Why do so many students from India want summer internships in the USA?

I wished I had infinite resources because daily I see my inbox fill up with requests to join “my lab” to do a summer internship. If I could take all these students I would need a huge building. But imagine what projects I could work on?? By the way I have never advertised for student.

Now as some of you, and these students do not realize, I currently work entirely remotely in an office in my house. I have no lab, but  my wife quaintly calls my office the “Ekins Research Institute” and has done for several years.

As examples of some of the extensive letters and CV’s here goes..I have obviously deleted names etc. These do appear very real and not spam. If there is any one actually with the facility to offer any of these scientists positions for the summer please let me know and I can pass on your contacts..It seems there is so much interest in coming to the USA. I think it is ironic that the USA has so much interest in exporting our pharma jobs OUS when there are youngsters literally bombarding us with emails to come here and work!!

I should add that due to the number of emails received I am physically unable to respond to every email and these are just recent examples:

Dear Dr. Ekins,

I am a senior undergraduate student pursuing a B.Tech in the department of
Biological Sciences and Bioengineering at the Indian Institute of
Technology, Kanpur, India. I am writing this mail as I am interested to
work under your guidance in your lab during the summers of 2014.

I am primarily interested in computational biology and machine learning.
Besides this, being at IITK, I also have background in Genetics, Molecular
Biology, Biomaterial, Biochemistry, Structural biology and undergraduate
level mathematics. To pursue my interests in machine learning, I have
audited an online course on machine learning (via coursera).

As my final year project, I am developing a machine learning based
prediction method for identifying amphipathic helices. To achieve this we
are applying different algorithms such as neural network, SVM, one-class
SVM etc for several feature vectors. Till now we have around 75% accuracy
for prediction. The prediction accuracy is variable with respect to
features so, we trying to validate our model. Depending on the
satisfactory results, we will be hosting a bioinformatics server to make
it available to other researchers.

In another project on “Drug Delivery Through a Thermosensitive Transdermal
Patch”, in which we studied the mechanism of drug delivery through skin
and then we conceptualized a transdermal patch using thermosensitive
polymer PNIPAMm for delivering drug Ibuprofen. This drug delivery system
delivers drug only when the temperature of skin exceeds a particular

Summers of 2012 gave me an opportunity to apply my knowledge of
programming to real world problem. I interned at Ubida Solutions Pvt.
Ltd., Pune, which is developing smarter and more efficient commuting
system in India. I worked for one of their venture “AUTOWALE”. My project
involved the development and improvement of their PHP driven monitoring
system and development of android application for auto rickshaw drivers
for their assistance.

This project will give me a great opportunity to learn and I promise to
excel. I am willing to read-up more on a specific topic that you may
require so that I come fully equipped during the summer to work on the
project. Attached herewith is a copy of my resume. I would be honored to
work with you. Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to your

Name deleted
Final Year Undergraduate,
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Respected Professor,


I am Name deleted , a 3rd year undergraduate student pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Delhi Technological University (formerly Delhi College of Engineering), one of the premier engineering colleges in India. I wish to apply for a summer research internship under your esteemed guidance and supervision during the summer months of June-July 2014.


Personally, my research interests lie distributed between Robotics, Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Software Development, Human Computer Interaction, Image Processing & Machine Vision, and more recently in Digital Forensics and Machine Learning. I realize that these might be very scattered fields, but I know I’m capable of excelling in any of these fields or other related areas.


During the course of my college studies, I have been a part of multiple research and project teams which has helped me develop a deep understanding of a wide array of subjects. This past summer in 2013, I was selected as a Visiting Student Researcher at Cranfield University, UK. My research was focused on the digital forensic analysis of a Raspberry Pi device. I studied the relevance of the Pi in this regard and its possible criminal uses; and also conducted a series of experiments to establish the potential forensic artefacts recoverable from the use of a Raspberry Pi device.


