Best Student Presentation (BSP) Program

The Best Student Presentation (BSP) competitions are a highlight of the SICB annual meeting. All SICB divisions coordinate two BSP competitions – one for poster presentations, and one for talk presentations. We welcome all students attending the meeting to consider participating in the BSP program!

For a list of previous BSP Award Winners, please click here.


Best Student Presentation Eligibility

You must be a SICB member to compete for any BSP award; some divisions also require that you be a member of that division to compete in the divisional competition. Graduate Student, Undergraduate, High School Student Members, and those who have received a Ph.D. within 12 months of the competition are eligible to compete for awards. The work you present must be original, and have been carried out principally by you, the student presenter.

A presentation (talk or poster) may be entered in only one divisional contest per year. A student who wins best talk presentation in a given division may not compete in best talk presentation contests in that same division in the future. A student who wins best poster presentation may not compete in best poster presentation contests in that same division in the future. Student award winners in one division are not excluded from competing for awards in other divisions in other years.

Best Student Presentation Abstract Submission

BSP candidates should submit abstracts through the same abstract submission process as all other SICB presenters, no later than the deadline. If you wish to compete in the BSP Program for the division to which you are submitting your abstract, please check the Best Student Presentation box on the Abstract/Transmittal Form at the time you submit. The SICB Business Office will forward a copy of your Abstract/ Transmittal Form to the appropriate division for review.

Some divisions require that you submit an extended or competition abstract in addition to the regular abstract, which must accompany the Abstract/Transmittal Form on the date the abstract is due. Please carefully follow the BSP Guidelines for your division, for either a talk or poster presentation. If you apply for a BSP competition in a division that selects finalists for the competition and you are not selected as a finalist, your presentation will be scheduled in a regular talk or poster session.

Judging Procedures

Some divisions select BSP finalists using an extended or competition abstract that participants submit in addition to their regular conference abstract. These divisions note the criteria used to determine finalists in their division-specific guidelines.

To judge the BSP presentations at the annual meeting, each division will determine a panel of judges, composed of members of their division, to evaluate poster and talk presentations in the competition. All divisions use a common rubric to evaluate BSP talks and posters at the annual meeting. A pdf of this rubric is available here.

Conflict of Interest Policy. Reasonable efforts will be made by each division to avoid actual (and when possible, potential) conflicts of interest in selecting participants for and judging Best Student Competitions. Because of the size and number of BSP competitions across SICB, we do not require that all judges in a competition have no potential conflicts of interest with all students in the competition. Yet, direct conflicts must be avoided. No student should be judged by a postdoc or faculty member from their own department, or by a coauthor on the project presented in the competition. Judges may judge other presentations in a competition, even if they are in conflict with some presentations in the competition. It is the responsibility of the Division Chair to notify the SICB Secretary of any direct conflicts of interest, to oversee the implementation of this policy in their division, and to record the resolution of any conflicts of interest within their division.


Best Student Presentation Awards

The publishing company Wiley sponsors the SICB BSP competitions. The winners of the BSP talk and poster competitions for each division receive a cash prize (typically, $150) and a subscription to a relevant Wiley journal. 

A complete list of the society-wide policies and practices that govern our BSP competitions are available here. If you have questions about specific division rules and/or need further clarification, please contact the SICB Business Office.


BSP Divisional Guidelines

View the summary of BSP divisional guidelines here.

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