The SLAS Innovation Award is a $10,000 cash prize recognizing the work behind one exceptional podium presentation at the SLAS International Conference and Exhibition. The award honors research that proves to be exceedingly innovative and contributes to the exploration of technologies in the laboratory, exceeds a benchmark or milestone in screening or the lead discovery process, or demonstrates an advanced and integrated use of mature technologies.
SLAS is searching for podium presentations from academia, government and industry that consist of innovative advances such as:
The award consists of a $10,000 check presented to the winning presenting author (see Rules and Regulations: Monetary Disbursement). Subject to SLAS requirements and the approval of the SLAS Awards and Grants Advisory Committee, the winning presenting author is also:
The winner is also granted a complementary one-year Premier Membership to SLAS. The award-winning work will be featured in an issue of SLAS Technology and/or SLAS Discovery following the conference, and the winner will also be profiled in a future issue of Electronic Laboratory Neighborhood, SLAS’s e-zine.
The panel of judges is comprised of individuals approved by the SLAS Awards and Grants Advisory Committee and represents the various technologies and applications within the SLAS International Conference and Exhibition curriculum.
Should a tie occur after the scoring is final, the SLAS President is the tie-breaker. Judges may not have or have had any formal association with the candidates, either direct or indirect. Judges must recuse themselves from evaluating any candidate wherein there exists a relationship such as family, business, financial or other, e.g. academic or student/professional association. Judges must sign a non-conflict of interest certification form ensuring no improper purposes. It is expected that any issues are declared by the judges. The SLAS Awards and Grants Advisory Committee Chair makes the final decision on any questionable issues.
The SLAS Innovation Award selection process is based on a three-tiered evaluation system:
Selection of the SLAS Podium Presentations
In assembling the program, the Annual Conference Program Committee selects qualifying podium presentations from the abstracts received in the Call for Abstracts submission period. To qualify for entry into the SLAS Innovation Award contest, an abstract must be received prior to the Call for Abstracts deadline of Monday, August 5, 2019, and the author must opt-in for consideration using the appropriate check box.
Working from the conference's selected abstracts, the panel of judges scores all the abstracts thereby identifying the SLAS Innovation Award Finalists for evaluation at the SLAS Annual Conference. The panel of judge will review only those podium presentations selected and slotted for the conference by the Annual Conference Program Committee. Short course instructors, poster presenters and plenary speakers* are not eligible unless they have also been accepted into the SLAS2020 Scientific Program. All candidates must adhere to the SLAS Abstract Submission policies, timelines, rules and regulations.
How Preliminary Screening Works
The Annual Conference Program Committee selects podium presentations for the SLAS Annual Conference. The panel of judges will review and score the abstracts. (See "Scoring" below). The Chair assigns all abstracts for evaluation to the panel of judges. Each of the podium presentations will be scored by a minimum of two judges.
Upon completion of the first scoring phase, the panel of judges will convene by teleconference to select the top 20 to 25 candidate presentations. These top candidates will be offered the opportunity to submit an extended abstract for review by the panel. An extended abstract is strongly encouraged by the judges to allow better differentiation of the leading candidates. Failure to submit information in time for the next selection phase will jeopardize the author's chances for inclusion as a finalist.
Upon completion of the second phase, the SLAS Innovation Award judges will announce the SLAS Innovation Award finalists.
Request for Additional Information
As part of the preliminary screening process, and in coordination with the Chair and panel of judges, a candidate author may be contacted to answer further questions.
*Plenary speakers are not eligible to submit their plenary talk for consideration for the SLAS Innovation Award. However, those individuals giving a plenary talk may also choose to submit an abstract to be considered for the SLAS2020 Scientific Program and to be considered for the SLAS Innovation Award upon acceptance into the program.
The panel of judges will attend and evaluate each of the candidate's presentations and will collectively select the winner of the SLAS Innovation Award after all presentations are complete. While scoring the presentations, the judges will consider:
Impact on Life Sciences and Technology
Will this work make a noticeable contribution to the field of life sciences and technology? Will it substantially reduce the cost, change the workflow or improve the quality of laboratory processes? Is the method robust enough to allow routine implementation? Will it have widespread adoption over the next 10 years? Did the presenter explain why he/she was doing the research and who will benefit from this research/technology? Would this advancement only benefit a small group of people, or could it have far reaching/global impact and change laboratory automation as we know it?
How novel is the approach or solution? Is this work a creative solution to a new problem or a new twist on an old theme? Can this approach be applied to a range of problems or is it limited to one particular case? Is this "copycat" science applied to a slightly different problem?
Quality of the Science
Was the experiment performed properly? Can improvements be made either with the science or the technology? Do the data reflect reaching a fundamental limit? What is the confidence that the result is correct? Are the results repeatable and were the results repeated? Are there better methods to solve the same problem? Did the presenter appropriately report any limitations of the methods? If this work is early in development, are there any major hurdles to overcome prior to widespread success? Does the presenter understand the uncertainty of the measurements/methods?
Was the oral presentation in alignment with the written abstract? Did the presenter explain the key concept(s) well enough so that a well-educated listener could follow his/her main train of thought? Was the presenter able to keep the audience's attention throughout the presentation? Was the presentation well organized with respect to its look-and-feel (e.g., large enough fonts, suitable colors, readable graphics, etc.)? Was the presentation's content organized in a logical manner? Did the presenter answer questions from the audience in a satisfactory manner? Did the presenter provide the correct amount of background material so that the general SLAS audience can understand the subject? Did the audience seem excited by the presentation?
Each candidate presentation will be judged on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being the best possible score; integers only). The scores of all judges will be consolidated for the final decision.
Candidates affiliated with someone on the panel of judges are permitted to participate, but the judge must recuse him or herself from evaluating that candidate.
* The Annual Conference Program Committee comprises of a Chairman, Associate Chairman, Track Chairs and Associate Track Chairs. Session Chairs are not members of the Annual Conference Program Committee, and therefore are eligible to participate.
*1Abstract Submission Policy
SLAS invites academicians, scientists and post-doctoral and graduate students to submit abstracts for scientific talks and poster presentations for this international educational forum by Monday, August 5, 2019. Presentations will be hand-picked by the Annual Conference Program Committee. Details regarding abstract submission can be found here.
To ensure that your abstract receives proper consideration for this award, please be sure to include information on methods, results and conclusions in your submitted abstract.
Rules, regulations and guidelines are subject to change at the discretion of the SLAS Board of Directors in accordance with bylaws, polices, and procedures.
The monetary award is not to be considered an obligation of SLAS.
Discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ethnicity, veteran’s status, or physical or mental disability regarding the SLAS Innovation Award is prohibited. Each candidate shall be evaluated based on the award's criteria, which are tied to SLAS's exempt purpose of advancing the science and education of technology in the laboratory.