twinned with the North East region of India for exchange of idea and students under the programme. All proposed acitivities of the successful proposals will be mirrored in a school/college of the North East; likewise all successful proposals from NE will mirror activities in school/colleges from rest of India.

The North East of India is a global biodiversity hotspot. In order to connect the NE and understand the value of its rich biodiversity, ecology and environment as vital for the life of our planet, all successful projects, from the NE states and from states from rest of India will be twinned by the North-East Region_ Biotechnology Programme management Cell (NER-BPMC) DBT.

The school/college twinning will also have a long term social impact towards sharing of a national and global purpose in environmental, ecological, social and scientific matters. With such twinning, Indian youth can lead in sustainable development of our planet and in eco-science.

In order to connect the NE and understand the value of its rich biodiversity, ecology and environment as vital for the life of our planet, all successful projects, from the NE states and from states from rest of India will be twinned by the North-East Region_ Biotechnology Programme management Cell (NER-BPMC) DBT.

The school/college twinning will also have a long term social impact towards sharing of a national and global purpose in environmental, ecological, social and scientific matters. With such twinning, Indian youth can lead in sustainable development of our planet and in eco-science.

Last date of application is May 31, 2017. Interested individuals and organizations can go through the details here at the call for proposals.

The Foldscope is an ultra-affordable paper microscope inspired by origami. The instrument’s optical quality, durability in the field, price, and versatility make it a powerful scientific tool. Foldscopes are especially useful where larger, expensive instruments are impractical due to cost, size, complexity and availability to the community. Especially when combined with the power of cellphones to record images and video, Foldscope provides an incredible scientific tool for citizens and researchers around the world.

From infectious microorganisms that affect human health to the microscopic eggs of pests that infest agricultural crops, many problems in the world arise from causes which can only be seen with a microscope. We are looking for motivated individuals and teachers to take on a research or educational project that will benefit from the use of Foldscopes. In doing so, we hope to expand efforst in the field of “citizen microscopy,” which is the open sharing of microscopy observations, data, and ideas that occur when scientific resources such as the Foldscope are made available widely, both inside and outside of academic settings.

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