Merck announces winners of its Young Scientists Awards 2023

Held at Bangalore, the annual awards recognize the work of young scientists who are driving positive change in the lives of millions across India

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New Delhi: Merck, a leading science and technology company, has announced the winners of Merck Young Scientist Award 2023, season 3.
Held at Bangalore, the annual awards recognize the work of young scientists who are driving positive change in the lives of millions across India through their cutting-edge research in life sciences. After an extensive selection process, the jury announced the winners at the award ceremony on November 24, 2023.
The third season of the Merck Young Scientist Award Program garnered an overwhelming response with over 1500 registrations from nearly 800 institutes across India, resulting in over 500 high-quality applications.
This year’s award program invited applications from three distinct categories, namely:
o   Biological Sciences
o   Chemical Sciences
o   A special category dedicated to Sustainability Research (green chemistry, renewable/alternate energy, sustainable materials and manufacturing), reflecting the growing significance of environmental consciousness in scientific research
The committee selected 3 winners each from the biological and chemical sciences categories and 1 winner in the sustainability research category. Here are the winners and runners-up:
Winners:
  • Biological Science Winners: Dr. Harsha Bajaj, Dr. Debarka Sengupta, Dr. Saroj Kumar Nandi
  • Chemical Science Winners: Dr. Uttam Kumar Ghorai, Dr. Santanu Panda, Dr. Shobhna Kapoor
  • Sustainability Winner: Dr. John Mandal
Runner-up:
  • Biological Science Runner-ups: Dr. Mahipal Ganji, Dr. Aravind Kumar Rengan, Dr. Neha Bhardwaj
  • Chemical Science Runner-up: Dr. Shibdas Banerjee, Dr. Sandip Murarka, Dr. Chinmoy Kumar Hazra
  • Sustainability Runner-up: Dr. Archana Singh
The winners received a prize of INR 350,000, comprising a cash award of INR 250,000 and a travel award of INR 100,000. Additionally, 7 runner-up recipients, were awarded INR 100,000.
Announcing the winners, Mr Dhananjay Singh, Head of Science and Lab Solutions, Merck Life Science, said, “Merck has created a platform to celebrate the brilliance of young scientists in India who are pushing the boundaries of research and contributing to the advancement of science. In Season 3, we are truly delighted to witness their passion, dedication, and innovative research, which aligns with Merck’s commitment to honoring cutting-edge research that can make the world a healthier and safer place.”
The prestigious Merck Young Scientist Award applications are reviewed by the panel of accomplished experts – bringing their extensive knowledge. The jury panel was chaired by three eminent scientists: Dr. Anurag Agarwal, Dean, BioSciences and Health Research, Trivedi School of Biosciences, Ashoka University, Dr Radha Rangarajan, Director of CSIR-CDRI, and Dr. Srinivasa Reddy, Director of CSIR-IICT.
The eminent jury has twelve members from respected institutes. The Jury panel includes: Dr Kavirayani Prasad from IISc, Dr Chepuri Ramana from NCL, Prof. Krishna P Kaliappan from IIT-Bombay, Prof. Yogeeswari Perumal, Dean of BITS-Pilani, Prof. Chinmay Mukhopadhyay from JNU, Prof. Pankaj Seth from NBRC, Prof. Nihar Ranjan Jana from IIT Kharagpur, Dr Ghanshyam Swarup from CCMB, Dr Beena Pillai from CSIR-IGIB, Prof. Tharmalingam Punniyamurthy from IIT Guwahati, Prof. S. Dasappa from IISC Bangalore, and Dr Taruna Madan, Scientist G and Head, Development Research, Indian Council of Medical Research.