Computers in Cardiology

The Rosanna Degani Young Investigator Award 2009

1 - About the Programme

1.1 - Rosanna Degani

Rosanna Degani was a pioneer in the field of electrocardiography from the Institute of System Dynamics and Bioengineering in Padua, Italy, and Chairperson of the Organizing Committee of the 18th Computers in Cardiology Conference held in Venice, 1991. Her tragic illness and premature death occurred shortly after the Venice meeting. While her professional and scientific value is still evidenced by her papers, many of which appear in the annals of CinC, the memory of her human qualities is reserved for those who had the privilege of meeting her. The YIA is also a tribute to these qualities.

1.2 - The First Competition

After the 1991 Computers in Cardiology meeting, the Local Organizing Committee proposed the establishment of a Young Investigator Award to be named after Rosanna Degani, the late Chairwoman of the Committee. The decision to establish the Award was made by the CinC Board of Directors in Durham, NC during Computers in Cardiology 1992 and became effective immediately. The first Award was made at CinC 1993, London. Funding for the programme was provided largely by the Venice Organizing Committee with additional contributions from the corporation. The program was initially funded for ten years, but monies have been obtained to continue the award.

1.3 - The Aim of the Programme

The programme is designed to encourage young investigators to present their work and to have it discussed by the audience. It is also the intention to give young investigators an opportunity to enter the international scientific community from the main gate! The program also serves to encourage the attendance of students and young researchers by offering all entrants who conform to the regulations a reduced registration fee (see 3.11).

1.4 - Participants

The number of submissions has been steadily increasing and is now in the order of 25 per annum. The competition is therefore tough, but the odds are clearly not insurmountable! Someone has to win this prestigious award.

1.5 - Who Won the Award in Past Years?

The winner of the 2008 Rosanna Degani Young Investigator competition was Emiliano Votta from Politecnico de Milano, Milano, Italy. (From Real-Time 3D Echocardiography to Mitral Valve Finite Element Analysis: A Novel Modeling Approach.)

In previous years, the award went to:

2007: Francesco Maffessanti, Polytechnic of Milan, Italy (Development of a Method for Left Ventricular Shape Evaluation Based on Surfaces Obtained by Real-Time 3D Echocardiographic Images)
2006: Simona Petrutiu, Northwestern University, Illinois, USA (Manifestation of Left Atrial Events in the Surface Electrocardiogram during Atrial Fibrillation)
2005: G. Zwirn, Tel Aviv University, Israel (Adaptive Attenuation Correction in Contrast Echo)
2004: Xin Zhang, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA (3-Dimensional Activation Sequence Reconstruction from Body Surface Maps)
2003: Cristiana Corsi, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy (Ventricular Function)
2002: Enrico G. Caiani, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy (Myocardial Perfusion by Analysis of Echocardiograms)
2001: Diego di Bernardo, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (Computer Modeling of Repolarization)
2000: Eran Toledo, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel (Electrophysiology in Heart Transplant Subjects)
1999: Ezana Azene, Tulane University, New Orleans, USA (Electrophysiology, Simulation)
1998: Michael Hilton, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, UK (Heart Rate Variability)
1997: Wenguang Li, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, NL (Intravascular Ultrasound)
1996: Stephanie Caswell, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA (Arrhythmia Detection)
1995: Neil Greenberg, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, USA (Ultrasound Imaging)
1994: Eugene Seneta, University of Technology, Sidney, Australia (Defibrillation Electrodes)
1993: David Bloem, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, USA (Implantable Defibrillators)

2 - Eligibility

2.1 - Definition of a Young Investigator

There is a great deal of variability in the training curricula of young investigators in different countries and there is also a difference between the training of physicians and engineers. It is therefore necessary to adhere to the spirit of the programme rather than to state precise rules. First of all, there is an explicit age limit of 36 years at the time of submission. Faculty members are not eligible. For scientists other than MDs, the ideal candidate is a Ph.D. student or a recent graduate who submits his/her doctoral work. Post-docs (on grant or scholarship or soft money) are eligible as long as they work under the scientific guidance of a supervisor. A young investigator in training is not supposed to have his/her own research funds as a general rule nor to lead a research team. For MDs, the ideal candidate is an intern or resident physician or a research fellow not yet board certified in a specialty. European MDs are expected to be in post-graduate specialty training or, where applicable, to be a post-specialty research student. Physicians holding a hospital position or engaged in private practice do not qualify.

