Call for nominations opens for 2017 Young Researchers Awards

GBIF invites nominations from its national Participants for the 2017 Young Researchers Awards, which will focus on publication of datasets that give rich information on species observed or collected in particular sampling events.

Cooper Creek, Chugach National Forest, Alaska

Surveying in Cooper Creek, Chugach National Forest, Alaska. Photo by USDA Forest Service Alaska Region, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

GBIF is inviting nominations for the 2017 Young Researchers Awards, with the focus on publication of datasets that give rich information on species observed or collected in particular sampling events.

The GBIF Young Researchers Awards is an annual programme aimed at fostering innovative research and discovery in biodiversity informatics. Working closely with GBIF national Participants, the 2017 awards will provide €5,000 prizes recognizing the work of two graduate students—one a master’s candidate and one a PhD candidate—nominated by GBIF Participant countries.

In previous years, the YRAs have sought to encourage innovative uses of biodiversity data mobilized through the GBIF network. Building on recent updates to the Darwin Core standard that powers GBIF, the 2017 awards will recognize the best proposals to mobilize and share new sampling-event datasets through

These fundamental datasets from ecological researchers contain key information on the presence or absence and abundance of species, and provide the richest resource for modeling biodiversity patterns and for detecting changes and trends in populations. They provide a critical tool for understanding the prospect and pace of widespread global change.

To demonstrate the potential value of sharing such ‘sampling-event datasets’, GBIF will present the 2017 Young Researchers Awards to recognize excellent examples of structured datasets derived from the applicants' ecological research activities and published to the GBIF network. A jury comprised of representatives from the GBIF network, GBIF Science Committee and ecology-data experts will evaluate submitted datasets based on the completeness and quality of the data and associated descriptive metadata.

Upon selection, award winners will be expected to prepare data papers that fully describe the datasets and submit them for publication in an open-access journal. Pensoft Publishers, who worked closely with GBIF to develop the biodiversity data paper concept, have agreed to waive publication charges for the winning entries, submitted to Biodiversity Data Journal using Pensoft’s Arpha writing tool.

Students interested in being nominated must submit their applications to a Head of Delegation of a GBIF Participant country. National delegations are responsible for forwarding up to two nominations to the GBIF Secretariat by 15 July 2017. The winners will be announced at the 24th GBIF Governing Board meeting, taking place in Helsinki, Finland in September 2017.

Given their responsibility for reviewing applications and selecting nominees, GBIF national delegations are likely to set earlier deadlines for potential student nominees. For detailed information on any specific country, graduate students who wish to seek nomination for the awards should consult the websites of their national GBIF Participants or contact the Head of Delegation or node manager directly.

The 2017 GBIF Young Researchers Award is funded by SBNO: Stichting ter Bevordering van Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek, with in-kind support from Pensoft Publishers through waiving of publication charges.

For further details, please download the 2017 call for nominations.