Michelle Bloor, SETAC Europe Awards Chair, and Rebecca Bundschuh, SETAC Europe Education Project Manager

This past year, 204 students and young scientists competed for the Best Platform and Best Poster Presentation Awards at the SETAC Europe 28th Annual Meeting in Rome, Italy. Each candidate was evaluated by three established professionals, resulting in a total of 612 individual reviews and feedback forms.

In this context, we would like to draw your attention to our volunteer judges and reviewers, who undertook a considerable amount of work. Their responsibilities in this “pay it forward” and professionally important activity included:

  • Viewing and evaluating all competing poster and platform presentations
  • Completing these reviews in a limited timeframe in order to present the Best Poster and Best Platform Presentation prizes at the annual meeting’s closing ceremony

As you can imagine, this is an important and rewarding task that is best shared by many of our SETAC members. The award committees depend on the generosity of volunteers to complete the task.

The award winners are not only selected based on their average mark but also on the feedback they receive. Many students compete primarily to obtain feedback on their work from independent professionals outside of their own network. Therefore, we would like to thank each and every one of our 236 volunteer professionals who contributed to the evaluation process, but in particular, we would like to thank three who went above and beyond our expectation and provided extremely constructive feedback during the evaluation process. Our gratitude goes especially to Colette vom Berg, Eawag, Switzerland; Paul K. Sibley, University of Guelph, Canada; and Rudolf Schneider, BAM- Federal Institute Materials Research and Testing, Germany.

The SETAC Europe’s Award Committee will soon be searching for willing volunteers to judge the Best Posters and Best Platform Presentation at the SETAC Europe 29th Annual Meeting, which will be held from 26–30 May 2019 in Helsinki, Finland. Please consider helping with this task as without willing volunteers this valuable benefit to student members would not be possible.

Authors’ contact information: michelle.bloor@port.ac.uk and rebecca.bundschuh@setac.org

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