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

Abstract: 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 tutorial 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, 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.


Funding: Presentation 30 minutes, discussion 10 minutes, Q & A 20 minutes

Publishing: Presentation 30 minutes, discussion 10 minutes, Q & A 20 minutes

Mentoring: Presentation 30 minutes, discussion 10 minutes, Q & A 20 minutes

Expected Length of the Tutorial: 3 Hours

Format: Presentation, Discussion, Questions/Answers, Interactive


Prof. 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. She is a Senior Member of the IEEE, and a member of IEEE CIS Conference Activities subcommittee on Strategic Planning. 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 co-edited a book entitled “Validating Neuro-Computational Models of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders” (with Basabdatta Sen Bhattacharya; Springer, 2015). 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.

Fahmida Chowdhury’s NSF Bio:


Prof. 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. Prior to pursuing PhD, she has worked as adhoc Lecturer (teaching only) with the Department of Computer Engineering, NIT Rourkela, India (2002-2004). Prior to appearing for the Graduate Aptitude Test for Engineers (GATE, 2000) for pursuing M.Eng., she has served in several Managerial positions at the Electronics Engineering Department, Rourkela Steel Plant, Steel Authority of India Limited (RSP, SAIL, 1994-1999), and as a Junior Engineer R&D section, Motherson-Sumi Systems Ltd., Noida, India (1992-1993). 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).
Profile page at BITS Pilani Goa Campus:
Lab page:
APT page:

Prof. Sushmita Mitra

Sushmita Mitra is professor HAG at the Machine Intelligence Unit (MIU), Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. From 1992 to 1994 she was in the RWTH, Aachen, Germany as a DAAD Fellow. She was a Visiting Professor in the Computer Science Departments of the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; Meiji University, Japan; and Aalborg University Esbjerg, Denmark. Dr. Mitra received the National Talent Search Scholarship (1978-1983) from NCERT, India, the University Gold Medal in 1988, the IEEE TNN Outstanding Paper Award in 1994 for her pioneering work in neuro-fuzzy computing, the CIMPA-INRIA-UNESCO Fellowship in 1996, and Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship in 2018-2020. She was the INAE Chair Professor during 2018-2020. Dr. Mitra has been awarded the prestigious J. C. Bose National Fellowship, 2021.

Dr. Mitra 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 serves as 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.