The Rosanna Degani Young Investigator Award
1 – About the Programme
1.0 – What’s it all about?
This award is designed to encourage young investigators to present their work at CinC and to have it discussed with experts. It’s a unique gate to the international scientific community of CinC. You can find below the definition of a young investigator, requirements for the proof of eligibility, details of the review process that leads to the selection of the 4 finalists, and finally to the one and only winner. Also, all the steps to enter the YIA competition are listed in the detailed information set out below.
Of most importance is the requirement to submit a full paper (4 pages) by the time of the abstract deadline (together with an abstract and proof of eligibility) and to attend CinC with a senior co-author. As an incentive to participate in the competition, every eligible scientist who enters for the YIA competition will obtain a 50% reduction in the CinC conference fee.*
Four YIA finalists are chosen and invited to present their research at the opening plenary session. The four finalists receive a 100% reduction in the CinC conference fee.* Four semi-finalists are also chosen and their papers will be presented in relevant sessions during the conference. In addition to the eminent honour of being a finalist or semi-finalist in the CinC YIA competition, each finalist will receive a prize of US$750 and the four semi-finalists, each US$250 at the closing plenary session. The overall YIA winner will also receive a commemorative plaque and an additional cheque for US$500.
*In a case where the young investigator also wins a Mortara Fellowship, the full conference fee will be covered from the Mortara Fellowship.
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 Chair 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 Annual YIA 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 Chair 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. The first Award was made at CinC 1993, in London. The program was initially largely funded for ten years by the Venice Organising Committee, but monies were subsequently 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 through the main gate! The program also serves to encourage conference attendance of students and young researchers by offering all entrants who conform to the regulations a reduced registration fee (see 3.7).
1.4 – Participants
The number of submissions has been steadily increasing and is now of 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 – Winners of the Rosanna Degani Young Investigator Award
2 – Eligibility
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.
A statement is required from your supervisor or from the head of your department. The statement should indicate (a) that the applicant meets the eligibility criteria: (a.1) age limit of 36 years, (a.2) not a faculty member, (a.3) works under the guidance of a supervisor, (a.4) has no independent research funds; (b) the applicant’s contribution to the work, particularly if the paper has multiple authors, and (c) supervisor’s commitment to attend the conference. The statement should be generated on your departmental stationery and include a signature from your supervisor or Head of Department. Proof of eligibility is mandatory and submissions without a proof of eligibility will not be considered.
2.3 – Submission in Successive Years
If you have previously submitted a paper for the YIA competition, but did not win, 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.
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 were designed by you, as opposed to the tools or software that were 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 – Entering the YIA Competition
3.1 – First Steps
Apply for a visa if you will need one to attend CinC. Don’t put off this crucial step! If you wait until you have been notified that your paper has been accepted, you may not have enough time to get a visa if you need one.
Ask your supervisor or department head to prepare and sign your eligibility statement. (See 2.2 above.)
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!!
Consult the Call for Papers for this year’s CinC conference to verify the abstract deadline, usually 15 April. The deadline may be moved by a few days if 15 April coincides with another major conference.
Submitting a properly formatted abstract or paper is easy and usually trouble-free, but don’t risk missing the deadline because of unfamiliarity with the formatting requirements or the submission process. Since you may revise your submissions at any time before the abstract deadline, test the process by submitting early drafts of your conference program abstract and of your full paper (see 3.3 below) to avoid last-minute surprises.
3.2 – Required Elements for a YIA Submission
Your submission is not complete without the eligibility statement described above (see 2.2 and 2.4) from your supervisor. It should be printed on the official letterhead of your institution and must be submitted together with your conference program abstract and your full paper.
CONFERENCE PROGRAM ABSTRACT
In order to allow electronic processing, the abstract to be printed in the conference program must be submitted via the CinC abstract and paper collection site according to a predefined format. For details, see these instructions for preparing and submitting CinC abstracts.
YIA applicants must submit a full paper in the same format as required for the conference proceedings. This includes a short abstract (see 3.4). For details, see these instructions for preparing and submitting CinC papers.
3.3 – Submit All THREE Required Elements Before the Abstract Deadline
It is necessary to submit a full paper including a short summary/abstract at the beginning (for publication in the CinC proceedings), and in addition to submit a separate (usually longer) abstract (for publication in the conference program book distributed to attendees). The conference program 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).
Once again, submissions for the YIA that do not include all three of these required elements:
- proof of eligibility (see 2.2)
- a conference program abstract
- a full paper
will not be considered!
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 plenary session that opens the conference.
If you are not selected as a finalist, your abstract will be reviewed together with all of the other abstracts submitted to CinC. If it is accepted, it will be assigned to a parallel or poster session. Note that the abstract reviewers will not usually have read your full paper, so it is important that the abstract stand on its own as a summary of your work.
Accepted YIA papers may be revised after the finalists have been selected and before the final paper deadline (usually in early September, one week before the CinC conference begins; but see 4.4 and 4.5).
3.4 – Is the Conference Abstract the Same as the Abstract in the Designated Slot at the Top of the Paper?
No! The abstract at the top of the paper is just a short summary of the content (at most, about 150 words). The conference abstract, on the contrary, should contain enough information to let the abstract reviewers (and eventually, other attendees) understand your work and should effectively be a small, self-contained paper (of up to 300 words) with methods, results and real data.
3.5 – How Strict Is the Page Limit for the Full Paper?
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 to the YIA Competition?
No! The Board has decided that one paper is quite enough given the high number of submissions.
3.7 – Do YIA Participants Qualify for a Reduced Registration Fee for the Conference?
Yes; details are here.
3.8 – If I Still Have a Question, How Can I Inquire?
Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 submitted papers. The Committee usually consists of the President of Computing in Cardiology, the Chair of the YIA programme, at least three members of the Board of Directors and several experts. If any proposed member of the selection committee is also a supervisor of an entrant, then (s)he cannot serve and is replaced. The Board of Directors gathers before the abstract selection meeting, reviews the scores for each paper, and makes a decision 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
If you have entered the YIA competition, 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. The YIA Chair 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, the reviews of the full paper for the YIA competition and of the conference program abstract for the regular sessions of the conference follow different routes.
4.4 – Will My Accepted Paper be Published?
If you present your paper at CinC, whether as a YIA finalist or not, it will be published. It is essential that CinC attendees have an opportunity to discuss your work with you. Papers that are not presented are not published in any case.
All accepted papers receive editorial review, and you should be prepared during the month after the conference to make corrections if requested by the Editor to do so.
4.5 – May I Revise My Accepted Paper?
You may revise your paper at any time after it has been accepted, until the final paper deadline (usually a week before the conference begins in September). Many authors use this opportunity to improve the style and the language, remove errors, and even add more data. If you were selected as a finalist, however, keep in mind that your original paper was the basis for your inclusion in the program; don’t abuse your freedom to revise it. If you were not selected as a finalist, your inclusion in the program is based on your abstract only, so you may rewrite the paper completely if you wish.
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 papers 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 Chairs 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?
During the YIA session, evaluation sheets are circulated to a number of people who are experts in the various topics of the presentations. The views obtained then form the basis for a discussion within the selection committee, which produces a 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 on Wednesday afternoon., which will include presentation of the awards.
6.3 – Can a young investigator apply for a Mortara Fellowship and vice versa?
Yes, the two programs are independent, but if a young investigator wins a Mortara Fellowship, the full conference registration fee will be covered from the Mortara Fellowship.
7 – How Do I Contact the Chairman of the YIA Program?