Incentives for scientists, especially young scientists, are few and far between today. Look at the world they live in. They’ve chosen to work in areas they believe will make a difference, but in areas so specialized that most people will never understand them. On average, a handful of people scattered across the globe comprehend the value that a scientist’s average 80-hour working week will actually contribute to the world.
Scientists are passionate about their work. They certainly didn’t get into science for the money. Recognition is therefore an important reward. And early rewards give young scientists the energy they need to continue with great work – this is important.
How UP helped develop the prize
UP believes that young scientists deserve more recognition. So we brought together the journal Science and AAAS with SciLifeLab (a collaboration of four Swedish universities) to start The Prize for Young Scientists. The award consists of an annual prize of US $25,000 for the grand prize winner and US $5,000 each for three runners-up. In recognition of their outstanding work, the grand prize winning entry is published in the journal Science and the runners-up essays are published by Science online.
“I am impressed with the amount of interest in this prize and in only a short time period – we now have a very high number of submissions”, says Bill Moran, Director of Global Collaboration at Science/AAAS.
Professor Mathias Uhlén, Director for SciLifeLab comments “Science has never been more exciting and, as leaders in science, we need to support and encourage young researchers today and tomorrow.” Professor Uhlén continues. “We have had a truly tremendous response to the advertisement and online promotion, with a much higher number of applicants than expected. It helps demonstrate the importance of this sort of activity in the sciences.”
UP believes in science
At UP we believe that scientists are first and foremost people. They share our hopes and dreams. Like us, they find it equally hard to go to work on Mondays. They’re special because they’ve chosen a career in science, generally thankless work that has contributed more to humanity’s health, wealth and understanding than many other human endeavors over the past 500 years.
Like all of us, young scientists need a bit of encouragement now and then. If a little recognition helps them continue their career in science, in striving for new scientific discoveries, applications, results towards improving life, then we will all benefit.
Now that’s something worth celebrating.
For more information about The Science/AAAS and SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists, visit http://www.sciencemag.org/site/feature/data/prizes/scilifelab/