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Funds rain for research at Niser

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 25: Young researchers at the National Institute of Science Education and Research (Niser) here are carrying out research to come up with solutions to make life easier.

The focus of their research varies from calculating stress levels in human beings to using nano-technology to increase the efficiency of drugs.

Barely four-year-old, the premier institute here has already managed to attract research funds worth crores, not just from within the county, but also from abroad. “So far, the institute has received grants to the tune of Rs 25 crore. Most of them include funds from outside the department of atomic energy that has established Niser,” said institute director T.K. Chandrashekhar.

“The number of research projects have gone up from just three in 2009 to 36 in 2012,” said registrar A.K. Naik.

Niser’s school of biological sciences has managed to bag the maximum number of projects, followed by the school of chemical sciences, school of physical sciences and school of mathematical sciences in that order.

Extramural funding for Niser, which comes from outside the department of atomic energy, amounted to over Rs 7.43 crore for the school of biological sciences.

While school of chemical sciences has received funds over Rs 5.83 crore, the figures for the school of physical sciences and mathematical sciences is around Rs 1.47 crore and Rs 11.04 lakh, respectively.

Though the research institute has the capacity to handle research work of bigger proportions, it hasn’t applied for any. “We have intentionally kept ourselves from applying for larger research work as, at present, we do not have the required infrastructure in place. For example, many research works in biological science require a greenhouse, but we don’t have one here. However, we would be able to handle bigger projects soon after we move into our permanent campus at Jatni,” said Naik, adding that the new campus was expected to be ready in six months.

Going ahead with its global research collaborations, Niser has entered into a bilateral exchange programme with the German Academic Exchange Service, an autonomous body working under the auspices of the German government.

The institute has also become the member of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) for research. A team of faculty members of the school of physical sciences would visit Cern soon for research purposes.