Merck Announces the Winners of Season 2 of the Young Scientist Award in India

Fourteen Indian researchers receive the award in 2021 – Seven winners and seven finalists

Merck announced the winners of the second 2 of the Merck Young Scientist Award. The award aims to recognize and encourage young aspiring scientists who dream of making a difference in the lives of millions of people across India, through their cutting-edge research in the life sciences.

The 2019 Merck Young Scientist Award Season 1 congratulated 11 curious minds on their new research. This year, the company invited applications in three research areas – biological sciences, chemical sciences, and COVID research and received over 2,000 registrations with over 500 applications. Nominations were reviewed by a distinguished jury made up of leading scientists and academics from across the country.

The winners:

  • Sarit S. Agasti, Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore
  • Prakriti Tayalia, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai
  • Kartik Sunagar, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  • Kanishka Biswas, Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore
  • Chandra MR Volla, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai
  • Dr Modhu Sudan Maji, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur
  • Debojyoti Chakraborty, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi

The finalists:

  • Ritobrata Goswami, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur
  • B Anand, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati
  • Srimonta Gayen, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  • S. Santhosh Babu, CSIR-National Chemistry Laboratory
  • Biplab Maji, Indian Institute for Scientific Education and Research, Calcutta
  • Mahiuddin Baidya, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai
  • Rajesh Kumar, Translational Institute of Health Sciences and Technologies, Faridabad

The winners received a cash prize of Rs 250,000 and a travel prize of Rs 1,000,000 each and the finalists each received a cash prize of Rs 1,000,000.

The Merck Young Scientist Award is a step towards the company’s efforts to educate the scientist of tomorrow and foster a thriving community to advance science. The prize is awarded to a researcher or scientist with less than 12 years of research experience (post-doctorate), residing in India and presenting innovative scientific research that can benefit society.

The jury included eminent scientists from top Indian academic institutes with Dr Shahid Jameel, Visiting Professor, Ashoka University, India and Fellow of OCIS and Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, UK as chairman and Dr Anurag Agrawal, Director, Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology, Professor Apurva Sarin, Director, Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Dr D. Srinivasa Reddy, Director, CSIR – Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine and the Dr Radha Rangarajan, Chief Technology Officer, HealthCube, as Co-Chairs. The award ceremony took place in Chandigarh on November 17, 2021.


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