The Alltech Young Scientist (AYS) program, the world’s largest university-level competition in agri-science, seeks to attract future innovators for its 2017 term. Regional first-place winners will be invited to attend an all-expense-paid Alltech Young Scientist Discovery Week, culminating at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington, Kentucky where the brightest minds will compete to obtain a fully funded Ph.D. position (undergraduate) or fully funded postdoctorate position (graduate) in addition to cash prizes of $5,000 and $10,000, respectively.
“These bright minds have the potential to discover the solutions today to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” said Dr. Aoife Lyons, director of educational initiatives and engagement at Alltech. “The Alltech Young Scientist program continues to discover emerging research talent in agri-science, and we want these future innovators to join our global team.”
The AYS program, now in its 12th year, attracted approximately 200 student nominees from 144 professors representing the world’s top 117 universities from 42 countries last term.
Richard Lally, a postgraduate student at the Institute of Technology, Carlow in Ireland, developed a paper based on plant growth promotion to win first place in the graduate competition. Lally took home $10,000 and secured a two-year, fully funded postdoctorate contract with Alltech.
“It has been one of the most exciting and enjoyable experiences of my life and has been my greatest achievement to date,” said Lally. “I hope to contribute to the understanding of plant growth-promoting bacteria and their role in sustainable agricultural practices.”
Alonna Danielle Wright, an undergraduate student at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky, developed a paper based on the viral super-infection of the corn earworm pest to take home the global undergraduate title and $5,000. Wright is currently searching for a Ph.D. program to continue her line of study.
Registration is now open for the 2017 competition and will close on Oct. 31, 2016. Students must be nominated by a professor in order to participate and may submit scientific papers on topics such as animal health and nutrition, crop science, agriculture analytical methods, food chain safety and traceability, human health and nutrition, and other sectors related to agri-science. Paper submissions may be completed online through to Dec. 31, 2016.
Each student’s paper will first compete within their home region of North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe or Africa. Each regional finalist will then present his or her paper to a panel of international judges and a live audience during ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, held May 21–24, 2017.