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Apply to the iBiology’s Young Scientists Seminars!

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 from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science?

Then apply to the Young Scientist Seminars by December 15, 2016! Applications will be accepted starting October 12, 2016.


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.

Participants in the YSS series must apply to be selected. PhD candidates or postdocs with an interesting research story and good presentation skills are eligible to apply. Four winners will attend a multi-day workshop led by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, a leading organization in training scientists to give effective talks, in collaboration with iBiology. After this training, the selected scientists will record their 30-minute talks in a green screen studio, which will be posted on as part of a the Young Scientist Seminars. The winners will receive a $500 honorarium.

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

Competition Details

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. The winners will be selected in two phases.

Phase 1 – Finalist Selection


Each application must have the following materials submitted by December 15, 2016:

  • Short statement (3000 characters maximum) explaining why you are applying to the YSS and why you are a good fit
  • 2-page CV or resume
  • 2-page written description of the scientific discovery the applicant would like to share of camera and its importance, for a general scientific (i.e., non-expert) audience (references are included in the 2-page limit)
  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty member that comments on the applicant’s scientific merit and communication skills (sent separately; see details below)

Ten to twenty finalists will be chosen from the Phase 1 applications.


  • Send your letter of recommendation to with “[APPLICANT LAST NAME, FIRST INITIAL]” in the subject line
  • Attach your letter to the email as a separate document in .pdf format
  • Please include your signature on the letter

Phase 2 – Winner Selection

Finalists will perform a 30-minute “audition” research talk in English via Skype. Information about the 30-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.

Winners will receive an all-expenses paid trip to San Francisco, CA (late Spring 2017, exact date TBD), where they will:

  • Participate together in a workshop to receive first-rate science communication training from the Alda Center for Communicating Science. During the workshop, they will make improvements to their 30-minute research talks.
  • Record their improved 30-minute research talks in a studio after the workshop.
  • Receive a $500 honorarium.
  • Have their studio-recorded research talks featured on and broadly advertised!


The Young Scientist Seminars are being 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 is kindly leading the training for the four winners.