In my University in India, I was part of a team of undergraduate students where we develop Unmanned Aerial Systems with funding and technical mentorship from Lockheed Martin, USA. Lockheed Martin has provided us with over $500,000 in funds and invaluable technical help and support. My responsibilities in the team consist of Software Development and Control of the Autopilot.
The team, UAS DTU (www.uasdtu.com), also participates in the annual AUVSI Student Unmanned Air Systems (SUAS) competition held in Maryland, USA. We finished 6th worldwide, out of 35 international teams, in the 2013 SUAS competition and have won over $15,000 prize money in the last five years.


In addition to the two projects I’ve already mentioned, I also worked as a Software Developer for baseClass Ltd., Budapest, Hungary during the summer months of 2012. I was responsible for creating a Remote Desktop Application for industrial robotic systems. My work with the company has since been successfully launched as a commercial product at http://www.monitoringsuite.com/.


Over the years I’ve become proficient in C/C++, Python, Scala and R programming languages. I’ve also used the OpenCV, openFrameworks and ROS (Robot Operating System) libraries. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from Coursera and edX have helped me learn a lot of these new skills, so I’m extremely grateful for those.


I strive for excellence and always want to learn new things. I feel that working with your support will teach me more than I could ever learn on my own. I do feel that my strong sense of logic, algorithm building, programming skills and international work exposure could prove to be a valuable asset to your organization.


Thank you for considering my application. I have attached my detailed formal resume with this email.If you need any further information, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to your reply.


Sincerely yours,


Name deleted
Delhi Technological University, New Delhi, INDIA.

Dear Professor Ekins,

I came to know about you from your research paper  ‘ Open drug discovery teams: A chemistry mobile app for collaboration ‘.

I am a Junior Undergraduate student pursuing Bachelor of Technology in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, INDIA. I will be completing my sixth semester (3rd Year) by the end of April, 2014.

I am extremely interested in ‘Computer Networks’ and its applications. I would like to work under your guidance in this or related field or would be glad even if I could assist you in any ongoing project related to my field of interest. My ideas and inputs may prove to be helpful to fulfill the demands of the project. As far as my experience in Computer Science and Engineering is concerned, I did course ‘Computer Networks’ and found it very interesting. I have performed well so far in this field and thus I’ll be able to match up with the technical and theoritical aspects of this field.

I started reading research papers to get an idea about the current research problems and the opportunities in this field and thus during that I came across your research paper. From all the knowledge I have gained about these areas, I find that it fascinates me to a great extent. I am very motivated and open to work under your guidance. Working under your guidance will definitely contribute a lot to my knowledge, skill and experience in this field which I wish to pursue further.

Please consider my application for internship for the period of May-July, 2014. For your reference, I have attached my curriculum vitae, but should you require more information, I would be glad to provide it.

I have always wished to work with innovative and dynamic people and I really look forward to be a part of your team. Hoping for a positive reply from your side.

Thanking you!

Yours sincerely,
Name deleted
Junior Undergraduate
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
IIT Kanpur
Kanpur 208016

Dear Professor Ekins,

I came to know about you from your research paper  ” Fusing dual-event data sets for mycobacterium tuberculosis machine learning models and their evaluation “.

I am a senior undergraduate pursuing my M.Sc(Int) degree in the Department
of Mathematics and Statistics at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT),
Kanpur,INDIA. I will be completing my final year by the end of April,

Studying at one of the most prestigious Engineering Institution in
India, I have been exposed to the latest research in the filed of
Mathematics and Computer Sciences.

I am interested in the field of Algorithms and Machine learning and would
like to work under your guidance in this field or would be glad even if I
could assist you in any ongoing project of yours related to my field
of interest.I plan to do higher studies in the same research field and
therefore,I am trying to build a solid foundation for the same. As far
as my past experiences are concerned, I have done few courses and
research projects and explored topics related to Algorithms and Machine
Learning (mentioned in CV).My ideas and inputs may prove to be helpful to
fulfill the demands of the project. Please consider my internship
application for the time period May-July 2014.

