Syngene announces second year of STEM scholarship and mentorship program for women in collaboration with RICH

· 30 women from tier 2 and 3 institutions have been selected for the second cohort of the program

· 21 women successfully completed the 2023 program; 12 landed industry jobs, while 9 extended their internships to pursue master’s degrees

18th June, 2024, Hyderabad: Syngene International Ltd., a leading integrated research, development and manufacturing services company, announced the second cohort of the Scholarship, Mentoring and Industry Orientation for Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in collaboration with the Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH). This program offers scholarships to women studying STEM subjects at tier 2 and 3 institutions across various regions of the country to enable them to gain industry experience in research institutions and companies and receive mentoring support.

Out of 549 applications, 216 profiles were shortlisted based on academic merit, socio-economic background, and STEM disciplines. One-on-one interviews were conducted with 151 students to assess their achievements and research interests. The top 60 applications were then reviewed by the Selection Committee, comprising experts from both industry and academia. As a result, the second cohort of the program has identified 30 women, with 10 selected from undergraduate programs and 20 from postgraduate programs.

During the launch of this cohort, Dr. Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Special Chief Secretary to Government, I&C and IT Dept, Govt. of Telangana; Ms. G. Nirupa, Joint Secretary, Telengana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutional Society (TGSWREIS) and Telengana Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutional Society (TGTWREIS), Govt. Of Telengana; Dr. Vishal Choudhary, Scientist F, Office of Principal Scientific Adviser, Govt. of India; Dr. Sridevi Khambhampaty, Vice President, Biopharmaceutical Development, Syngene International; and Dr. Anupama Shetty, Mission Director, Biocon Foundation, were in attendance.

Sridevi Khambhampaty, Vice President – Biopharmaceutical Development from Syngene International Ltd said, “We are delighted with the outcomes of the first cohort of the program. Encouraging women in STEM subjects is not just about achieving gender parity—it’s about unlocking innovation. Diverse perspectives breed creativity, and by fostering an inclusive environment, we empower women to pursue their passion and enrich our collective pool of knowledge. By offering these opportunities, we are investing in the future of science and technology.”

Despite increased female enrolment in existing STEM programs, dropout rates and limited career opportunities persist, especially for women from tier 2 and 3 cities. The Syngene/RICH program addresses these issues by offering scholarships and mentorship, enabling students to gain internships and practical experience in top research institutions and industries. Scholarships alleviate the financial burden for students, while mentorship provides career guidance, exposure to emerging STEM fields, and bridges the gap between theory and practice. This support boosts confidence, enhances project quality, facilitates networking, and empowers women to excel.

21 women who successfully completed the first cohort of the program were felicitated during this launch. Ms. Akshita Kulshrestha from the first cohort of the ‘Women in STEM’ program, said, “The mentorship support from Mr. Narasimha Reddy Dondeti and Mr. Suneelshekhar Yapara from Syngene International has been a cornerstone of my academic and career growth. They offered invaluable

guidance and insights that have shaped my journey in significant ways. They have provided real-world context, skill development, networking opportunities, project guidance, career insights, and given me the confidence to pursue my aspirations in scientific research.”

Ms. Rashmi Pimpale, CEO, Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH) said, “I am excited to reflect on the impact we have achieved through the collaboration with Syngene. Beyond financial assistance, our aim was to provide marginalised female students with invaluable hands-on learning opportunities in the top research and development institutions and industries located in Hyderabad. We believe this exposure acts as a bridge between academia and industry, igniting a passion for STEM among young women.”

The program was delivered by Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad, Biocon Foundation and Syngene Scientific Services Ltd.

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