BSPP Infographics Student Competition 2020
As the annual BSPP conference was cancelled, there were no associated poster and presentation prizes awarded for 2020. So, we launched our first ever Student Infographics Competition to encourage a new way of communicating science.
Our 7 entrants agreed that, “with online communication becoming increasingly prevalent, infographics are a vital aspect of scientific research” and “a great way to share our science”.
There were two winners and five runners up, you can see their entries and read more about them below…
Winners were both awarded a cash prize of £150.
Usman Hussain (Joint Winner)
Usman Hussain is a PhD student, studying oak microbiomes and Acute Oak Decline with James McDonald at Bangor University, Wales.
“My favourite part of this PhD project is the amazing opportunities it presents; it allows me to conduct innovative research whilst benefitting the UK’s natural environment.”
“One of the opportunities given to me was to apply to this fantastic infographic competition! I believe it is vital for scientists to be able to communicate their ideas and findings as collating information allows us to become better scientists and research with higher efficiency. This competition is a great way of gathering scientists from across the globe and allowing them to share their hard work to other scientists but also to the public. With online communication becoming increasingly prevalent, infographics and posters are now a vital aspect of scientific research.”
Maninder Kaur (Joint Winner)
Maninder Kaur is a PhD student researching the application of cold plasma technology to postharvest cereal grain to manage Fusarium graminearum contamination and associated mycotoxin production. Her work is supported by a Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development scholarship and supervised by Daniel Huberli (DPIRD) and Kirsty Bayliss from Murdoch University, Australia.
“The importance of innovation and adaptation to continuously evolving conditions has been well demonstrated during the COVID-19 epidemic. This virtual competition is an excellent example of the transformation to online communication.”
“Similarly, cold plasma could potentially be a future transformational technology for the treatment of contaminated stored cereal grain, ensuring food safety whilst also avoiding the harmful effects of chemicals on ourselves and the environment.”
Raisa Osama is a PhD student, studying Phytophthora root rot of Raspberry with Eleanor Gilroy at The James Hutton Institute, Dundee, Scotland.
“My passion for molecular biology and my background in plant science motivated me to embark on this PhD journey with Raspberry Phytophthora Root Rot. Before my PhD, I knew little about the interaction between plants and pathogens. I enjoy most, to learn about the different ways plants and pathogens communicate with each other. And to observe them in my experiments fascinates me.”
“I enjoyed taking part in the infographic competition organized by BSPP. It has guided me to describe my project through graphical illustrations. I think it is very important to use this form of media to communicate our research to the general public, who have a limited science background. Moreover, in the current move towards online communication, I think infographics is one of the most effective ways to reach our target audience.”
Athina Koutouleas is a PhD student, studying Coffee Leaf Rust (Hemileia vastatrix) under the supervision of Associate Professor Anders Ræbild at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
“My PhD is a part of the BREEDCAFS project (www.breedcafs.eu) centred around the future of coffee cultivation with agroforestry as a proposed production method, climate change in context and coffee breeding as a potential solution. It is a huge body of work across continents and collaborating with more than 70 researchers – all with the shared interest in saving your cup of coffee!”
“It is tantalising to apply my research to a mystery which has puzzled the plant pathology community for over 150 years! I love the breadth of techniques used and specific factors explored – it makes every day new and exciting!”
“Communicating research outcomes in an easily digestible manner is of the up-most importance today and for future generations. We cannot let our scientific findings be forgotten and left in our digital filing cabinets. We must offer what we discover back to society, clearly and openly – for all to appreciate and build upon.”
Luca Steel is a PhD student, studying Zymoseptoria tritici leaf blotch on Wheat with Jason Rudd at Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK.
“I loved being in the lab during my undergraduate course, and I also wanted to somehow contribute in a small way to the huge efforts going on to make sure we can sustainably produce enough food. This PhD seemed like a good way to combine both!”
“This competition is unique – I’ve not seen anything else like this – and a really nice way of making sure students still get chance to share their work in the absence of poster events this year.”