2.2 - Proof of Eligibility

A statement is required from your supervisor or from the head of your department. This year, some guidelines for the statement are being offered. The statement should indicate (a) that you meet the eligibility criteria listed in 2.1; (b) your contribution to the work, particularly if the paper has multiple authors. Your statement should be printed on your departmental stationery, signed by your supervisor or Head of Department and then submitted to the Chairman of the YIA competition by e-mail, fax or post to the address at the foot of this announcement. Proof of elegibility is mandatory and submissions without a proof of eligibillity will not be considered.

2.3 - Submission in Successive Years

If you have previously submitted a paper for the YIA competition and your work was not selected to be among the four finalists, it is allowable to resubmit an updated paper or a paper on a different topic. Often the work presented is in progress, and may benefit from further data collection or in general from further maturation.

Since the YIA programme provides the only access to a reduced registration fee for students, resubmission is permitted without restriction as long as in-training status is maintained.

2.4 - Submission of Work That Is Part of a Team Effort

It is allowable to submit work which is undertaken as part of a team. If your paper is co-authored by colleagues other than your supervisor, you should indicate on the eligibility form (see 2.2) which part of the work was performed by you and which part was performed by the others. If much of the groundwork was prepared by a colleague, perhaps an earlier student in the same lab, this should also be indicated. For example, the statement should delineate which tools or software was designed by you, as opposed to the tools or software that was provided by the team and used by you in your research. Please note that this will not necessarily devalue your work. The selection committee is well aware that certain areas of activity require a team effort and cannot reasonably be accomplished by an individual.

3 - Submitting Your Paper

3.1 - Advance Notice of Intention to Submit for the YIA Is NOT Required

Advance notice of a submission is NOT necessary, and indeed is troublesome when a paper does not follow as has sometimes been the case in the past. The organiser is then left wondering if a paper has been lost!!

3.2 - Submit Both an Abstract AND the Paper

It is necessary to submit a full paper including a short summary/abstract at the beginning AND a separate abstract. This requires two separate submissions. The abstract should meet the rules for the normal abstract submission and is different from the short summary/abstract at the start of the paper (see 3.4). The full papers are sent to the YIA judges and are reviewed before the abstract review meeting and before the final conference program is arranged. Four finalists are chosen to present their papers in the YIA session and their abstracts are published in the abstract book, which is made available at the time of the conference. The remaining YIA abstracts are considered for regular conference sessions and are graded and allocated according to the standard rules - hence the need to submit a separate abstract that meets the usual format. Papers submitted for the YIA which are not matched by a corresponding abstract will not be considered.

3.3 - Guidelines for Submission


In order to allow electronic processing, the abstract for the Conference must be submitted via the CinC Web site according to a predefined format.  Instructions for the abstract submission to the annual conference.


YIA applicants must submit a full paper in the same format as required for the conference proceedings. This includes a small abstract (see 3.4). Full details can be obtained from the Conference web pages at Instructions for submitting a manuscript in the standard conference format.

All manuscripts must be submitted electronically as PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format) files, following the instructions at

YIA manuscripts are due by May 1st. Please do not wait until the last minute, especially if you have not previously submitted a paper to CinC.  Submitting a properly formatted manuscript is easy and usually trouble-free, but don't risk missing the deadline because of unfamiliarity with the formatting requirements or the manuscript submission process.


Your submission is not complete until the YIA Chairman has received the eligibility statement described above (see 2.2 and 2.4) from your supervisor. This statement is also due by May 1st.  It should be printed on the official letterhead paper of your institution and may be sent by email (as a PDF attachment), by fax, or by post to the addresses specified below.  You should receive a confirmation of your submission within a reasonable time. If you have not received a confirmation by May 5th, please contact

3.4 - Is the Conference Abstract the Same as the Abstract in the Designated Slot at the Top of the Manuscript?

No! The abstract at the top of the manuscript is just a short summary of the content. The conference abstract, on the contrary, should contain enough information to let the referee understand your work and should effectively be a small, self-contained paper with methods, results and real data.

3.5 - How Strict Is the Page Limit?

It is absolutely essential to adhere to the limit of 4 pages. A paper that does not comply with this rule will not be accepted nor will the author be awarded the reduced registration fee. 

3.6 - May I Submit More than One Paper?

No! The Board has decided that one paper is quite enough given the high number of submissions.

