Chitkara University is renowned as one of the best private universities in the North India region. The university offers multi-disciplinary programs in a wide range of fields including business, engineering, health sciences and education, all of which are designed to be industry-relevant. The university has established a research centre of excellence, known as the Chitkara University Research and Innovation Network (CURIN), to foster a culture of research and innovation and enable its researchers to work collaboratively across disciplines.
To support their research mission, Chitkara University became a subscriber to the Nature Masterclasses online course in Scientific Writing and Publishing in 2017.
The Scientific Writing and Publishing online course is delivered by editors from the Nature Research journals and gives a first-hand insight into how to publish in top journals. The editors share their editorial and scientific experience and give practical advice on the writing and publishing processes. In addition, interactive activities enable researchers to apply and solidify their learnings.
Chitkara University has a site-wide subscription, which enables all members of the university to access the course online.
Upon subscribing to the Nature Masterclasses course, Chitkara University decided to make it mandatory for their postgraduate students. Describing their decision to do this, Dr Rajnish Sharma, the Dean (Research) of Chitkara University, explained:
“We realised the need to sow the seeds of research at the very basic level, rather than limiting it to only a handful number of senior professors.”
As well as mandating the Nature Masterclasses course for postgraduate students, the university decided to create an elective for undergraduate students based around the course. The elective, called Publishing Research, comprised 45 contact hours, spread across one semester. During the contact hours, students watched and discussed the videos from the Nature Masterclasses course, and engaged with case studies, presentations and activities. This type of blended learning (combining online digital media with traditional classroom methods) can be very engaging, efficient and collaborative for learners.
Chitkara University also used the Nature Masterclasses course as part of a workshop it conducted for 500 faculty members during the summer. The faculty members used the course to learn the basics about writing good quality research papers.