RFP From Academic Institutes, Research Organisations and Citizen Scientists For Use of the Foldscope

Organisation:  Government of India- Department of Biotechnology

Apply By:  31 May . 2017

RFP From Academic Institutes, Research Organisations and Citizen Scientists For Use of the Foldscope

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India in partnership with Foldscope Instruments Inc. and PrakashLab (Stanford), invite 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 as detailed below.

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.

About Foldscope, Social Microscopy, and 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 To know more about Foldscope, see www.foldscope.com, and to see thousands of experiments already uploaded by Foldscope users, visit http://microcosmos.foldscope.com.

This Call for Proposals invites proposals which demonstrate the use of Foldscope as an:

Category A. Educational and training tool

School teachers can submit proposals for:

  • DBT and PrakashLab announce a Request for Proposals for wide use of the Foldscope as a research and education tool:
  • Democratising Science through a Major Twinning Programme of the North East with other parts of India.
  • Teaching students (class 3-12) the basics of microscopy, environmental science, biology, etc., using Foldscope as a tool
  • “Micro-” research projects performed by students using Foldscope as an educational tool (e.g. cataloguing the microflora/microfauna of surrounding water bodies)

Category B. Research tool:

Applicants motivated by research questions can submit proposals for:

  • Using Foldscopesto answer a question in basic research (e.g. how does cellular communication happen between Tetrahymena ciliates?)
  • Using Foldscopes to answer a question related to human health (e.g. what aquatic conditions are favorable/harmful for the propagation of infectious nematodes?)

Category C. Crowd-sourcing science tool:

Applicants not interested in pursuing their own teaching or research question, but still interested in using Foldscopes for a citizen-science endeavor, are encouraged to apply under this category to receive two Foldscopes for the purpose of contributing to a citizen science project that will be specified by DBT and Foldscope Instruments/PrakashLab.

Who can apply?

Category A:

Teachers from schools from all over India, with a clearly defined cohort of students who can be from across classes, subjects and disciplines. Please see Annex I for Format.

Category B:

Anyone with a clearly defined research project, not limited to those affiliated with universities/research institutions. The organisation will have to be registered with the Government of India for funds to be transferred. Please see Annex II for format

Category C:

Anyone interested in the use of Foldscopes for a citizen science project.

How to apply:

Applications in the relevant format will be submitted by May 31, 2017, through email to foldscope.dbt@nic.in with copy marked to madhan@dbt.nic.in and shailja.dbt@nic.in

For more information please check the Link


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