3.7 - Is There a Student Registration Fee for the Conference?

There is NOT a special fee for students. However, all the young investigators who enter for the YIA competition and submit a 4 page paper together with an abstract are entitled to a 50% reduction in the registration fee, whether or not they reach the final.

3.8 - If I Still Have a Doubt, How Can I Inquire?

Please send an e-mail to, with your questions.

4 - The Selection Process

4.1 - Selection of Finalists

The selection of the finalists is a two step process. First of all, each member of the selection committee reads and ranks the papers. The Committee usually consists of the President of Computers in Cardiology, the Chairman of the YIA programme, and at least three members of the Board of Directors. If a Board Member is also a supervisor of an entrant, then (s)he cannot be a member of the selection committee. The committee then gathers the day before the abstract selection meeting, reviews the markings for each paper and a decision is taken by consensus.  Four young investigators are selected to make oral presentations at the YIA session, which is usually scheduled as the opening plenary session. For these four finalists, the registration fee for the conference is waived entirely.

4.2 - Notification of Results

You will, of course, receive an e-mail from the Organizing Committee notifying you of the acceptance/rejection of your abstract for presentation at the conference. I will notify you separately by e-mail about the status of your YIA paper as soon as possible after the final program is planned. In broad terms, all YIA applicants will be advised of the outcome by early June.

4.3 - If a YIA Paper Is Not Accepted as a Finalist, Is It Still Considered for the Conference?

Yes! As mentioned above, processing of the paper for the YIA competition and of the abstract for the conference follow different routes.

4.4 - My Paper Was Not Selected as a Finalist, But My Abstract Has Been Accepted for the Conference: Can I Use the Paper for the Proceedings?

Yes, you can, but you can also re-write it if you collect more data or if you feel that you can improve it in the extra time available. Please note, however, that the paper you have submitted for the YIA will be delivered to the Proceedings editors for publication when appropriate. The editors would greatly appreciate knowing explicitly, via a written memo, your decision to maintain your YIA paper as originally submitted or to replace it with a newer version

4.5 - My Paper Was Selected as a Finalist: Can I Change It for the Proceedings?

Your paper will be printed in the Conference Proceedings (the Abstract Book will contain your full abstract and not your paper). Therefore you may revise your paper during the summer, e.g. you may improve the style and the language, remove errors, and even add more data. However, since the original paper was the basis for your inclusion as a finalist, you must not abuse this freedom. Again, the editors would be happy to receive a memo advising whether or not you are changing your original submission.

5 - The Presentation

5.1 - When Will the YIA Session Take Place?

The YIA session is scheduled for the first day of the conference (usually Monday). The presentations are generally made immediately after the opening ceremonies.

5.2 - How Much Time Do I Have for the Final Presentation?

The YIA session allows 15 minutes for each presentation and 5 minutes for the discussion. Please note that this is different from all the other sessions, where only 10 minutes are allocated for the presentation.

5.3 - How Important Is the Presentation vs. the Written Paper?

There is no written rule, but you should think of the presentation as a new and entirely different contest. Although the final decision is made by the same jury as read the original submissions, an evaluation form is usually circulated to experts in the various topics who are in the audience. These experts will not have reviewed the manuscripts beforehand and they assess the oral presentations on their own merit. The quality of the oral presentation is therefore as important as the scientific content.

5.4 - Will There Be Questions from the Floor?

Of course! And your answers will also have an impact on the final selection.

5.5 - I Am Not a Native English Speaker: How Will I Cope with the Questions from the Floor?

The Chairpersons of the session will be aware of this problem and will do their best to help you with language difficulties, if necessary.

6 - The Winner

6.1 - How Is the Winner Selected?

An evaluation sheet is circulated to a number of people who are experts in the various topics of the YIA session. The views obtained are taken as the base for a discussion within the jury, which produces a final decision by consensus. This decision is final.

6.2 - When Will the Winner Be Announced? What Is the Prize?

The name of the winner is announced in the final plenary session (usually on Wednesday morning). After this session, the four finalists receive their cheques (worth US $750 each), and the winner also receives a plaque (and an extra cheque worth US $500).

 7 - How Do I Contact the Chairman of the YIA Program?

Write to:  

Dr Willem R.M. Dassen
Maastricht University
Dept. of Cardiology
PO Box 616
6200 MD Maastricht
The Netherlands

Phone:    (31) 43 387 7090
Fax :       (31) 84 718 3294