The 2018 Competition for the iBiology Young Scientist Seminars (YSS)

The 2018 Competition for the iBiology Young Scientist Seminars (YSS)

A partnership of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, and iBiology 

Are you a graduate student or postdoc in any field of biology with a compelling research story that you want to share with the world? Do you want to learn how to give one of the best science talks of your career? 

Click HERE to apply to the 2018 Young Scientist Seminars!


The Young Scientist Seminars (YSS) is a video series produced by iBiology that features young scientists giving talks about their research and discoveries. As with all iBiology videos, the YSS videos are freely available online and widely viewed by an international audience of students, scientists, educators, and the public. Speakers in the YSS series must apply by December 10, 2017 (11:59pm PT) to be selected.


  • Winners will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the University of California, San Francisco (late Spring 2018, exact date TBD), where they will attend a multi-day science communication workshop led by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, in collaboration with iBiology. During the workshop, they will make improvements to their 30-minute research talks.
  • At the end of the workshop week, winners will record their improved 30-minute research talks in iBiology's green screen studio. Studio-recorded talks will be posted on the iBiology website as part of a the Young Scientist Seminars.
  • Receive a $500 honorarium.

For young scientists, this is a unique opportunity to develop their communication skills and showcase their work!


U.S. and international pre-doctoral graduate students (i.e. PhD candidates) and post-doctoral fellows in any field of the biological sciences are eligible to apply. Although you are not required to be a PhD candidate to be eligible to apply, your research story should be close to publication or have been recently published to be considered. 

Application Details

Each application must include:

  • A short statement (3o00 characters maximum, including spaces) explaining why you (the applicant) are applying to the YSS competition and how you would benefit from participating.
  • A 2-page CV or resume that highlights: research experience, scientific presentation experience and awards, and science communication, outreach or education activities.
  • A short written description (3000 characters maximum, including spaces) of the scientific discovery that you (the applicant) would like to share of camera and its importance, for a non-expert but scientific audience (e.g. a young undergraduate student in biology or biological sciences). This short research description should make clear why the research is interesting and novel, and explain the 'so what?' of your work. You are welcome to use stories and analogies to accomplish this. You DO NOT need to submit a video for this.
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member (emailed separately) that comments on the applicant’s scientific merit and communication skills. Recommenders should send a signed letter of recommendation (in .pdf format) attached to an email to with “[APPLICANT LAST NAME, FIRST INITIAL]” in the subject line. 

Click HERE to apply to the 2018 Young Scientist Seminars!

Selection Process

The winners will be selected in two phases.

Phase 1 - Finalist SelectionTen to twenty finalists will be chosen based on their submitted application materials (details and application above). 

Phase 2 - Winner Selection: Finalists will give a 20-minute audition talk in English using videoconference to the iBiology staff. Information about the 20-minute talk, including the deadline and guidelines, will be supplied to the finalists before the audition. Four winners will be selected from the pool of finalists, based on both the science and clarity of the talks. 

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The Young Scientist Seminars are funded by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, which accelerates support for medical research through recognition of scientific excellence, public education, and advocacy. The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science leads the training for the four winners in collaboration with iBiology.