Nikita Ghodke, B.A. | Open Science, et al.  

     An International Queer Disabled Researcher and Advocate's Journey 

      A little About Me

Hello! My name is Nikita घोडके (Gho-d-ke) and my pronouns are she/they. I am a queer-disabled researcher from Bangalore, India. I am currently a Research Assistant at New York University & a Research Collaborator at Cambridge University working remotely and finally a Research Contributor at ManyBabies Consortium

I am also a Youth Advocate at UNICEF India's Yuwaah cohort of Youth Advisory 2023-2024 and a Youth Reviewer at the 2nd Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing - Multi-disciplinary Adolescent and Youth Review Group. I am a co-creator at Sangath India's Queer Chronicles Project and an Experiential Advisory Board Member at Project GALENOS. Apart from the above, I am an aspiring Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and a Developmental Cognitive Neuroscientist

I completed my Bachelor's in Psychology, English Literature, and Journalism (2021) from Jain University, Bangalore, India. I previously worked during the summer as a Research Assistant at Harvard University & University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2022 and was a research intern at Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar. 

You can read more about my background here.

       My Research Interest

Image of a child's head silhouetted against a background of DNA strands and a heartbeat. The image is a symbol of autism, a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior.
This is a gif of a drawing of a person's head and a brain. The brain is shown in detail, with the different parts labeled. The gif is a representation of the brain and its complexity.

**Above Illustration/Picture Credits: Franiska Barcyck (left) and Columbia's Zuckerman Institute (right side)

I am broadly interested in investigating the relationship between socioeconomic inequality/poverty and its influence on children's (infants & toddlers) cognitive and brain development, particularly, in language development, memory, and executive functions. My interests align with using neuroscience to make better educational outcomes, inform public policy, and promote healthy development in infants & toddlers, children in general specifically from lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) and underrepresented groups. You can read more about my research experiences and talks/presentations.

P.S In 2024, I hope to create a separate page for my research interest to expand more on it. Stay tuned!

       My Advocacy Work

I am an advocate for open science, disability, children, and youth's educational rights and those with lived experiences. My involvement with UNICEF initiatives and Lancet Adolescent and Youth Groups are my experiences in working towards advocating for the above. I am a proud co-founder of two open science initiatives, #Dev-ersity in academia (DIA) and the founder, Project USPAS (Underrepresented Students of Psychology & Allied Sciences). These initiatives are aimed at bridging together opportunities and creating access to resources around the Psychological & allied sciences as well as underrepresented researchers around the globe, especially those from developing countries to increase diversity and representation in research.

I regularly update a section on my website of the different acceptance and rejection lists of a variety of opportunities I have applied to in academia or related (why, do I do that? Celebrate small wins and transparency of the process). Apart from academics, I am also a freelance writer and photographer and occasionally a singer by hobby (well, a few know about it). When I am not working or actively scrolling through Twitter (X), I am most of the time binge-watching TV series and movies (Currently binging the Marvel Cinematic Universe & The Office).

I love capturing memories of non-academic & academic milestones of my life and updating all of those on my memories page and my sci-comm Instagram page or my Twitter feed. Feel free to glance through it, it's a virtual mini-museum of what some of the tiny good moments of my life are and have been.

Feel free to reach out to me via Email/Twitter with any questions, potential collaborations or just to chit-chat about any of the above :) | I love talking to and helping fellow international students in navigating academia to the best of my capacity. In the spirit of navigating and understanding the academic community on Twitter, I also have slides/materials made for International students to form a base for exploring the academic Twitter community and or navigating it. 

P.S I have been helping many International students (not counting - more than 70+) that I met on Twitter & LinkedIn with the process of applying to RA positions and updating the resources page with the same. All the resources created come from my experience with applications and I am no expert in this.