What is OpenPhD?
The OpenPhd project aim is not to encourage people to pursue Ph.D. or arguing about Ph.D. is a requirement to be scientist or research. OpenPhD wants to encourage a culture of self-training to be scientist or research (creating a framework, peer-network and tools etc) and to promote independent research projects. OpenPhd is not a program to offer online Ph.D. or connect you to Universities for Ph.D. It is an attempt to create the new framework to be scientist and researcher.
OpenPhd is a journey to find the answer to simple questions like
How someone becomes a researcher or scientist without Ph.D.?
How someone some built a credibility in scientific community without Ph.D.?
How someone finds a way and self-trained to participate and contribute in science?
It is undeniable that If anyone who wants to become a scientist or researcher, they required a training and time. There is no shortcut ( there should not be) and you have to give time. Either you have to train yourself or find the institution to train you. But you have to put time and commitment.
In the world of institutional education, Ph.D. is a way to be trained as a scientist and researcher.
But what are other options?
What about self-training?
Can some become a scientist or researcher without a Ph.D.?
In ideal Ph.D. scenario. Ph.D. process put a candidate in a hard spot and the years which they spend on Ph.D., it trained them for life long quest to ask right questions and find the right answer. To acquire a scientific mindset.
But what if an adult or middle-aged man/woman wants to participate in science and want to participate in scientific research projects, not just as a subject but as the researcher ?
Do we have to apply for Ph.D.? But it is not a feasible or practical solution. There must be some way to find a way to address this case.
And in future, this will not be a just one case but will a standard case. We need more scientist as we need more engineers. You can be an engineer by building things and showing it to the world, but you to be a scientist or researcher, it is different ball game. It is complex, it required access to tools, data and also the credibility and persistence.
This is the questions that I am personally having. To address these questions, I started OpenPhD.
I want to participate in the science and research ( my interest is neuroscience and health ) and I am ready to give my time, energy and whatever it takes but I don’t know how?
I am an average guy who wants to do research in the field of neuroscience. I want to understand how exactly my brain learns and if I am not able to learn something then what could be a reason. I want to study adult human learning. I want to do experiments to study my own learning patterns. I want to map my brain when I am learning anything new and collect data, analyze, observe pattern to conclude some theories. I am ready to give my time, energy and life to this field.
But I am 27 years old and I do not have money to enroll into universities or also I have no chances to get admission in the good universities as I have to face competition with masters graduate who applications look far more attractive to the Institute. And I totally get that.
I also want to remain independent which is the most important part. I think it is important for the scientific community to encourage and create a framework for independent (or small group) of research and scientist.
So only a self-training is the option. Self-Training with peers help.
But in the current world, this alternative has a big problem because of following
Even if I self-train myself and do the same things which Ph.D. students do. I will never able to be accepted as researcher or scientist in scientific or in a matter of fact in society. I will never able to prove my credibility.
Why? Because I have no one to back my credibility.
For example, if I start researching and published research papers or proposed any theory even it is good there are chances it never is taken seriously. As an independent researcher, there is no professor or scientist will accept me as his student to guide and will agree to his name involved.
I have no access to research equipment, access to advance labs, access to data, access to peer review etc. I have no financial support to focus research as full-time or have a science-related part time job-related. I have to do part time job which will take my time & energy and will put me outside of my research area on a daily basis which is a discouraging thing.
There are many odds. But still, I want to do it. I want to know about my brain and how it learns new things.
Now, if I think about my situation. I know that I have to spend a lot of time to read standard books, previous work of neurosurgeon, current work and researcher papers on my subject. I have to read standard books.
I cannot do it without a proper guidance. I need someone who can guide me. A teacher or professor or scientist or research who can give me direction, give me feedback and help me to get a scientific mindset.
So here the following problems
1- I have to find someone for guidance in the related field
2- Financial aid so that I can put my full time in studying
3- Access to data, labs and research equipment for experiments
What is the solution?
Universities do not have a solution for my problem. Only the individual scientists and academics working in universities, private research organization, startups and companies can help.
I started OpenPhD to figure out the solution. I want to create a framework for people like me who wants to study and do research in the field of science.
With OpenPhd, my idea is to convince experienced researcher, scientist & academician working in universities, private science research organizations or companies to provide guidance, data and lab access to candidates who want to participate in science research.
How can they help researcher like me?
Scientist and Academician can make a huge difference by simply engaging with me in one to one communication to give me guidance, answering questions and reading their work. If a candidate like me have someone to his back who he can email to ask questions, consult, share writings and receive feedback. It will change everything for me.
How will it help the financial problem?
Private research organizations, research startups, research organizations can help a candidate like me to provide opportunities for remote Internship and part-time work in the research based private companies. Companies can benefit from this type of associations and they can get to know the new research candidate for future team building.
What is the first objective?
I am 27-year-old guy based in India. I started to self — studying neuroscience (fields related to the brain). I want to understand adult human learning and focusing on my own brain. I started this blog series to share my thought process behind my interest to learn my own brain. I want to how it learn or not learn new things myself. An individual human can understand his/her own brain accurately because he/she feels the brain as well. When we read, see data and learn brain studies, we lack the emotional part of human body and its role in learning and what we can do about it.
With the help of OpenPhD
I want to connect with scientist, researcher, and academicians working in the field to seek for guidance and to go in the right direction
I am looking for financial aid or part-time work or internship in the field of science and research.
If I am able to able to achieve this then I will try my best to take OpenPhD to next level and create a platform and a framework for a candidate like me who wants to self-train and want to independent research. If I can do that anyone can do that.
It is a new Idea and I hope I will get the support of scientist, researcher, and academician working public or private research institutes or private companies.
I am also looking for a partner for OpenPhD. Please read this blog to know more. Right now I am the only one who is working on OpenPhD.
Email [ email@example.com]