A Dubai College science student, who recently survived a life-threatening kidney transplant, has received acceptance offers from 23 prestigious universities in the UK and US.
Pritvik Sinhadc, a young researcher and author, has been accepted in California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Stanford, and several Ivy League universities such as Princeton, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Brown and Dartmouth.
Although he received several scholarships from some of the world’s top universities, the 17-year-old is currently taking his pick from Caltech, Stanford and Princeton. “I applied to all these universities because my parents were unsure where I’ll get in,” said Sinhadc.
“Caltech has always been my dream school, as it is a STEM research hub. However, I never expected to get in as it’s extremely selective and admits only around 25 to 50 international students from all over the world.”
“Most of my family members and friends told me that it would be a waste of time if I applied to Caltech. However, I applied and got in!”
Once Sinhadc makes a choice, he will be set to pursue his double major in Physics and Astrophysics, and a minor in Planetary Sciences and/or Mathematics starting from September 2022.
The teenager has a long record of achievements in academics and research.
He was only seven years old when he published his first non-fiction Palaeontology book “When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth”. He released three other books, alongside several scientific journal articles, including a paper with ‘BEYOND: Centre for Fundamental Concepts in Science’, which will be published by ‘Nature Astronomy’ journal, and he also co-authored the NASA Astrobiology Primer to be published in the ‘Astrobiology’ journal.
While he was flying high in academics, on the other hand Sinhadc had to battle kidney failure, which required dialysis and multiple operations. He finally received a successful kidney transplant in 2020.
Beyond overcoming adversities, Sinhadc said getting into elite universities came down to one key factor: following his passion. “Many advised that my application might be adversely affected since US universities normally take in ‘holistic’ students, meaning I needed to play sport or get into music, dance or theatre.
“My passion was not holistic. It was pure research,” said Sinhadc.
Sinhadc’s core advice to others trying to get through the complex application process at these varsities is to “be absolutely yourself.”
“I have had my share of stress, but the one thing that I have not compromised on is my ‘own voice’. No one knows you better than ‘you’ and this is what counts.
“No acceptance or rejection should define who you are and what you can achieve in life. Respectfully take everyone’s opinions, but be confident in letting the admission officers know only your thoughts, your own story, in ‘your own style’.”
With ambitions to become a scientist and establish a research institute that “benefits the world”, Sinhadc received a handful of scholarships, including a renewable $33,500 (Dh123,000) annual Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship from UC Berkeley, a renewable stipend of $14,500 (Dh53,000) per year from Arizona State University, and a Rabi Scholar from Columbia University.
Going to Caltech or Stanford or Princeton would mean falling back on Rise, a global scholarship and mentorship programme he won for his project ‘Network Theory Models of Mass Extinctions’, to fund his education.
However, he is adamant to take on paid internships, part-time jobs or other scholarships to earn additional financial support to save the Rise funding for his entrepreneurial and research venture.
“I am very determined and strong in my decisions and with Rise as my support, I will surely get there,” said Sinhadc.
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