Young Scientist Meeting Award

As forensic toxicology continues to evolve, it has become increasingly clear that the bench level scientist is the indispensable and under-appreciated tool of the forensic toxicology laboratory. It is at the bench where the advancement of this complex science occurs. Unfortunately, often due to budget constraints, it is the bench level scientist that gets left behind in the laboratory at SOFT meeting time.

To compliment the ERA that is designed for students, the Board of Directors has established the Young Scientist Meeting Award (YSMA) to encourage the involvement of the bench level scientist in SOFT. Approved in 2002, the first award was given at the SOFT annual meeting in 2003 in Portland, Oregon. The award is for any bench level scientist with 5 years or less experience that is working in the field of forensic toxicology (B.S., M.S., or Ph.D.). Currently, the award is $2,000 plus a complimentary basic SOFT meeting registration fee. These funds are to be used to offset travel expenses to the annual SOFT meeting. In addition to the experience requirement, the applicant must complete a research project that advances the field of forensic toxicology and report the findings at the annual SOFT meeting. The type of presentation (platform or oral) will be decided upon by the scientific program committee for the annual meeting at which the award is to be presented.

Purpose

To encourage training and research in areas related to forensic toxicology, recognizing young bench scientists working in the field. The Young Scientist Meeting Award (YSMA) is for bench level scientists to undertake projects and get involved in the annual SOFT meetings. This award is to be used by the recipients to offset travel expenses incurred for the annual SOFT meeting.

Eligibility

The YSMA will recognize bench level scientists (B.S., M.S., or Ph.D.) with 5 years or less experience in the field of forensic toxicology. Applications will be competitive. Awardees may not reapply. Abstracts must be accepted by the scientific program committee for the current years SOFT meeting.

Note 1: In addition to the monetary award, a certificate of recognition will also be presented to the awardee at the SOFT Business Meeting which is held at the annual SOFT meeting.

Note 2: Awards are to be made at the discretion of the ERA Committee based upon excellence, relevance to forensic toxicology or other criteria established by SOFT and the ERA Committee. It is not required award(s) be made each year.

Requirements of the YSMA Application (submit by email to Awards Committee Chair)

  1. Completion of an YSMA Application Form.
  2. Abstract in SOFT Annual Meeting format (MS Word).
  3. Brief summary of research plan. This should include hypothesis, experimental design, results and conclusion. If several projects have been completed as part of their studies, each should be addressed in the same format. Each project should not exceed 1 page in length.
  4. One (1) letter of recommendation from a supervisor on company/agency letterhead attesting to applicant's capabilities and the writer's willingness to ensure the award will be used to offset expenses for attendance of the applicant at the SOFT annual meeting. Note: It is not a requirement that the applicant be a member of SOFT. If the applicant is not a member of SOFT, the person writing the letter of recommendation must be a full or charter member.
  5. A resume or curriculum vitae of the applicant.
  6. The application deadline is the first Friday in April, the year of the annual meeting.

Notification of Award to Applicant: No later than June 1 of year of award.

Applications should be emailed to Erin Spargo, Ph.D.
 

Previous Award Recipients of the Young Scientist Meeting Award

Year Awardee Affiliation
2016 Erin Strickland Ameritox, Greensboro, NC
2015 Erin Ehrlinger Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Baltimore, MD
2014 Fenyun Liu Center for Human Toxicology, Salt Lake City, UT
2012 Dani Mata Orange County Crime Laboratory, Santa Ana, CA
2011 Kristopher Graf National Medical Services, Willow Grove, PA
2010 Brianna Peterson Washington State Crime Lab, Seattle, WA
2009 Oscar Pleitez Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, Los Angeles, CA
  Mary Jeanette Aiken Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
  Nichole Bynum RTI International, NC
2008 Robert Hargrove Office of the Medical Examiner, Chapel Hill, NC
2007 Sara Kegler Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, Los Angeles, CA
  Henry Swofford Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Decatur, GA
  Tor Selden National Board of Forensic Medicine, Linkoping, Sweden
  Brienne Brown Center for Human Toxicology, Salt Lake City, UT
2006 Matthew P. Juhascik UMass Memorial, Forensic Toxicology Laboratory, Worcester
  Eucen L. Fu Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, Los Angeles, CA
  Travis E. Curtis Ameritox Laboratory, Midland, TX
2004 Yan Chang University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  Michelle Sandberg Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, Los Angeles, CA
  Kelly McGrath Cuyahoga County Coroners Office, Cleveland, OH
  Shawn Vorce Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner, AFIP, Rockville, MD
2003 Justin Poklis Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, NC