Do you think it’s important to be able to communicate your ideas through this form of media, especially given the current move towards online communication?
“It’s definitely important to build these skills – for me, I think the process of distilling an explanation down to the most important parts is really useful, and I know I always appreciate a graphical abstract for a paper.”
Becca Claxton is an MSc student, studying Basil Downy Mildew (Peronospora belbahrii) with Louise Beveridge at The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, distance-learning using the facilities of a plant breeding laboratory.”
“I’ve enjoyed the whole process [of studying for this degree]. Even if it has been stressful at times. From formulating research, reading, creating methodology, starting the project, getting results (the best bit), and generally, just, learning. The write-up will probably be my least favourite part.”
“I thought the competition was a great idea, it is a brilliant way for students to share their research. Communication needs to be eye-catching and concise to draw in the attention of a larger audience, this is particularly pertinent online, as it can be easy to overlook something. I am very impressed with the winners. Worthy of the prize, most definitely!”
Isabelle Sims is a PhD student, studying Rhizoctonia solani AG2-1 and Oilseed Rape (Brassica napus), with Rumiana Ray at the University of Nottingham, UK.
“I love the variety of plant pathology research. I wanted to do a plant pathology PhD because I love studying the interactions between plants and their pathogens. I find it really exciting how plants can coordinate complex and specific responses to defend themselves against disease. Crop research is also vital to food security and greater understanding of plant-pathogen relationships is key to maximising yield, now and in the future.”
I think that online communication is vital, and that infographics are a great way to get across a succinct summary of a topic quickly and in a way that is accessible to a wide audience.”
The original competition call is below…
Published on: 18 Dec 2020
Could you create an informative, bright and eye-catching image filled with key facts on the plant pathogen you are studying?
From January 2020, countries all over the world went into lock-down and conferences have been cancelled or postponed. In response, 2020 is proving to be a great year for promoting advances in plant pathology online.
We are launching a BSPP Infographics Call for 2020, to represent the best of BSPP Student Plant Pathologists. The annual BSPP Presidential Conference normally provides students in plant pathology the opportunity to present their current research findings as a poster or presentation. Top entries win the J Colhoun Poster prize or the P.H. Gregory Talk prize.
The BSPP are offering current postgraduate and BSPP undergraduate students the opportunity to present their research in an infographic. Selected entries will be published on the BSPP website. The winner – decided by a panel of BSPP board members in the New Year – will be awarded a cash prize of £150.
To be eligible, work presented must form part of a research project conducted by the entrant in support of a PhD or Master’s degree (the entrant must not have been awarded the degree before Dec 31st 2020). Or, the infographic must be related to work undertaken as part of a BSPP funded 2020 undergraduate summer/lockdown studentship. Students need not be BSPP members.
What are we looking for?
An infographic that is:
- Bright and eye-catching
- Clear and informative
- An image-based summary of a concept
- Designed to quickly and comprehensively communicate key facts.
The infographic should communicate, for example: the importance of the pathogen, its impact, what makes it unusual, what it looks like, what do we know about it, how do we control it, what you have discovered about it?
Who is this for?
The infographic should be designed to be easily understood by a wide range of audiences, to include: BSPP members and international members of the plant pathology community, stakeholders in crop and horticultural industries and general public wanting to learn about plant pathology.
1500 x 1000 pixel image in jpeg. png. or gif. format
Please also include the BSPP logo on your infographic – which can be found here
Please cite all of your sources (if appropriate) and ensure you only include your own images, images that are freely available, or that you have permission to use. You will be responsible for ensuring no copyright laws have been breached, and will maintain the rights to the copyright of your image. However, by submitting an infographic to the BSPP you are giving the BSPP permission for it to be used by the BSPP for matters relevant to the society.
If appropriate please include an acknowledgment of funding bodies – this can be a logo displayed on the infographic.
For inspiration on the design of infographics please see the links below
Blogs are available on how to make Infographics:
Submissions by 31st December 2020