For your consideration I have attached my Curriculum Vitae. If you require
any more information I would be glad to provide you.Expecting a positive
response from your side. I have always wished to work with innovative and
dynamic people to be able to choose the right field of research for
pursing my Ph.D degree.

Thanking you

Yours sincerely
Name deleted
5th Year Undergraduate
Mathematics and Scientific Computing
IIT Kanpur

Respected Professor Ekins ,

I came to know about you through ‘Challenges predicting ligand-receptor interactions of promiscuous proteins: The nuclear receptor PXR’

I am Name deleted, 4th year undergraduate of Mathematics and Computing Department at *Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur)* India. I am writing with reference to the possibility of obtaining research experience under your guidance during the period from May 2014 to July 2014.

I have keen interest in the research field of  Machine Learning.

In the field of my interest, I had done a project this semester on ‘Movie  Recommendation System and Rating Estimation’, in the course ‘Machine Learning Tools and Techniques’ under the guidance of Prof. Dr.Name deleted,CSE department, IIT Kanpur and also I have completed course of Machine Learning, Probability and Statistics, Data Structured And Algorithms, Optimization which I feel will be relevant in my work. I have done last summer internship and other projects which i mentioned in my CV.

I am very keen to carry out research and contribute to the research going on in my field. An opportunity to work under your guidance will prove to be a high point in my career and would augment my existing knowledge tremendously. If given a chance, I will use my academic background and passion for research to contribute significantly under your guidance.

For your consideration, I have attached my resume/ Curriculum Vitae (CV), but should you require anymore information, I would be glad to provide to you.
Your response is eagerly awaiting.

Yours sincerely,
Name deleted
IV year undergraduate student
Department of Mathematics and Computing
IIT Kanpur, India

Dear Dr. Ekins,

I am Name deleted, a Fourth year Undergraduate student at Indian Institute of Technology(IIT), Kanpur, India (www.iitk.ac.in) majoring in Mathematics and Scientific Computing. Actually, I came across your research paper  ” Fusing dual-event data sets for mycobacterium tuberculosis machine learning models and their evaluation ” and found it particularly interesting. I am very much interested in your research and I really appreciate your work. I am writing to enquire if you have a position open in any of the ongoing projects for the summer (May, June and July 2014).

If you are interested, please find further details below –

My field(s) of interest primarily revolve around statistical simulation, data analysis and regression analysis. I also wish to do my future studies in this field and to do research. Also, through my academic background I have developed a sound understanding of these topics. I have good experience of C and Java Programming. I like exploring new areas, learning something new and something different. I believe that my enthusiasm for learning would help me to grasp new concepts quickly and the experience would be very valuable to me, both in terms of knowledge and gaining a perspective of research. My sincere desire to augment my insight into my field of interest and gain substantial amount of practical knowledge in the field.

I am sure that working under your guidance will contribute significantly to my knowledge and provide me with valuable experience. I am attaching my CV for your perusal. I will be happy to provide any further details.

Please let me know if there is an open position.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,
Name deleted
Fourth Year Undergraduate
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur
Kanpur, INDIA

Respected Prof. Ekins,

I am a Fourth Year Undergraduate Student at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur pursuing Bachelor Technology in Materials Science Engineering. I am looking for a Research Internship during period May-July’14 to utilize my skills and gain some valuable experience in the area of Crystallography.

During the course of my study I came across your publication  titled” Hybrid scoring and classification approaches to predict human pregnane X receptor activators “and found it very useful.

I am very much interested to carry out a research Internship or contribute to any ongoing research work in the field of Crystallography. I have done some courses related to Crystallography like Material Characterization, Manufacturing Process and Fundamental of Materials Processing.

