Episode S1.3 : Career transition from Developmental Biology to Science Policy Program Manager at DST India

Welcome to the Episode S1.3 of the STEM Professionals Chat!

Welcome to the third episode of the STEM Professional’s Chat, an interview series by iSTEMCare. In this episode, we have interviewed  Dr. Suryesh K. Namdeo, who has traveled a path less explored, from bench scientist/molecular biologist to Program officer in science policy. Science policy involves multidisciplinary aspects spanning science, politics, communication and advocacy. His current role involves being a liaison between government and research institutes to allocate resources used for scientific research of public interest. We are presenting his interesting career journey, challenges along the way, and some tips for aspiring STEM policymakers.  The episode is hosted by:  Dr. Pawan Upadhyay  & Dr. Rasika Hudlikar

Key learnings

  1. What were some key factors that influenced and motivated you for an early career transition?
  2. What does your current role involve and what are some of the challenges you face?
  3. Can you provide some details of the STI Policy fellowship programs?
  4. What expertise and mindset are required to be in the field of science policy?
  5. Can you comment on some transferable and scientific skills required for a transition like yours?
  6. What was the response from your family & peer group about such a transition?
  7. Any course suggestions for a transition into science policy?

About Dr. Suryesh K Namdeo

Dr. Suryesh obtained his postgraduate degree from IISER Pune and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tubingen, Germany. He is currently working as a Program Officer for the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy Fellowship Program by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. He is based at DST- Centre for Policy Research at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. As a Science policymaker, his role involves the overall coordination of the fellowship program, capacity development of the STI policy fellows, and partnership building. In addition, Dr. Suryesh is also involved in Science Diplomacy research. 

He is part of the executive team at the Science Policy Forum, an independent, collaborative, online platform working to improve Science Policy and Diplomacy across India. He is a part of various initiatives including formulation of India’s upcoming STI policy (STIP2020), hosting various events, and leading the social media outreach team. He is also actively involved in managing the Emerging Technology Initiative in partnership with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and NEST Division, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Video Interview on YouTube

Listen Podcast

Suryesh’s tips for successful career!

Self-motivation is the key to giving meaning to your life.

Accept work challenges as they come and keep working through them.

Be open while interacting with people and communicate your observations clearly with stakeholders & Be humble and patient.

Teamwork and good organizational skills are great traits to have for a policymaker.

Be active on social media: Engage more with policymakers and science advisors and keep looking for opportunities.

Have an exploratory mindset and the courage to change your career path & Learn from your mistakes.

Thank you, Suryesh!

If you enjoyed this interview with our guest, let them know by clicking the link below and leaving them a message on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suryesh-k-namdeo-phd-97843b191/


Graphics & video design: Isha Parlikar & Pawan Upadhyay, Ph.D.

Video editing: Sumit Bhutada., PhD & Pawan Upadhyay, Ph.D.

Publication note: Vanndita Bahl

Podcast review & hosting: Pawan Upadhyay, Ph.D. Vanndita Bahl

Publication Content editing: Rasika Hudlikar, Ph.D., Manasi Apte, Ph.D

Review: All iSTEMCare Team members

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