Keralite IISc girl secures internship in premier Italian lab


Overseas studies are prized by Indian students and their parents. The number of Indian students on campuses abroad have increased in the last few years, though many aspiring students fail to make the cut or fund their studies abroad. A rare luck has come calling Sandra Santosh, a second-year undergraduate Physics student at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. She has now secured a foreign fellowship and an opportunity to study in Italy.

Sandra will be soon doing a three-month summer internship at the Material Science Lab of the prestigious Italian National Research Council (CNR) in Trieste.

She achieved this enviable breakthrough after a summer internship under IISc’s Physics professor Dr PS Anilkumar last year.

He had advised Sandra to apply for opportunities abroad.

While exploring academic opportunities overseas, Sandra realised opportunities were mostly for postgraduate studies. However, she applied to several institutes with her bio-data, detailing last year’s internship.

Professor Piero Torelli of CNR-IOM called and arranged a video interview, following which she received the call to join the Lab. But the Malayali student was worried over the expenses. But Torelli himself suggested a way out - apply to The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

Project details made an impression and soon the undergraduate received a fellowship. She will receive 3900 Euros (Rs 3 lakh) for three months. Travel and accommodation will be taken care of.

ICTP is an organisation funded by UNESCO, International Atomic Energy Agency and the Italian Government in memory of Pakistani Nobel laureate Abdus Salam.

Sandra is the daughter of Santosh Pious and Manjula Albert of Greeshmam, from Kera Nagar, Kavanad, Kollam.