BSPP Plant Pandemic Study Awards 2022
The History of Plant Disease Epidemics
Our ability to manage widespread outbreaks of major diseases is limited not only by scientific knowledge but by the effectiveness of control measures. Official policies and how they are implemented are as important as host-pathogen interactions and diagnostics.
In 2020 the society made four awards. We will make four further awards, each of £2000, with a deadline of 1st March 2022 for submission of proposals. Those applying should have been a member of the society for at least two years and preferably have a PhD degree or be close to completion. We particularly encourage early career researchers to apply. A proposal can include up to two people, one of whom will be the designated lead.
Applications will be judged on an outline of the proposed study, which should show evidence of ability to undertake an independent investigation and write for general audiences. The awards will mainly cover your time but also any minor costs in obtaining information. Scientific information about the pathogen is important but the main emphasis should be on understanding the broader social, economic and political impacts of the disease. This is not a scientific review but a study aimed at a wide readership. We strongly recommend reading the existing plant pandemic reports on the BSPP website.
The reports should highlight contributions made by those involved in management of plant pandemics and any personal insights on what worked well, as well as things that didn’t go to plan. It is unlikely that such information will be available existing publications and you are expected to interview key participants in a pandemic, including plant health professionals and growers to learn more. We can provide contacts if necessary. You are encouraged to report speculative findings and discuss differences in opinions and disputes amongst those managing outbreaks. Also consider whether the eventual spread and impact of disease matched original predictions and why final outcomes may have differed.
Your report should tell an engaging story that is accessible to a wide audience and contain figures, maps and photos that complement the text. Clearly indicate sources of information and avoid over-citation. The maximum length is 13,000 words. Look at the major headings used in the 2020 reports for guidance on report structure. The final report will be available as a download on the BSPP website. The BSPP is also discussing publication of studies with CABI in book form, including the original four.
Select one of the following for your application. Prior knowledge of a disease is not essential and we encourage applicants to choose diseases that are not in the current headlines. Please provide a second disease choice in the event of multiple proposals to write about the same disease.
- Maize lethal necrosis (Americas, Africa)
- Banana bacterial wilt (Africa)
- Coffee wilt (East Africa)
- TR4 Fusarium wilt of bananas (global)
- Potato cyst nematode (global)
- Cassava brown streak (East Africa)
- Pine pitch canker (S Africa and Europe)
- Wheat blast (Asia)
- Bacterial canker of kiwifruit (global)
- Frosty pod disease of cacao (L America)
- Zebra chip disease of potato (global)
Please complete the form and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org (Eric Boa) by 1st March 2022. Eric Boa is happy to discuss the scheme with potential applicants. Awards will be announced by the 18th March 2022. First drafts of the report are due by the 10th June 2022, when half the award will be paid. Drafts will be reviewed and comments returned by the 1st July 2022. Final reports are due by 29th July 2022.
For joint applications, provide personal information for each person, except where indicated.
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