I am a highly motivated and hard-working individual with good managerial and technical skills. I am confident of performing to my best, being a good time manager and a quick learner. I have been involve in various activity which required time management skills and decision making skills. I would appreciate if you could asses my chances to getting a good research experience with your level of expertise.

For your consideration my Curriculum Vitae (CV) is attached . I will be grateful to you if you can give me the opportunity of working in this area under your guidance.

Thanking you, in anticipation for your reply.

Yours Sincerely,

Name deleted
4th Year Undergraduate Student
Department of Material Science Engineering
Indian Institute Of Technology, Kanpur

Dear Dr. Ekins,

I Name deletedf, currently pursuing MS (Biotechnology) from Indian Institute
of Technology (IIT) Bombay, a premier research Institute of India. IIT
Bombay has been ranked by QS World University rankings 2012 among 51-100
top universities in biological sciences and is one of the most prestigious
research institute in India. I plan to pursue my higher studies (Phd) and
do research in the field of Structural Biology and at present I seek an
opportunity of working on a research project for 6 or more months from
January 2014 in your highly esteemed laboratory.

Working on proteins made me realized that looking into the structure of
protein could help us know more about it’s specific properties, it’s
interaction with ligand(s) and gaining an insight of the protein crystal
structure, it’s catalytic active site residues and the residues
surrounding it would help us to design drug to inhibit that protein and
ultimately in the long run to cure that disease. So, I choose protein
crystallography as my MS dissertation project. My MS dissertation project
is focused on “The Purification and crystallization of histo aspartic
protease (HAP) protein and determining it’s high resolution crystal
structure” under the guidance of Dr. Name deleted at IIT Bombay.

In my initial Laboratory work, I have optimized the protocol of expression
and purification of the HAP protein successfully purified it using Ni-NTA
His trap column (15 ml), Anion exchange (DEAE column, 5 ml) and gel
filtration (S-200) column. Currently I am trying to crystallize HAP
zymogen as well as active HAP enzyme along with its inhibitors (Pepstatin
A and KNI Inhibitors) by setting up crystallization screens under
different conditions so as to get good quality crystals and then proceed
to collect high-resolution diffraction data through X-Ray crystallography,
drops are being set using hanging drop vapour method. It is know that the
enzyme has the property of autocatalytic cleavage at acidic pH. I am
optimizing the protocol for autocatalytic cleavage of HAP by trying
different pH, temperature and varying the incubation time. Presently I
have been able to do so at pH 5, 37 C and incubation time 24hrs but still
not all the enzyme has converted to active form. As per gaining experience
I have successfully crystallized lysozyme and have collected diffraction
data for it and now I will go all the way to solve its structure. I am
also taking Crystallography as my credit course which is taught by my
supervisor and in which I am learning the computational part of
crystallography and what I have learned uptill now is how to process
diffraction data by iMosflm, XDS and CCP4.

I am very much interested in Structural biology, Oncology and Protein
biophysics. Especially I want to look into key residues of proteins and
try to find out how the activity of the protein is affected by mutating
them. Knowledge of understanding these mutations and their interaction
with the ligand(s) is a key issue in drug targeting and probably finding
an insight to a possible treatment for curing the disease. Analysis of
crystal structures helps us to provide a very good initial guess, as to
where to start from and how to proceed when faced with a new challenge of
biological importance.

With my knowledge I promise to offer you my sincere and most dedicated
services and prove to be a useful member to your team, willing to
contribute whole heartedly. I am therefore very excited in joining your
lab as that would give me another international exposure and an enriching
experience in your guidance that would further help me in my research
career and my long term goal of setting up my own Laboratory.

I am writing my resume below as well as attaching a pdf for the same,
other attachment include my motivation letter, my research experience and
three recommendation letters that i got last year while applying for a
summer project which will give you rest of my details. I will be more than
happy to provide you any other details that you would like from my side. I
look forward for a positive response from you.

Your`s Sincerely,
Name deleted
MS Biotechnology,
Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering,
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay

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