Professional Development Workshop

Title: Other Pieces of the Puzzle: Research Funding, Publishing, Mentoring

Organizer and Chair: Fahmida N. Chowdhury

Presenters: Fahmida N. Chowdhury (US National Science Foundation), Sushmita Mitra (Indian Statistical Institute), Basabdatta Sen Bhattacharya (Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, Goa, India)

Panelists: Mary Doyle-Kent, Larry Stapleton, John Organ

Duration: 2.0 Hours

Format: Presentation, Discussion, Questions/Answers, Interactive

Summary/Outline of Workshop

In technical conferences, we focus on technical topics. However, there are some other, non-technical aspects that are essential for our professional success. We call those the “Other Pieces of the Puzzle”. This workshop addresses the following topics.

  • Research Funding. Writing strong and convincing research grant proposals, finding appropriate funding resources, developing/managing budgets, serving on (getting invited to) grant proposal review panels, learning about intellectual property, privacy, confidentiality, research ethics, conflicts of interest, how to handle rejections and use reviewers’ feedback to write better proposals, how to resolve disputes, etc.
  • Publishing. Writing good manuscripts, presenting/communicating novel ideas clearly, learning citation, copyright and plagiarism rules/customs, searching for relevant literature, finding/choosing the right journals to submit, avoiding predatory journals, peer reviewing, serving on conference review boards and journal editorial boards, determining authorship orders, ethical considerations, conflicts of interest, etc.
  • Mentoring. Being a mentor and a mentee, working with students, guiding students, sharing knowledge with others, sharing career issues and advice, working with postdocs and junior faculty, working with senior colleagues, nurturing the mentor-mentee relationship, etc.

Structure of Workshop

Funding: Presentation (Fahmida Chowdhury) 15 minutes, Q & A with panelists and audience 15 minutes

Publishing: Presentation (Sushmita Mitra) 15 minutes, Q & A with panelists and audience 15 minutes

Mentoring: Presentation (Basabdatta Sen Bhattacharya) 15 minutes, Q & A with panelists and audience 15 minutes


Additional funding presentations from Geraldine Canny and Sergio Fernandez-Ceballos

Q & A with Audience and Panelists

Short biographies of presenters

Basabdatta Sen Bhattacharya

Basabdatta Sen Bhattacharya (BSB) is currently serving as an Associate Professor, Computer Science Department, Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani Goa Campus, Goa, India; she is a native of Silchar, Assam, India. Basabdatta received her PhD from School of Computer Science, Advanced Processor Technologies (APT) group, University of Manchester, UK (2008); M.Eng. in Computer Engineering from the Electronics and Communication Engineering Department, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India (2002); B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from National Institute of Technology (NIT) Silchar (1992). Post-PhD, she has worked as a Researcher in the APT group, School of Computer Science, University of Manchester, UK; Lecturer of Electrical Engineering at the University of Lincoln, UK, Post-doc at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, UK; University of Bordeaux, France. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), UK; a Senior Member of the IEEE. Her current research interests are primarily in the area of Computational Neuroscience as well as Neuro-inspired technology. Alongside, she enjoys mentoring student cohorts from multi-cultural and -ethnic backgrounds. She co-edited a book entitled “Validating Neuro-Computational Models of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders” (with Fahmida N Chowdhury; Springer, 2015).

Sushmita Mitra

Dr. Sushmita Mitra is Professor at the Machine Intelligence Unit (MIU), Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. She is the author of the books “Neuro-Fuzzy Pattern Recognition: Methods in Soft Computing” and “Data Mining: Multimedia, Soft Computing, and Bioinformatics” published by John Wiley, and “Introduction to Machine Learning and Bioinformatics”, Chapman & Hall/CRC Press, beside a host of other edited books. She has guest edited special issues of several journals, is an Associate Editor of IEEE/ACM Trans. on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Information Sciences, Fundamenta Informatica, Computers in Biology and Medicine, SN Computer Sciences, and is a Founding Associate Editor of Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery (WIRE DMKD). She has more than 150 research publications in referred international journals. According to the Stanford List, Dr. Mitra is ranked among the top 2% scientists worldwide in the domain of Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing. Dr. Mitra is a Fellow of the IEEE, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Indian National Science Academy (INSA), International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR), Asia-Pacific Artificial Intelligence Association (AAIA), and Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) and The National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI). She is a Member of the Inter-Academy Panel for Women in STEMM. She has visited more than 30 countries as a Plenary/Invited Speaker or an academic visitor. She served in the capacity of General Chair, Program Chair, Tutorial Chair, of many international conferences; was the Chair, IEEE Kolkata Section (2021-2022) and an IEEE CIS Distinguished Lecturer. Her current research interests include data science, machine learning, soft computing, medical image processing, and Bioinformatics.

Fahmida N. Chowdhury

Fahmida N. Chowdhury is a Program Director at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF,, where she directs and manages funding programs in the NSF Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE, ) and handles a country portfolio consisting of several South and Southeast Asian countries. As a Program Director at NSF, she develops funding solicitations, manages and leads proposal review processes, makes funding recommendations and manages/oversees funded projects. She co-manages a funding portfolio of approximately 25 million US Dollars. Dr. Chowdhury has been with NSF for 14 years. Before that, she was a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, where she held the W. Hansen Hall and Mary O. Hall Endowed Chair in Computer Engineering. She was educated at the Moscow Power Engineering Institute, Moscow, ex-Soviet Union and Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. Her research interests are in dynamic systems modeling/control and artificial neural networks. She has been a Fulbright Scholar and an Embassy Science Fellow, and she is fluent in Russian. She served as an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology and IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks; currently she is an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Artificial Intelligence.