NEWS On Wednesday this week, a small award ceremony took place at the Chemical Biological Centre (KBC). Lill Eilersten and Lena Lassinantti received awards for their video research pitches as Best PhD Student Presentations during the KBC DAYS 2020. The awards were handed over COVID-safe with a minimal number of attendees by Stefan Björklund, the Scientific Coordinator of KBC. The ceremony was a follow-up event on the KBC DAYS 2020, that took place on the 3rd and 4th of November.
Lill Eilertsen, PhD student in the group of Judith Lundberg-Felten at the Umeå Plant Science Centre, received the Agrisera Best PhD Student Presentation Award - a travel voucher sponsored by Agrisera. She investigates if root mycorrhization can make pine seedlings more resistant against drought stress. Her video pitch was chosen as best presentation by an evaluation committee that considered several criteria of effective science communication, including the structure of the presentation, clearness of the message, and adaptation of the message to the target audience.
The second awardee, Lena Lassinantti, won the Participants’ Choice Best PhD Student Presentation Award. Lena Lassinantti is PhD student at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, in the group of Ronnie Berntsson and studies how bacteria spread their genes which can cause for example antibiotic resistance. The committee scored her video pitch almost as high as Lill Eilertsen’s pitch and this very good presentation is reflected by the choice of the conference participants. The prize for the Participants’ Choice Best PhD Student Presentation was sponsored by Flora-L Design and consisted of a set of textile products with patterns from plant microscopy images.
Twelve PhD students presented their research projects in three-minute-long video pitches during the KBC DAYS 2020. All of them participated before in a course about science communication that was offered by KBC and given by Gabrielle Beans Picón. The main purpose of the course was to train the PhD students in presenting their research projects to a highly interdisciplinary audience and, considering challenges of communicating in the digital realms, to acquire new skills by creating a video presentation.
All twelve students did a fantastic job crafting their video research pitches in very short time and the feedback from the evaluation committee will hopefully help them to develop their science communication skills further. This was the second time that a PhD course was offered in connection with the KBC DAYS, but the focus in the previous course was on poster presentations. In future, KBC is considering to offer young researchers such a course in science communication every year in connection to the KBC DAYS, always adjusted to the respective format of the conference.
The third prize handed over during the ceremony was the award for the best photo. To make the digital conference more interactive, a photo contest with the theme “Sustainability” was organised in parallel to the talks. Both, sustainability and science communication, were the main topics of this year’s KBC DAYS. Judith Lundberg-Felten’s photo “Precious”, capturing an image of an old majestic tree, was chosen by the conference participants as the best photo. She received a small solar lamp as sustainable prize for her photo.