In its ninth year running, the APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE) is an annual award hosted by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Policy Partnership for Science, Technology, and Innovation (PPSTI) that recognizes young scientists who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in scientific research and cross-border collaboration. Each APEC member economy identifies one nominee for the prize, and the U.S. State Department’s Office of Science and Technology Cooperation, in conjunction with Wiley and Elsevier, holds an annual competition to identify the scientist to represent the United States on the APEC stage.

This year, the ASPIRE prize will promote innovative research that advances society through “natural laboratories.” For example, a scientist determining risks in infrastructure by observing the impact of different types of weather on building materials or a scientist protecting communities through enhanced detection of tectonic activity or a scientist studying the spread of disease in a population of wild animals all use natural laboratories for their work.

“Natural laboratories create unique conditions for scientific discovery and innovation that supports sustainable growth,” said Andrés Couve, the Science Minister for Chile, APEC’s host country for 2019. “Let’s strengthen the role of science, technology and innovation as vital drivers of development,” he continued.

Each APEC economy may nominate one individual under 40 years of age in its economy for the ASPIRE Prize. The nominees will be judged on their excellence in research and cross-border collaboration with peers from other APEC economies. Nominees should demonstrate a commitment to excellence in scientific research and cooperation with scientists from other APEC member economies utilizing natural laboratories in subjects such as, but not limited to: biology, chemistry, environmental science, earth science (incl. geology, oceanography, and atmospheric sciences), zoology, astronomy, and other relevant fields.

The deadline for U.S. nominees is May 7th, 2019 using this application. Young scientists from the United States who are engaged in research and/or product commercialization in line with the theme noted above are strongly encouraged to put forward applications or nominate their peers. Completed applications and any questions should be sent to ASPIREprize@state.gov.

If selected as the U.S. nominee or runner-ups, the nominee and two runner-ups will be invited to a roundtable in Washington, D.C. in June/July 2019 and receive cash prizes of $3000 (nominee) and $1200 (two runner-ups). If selected as the APEC-wide winner, the winner will receive USD $25,000 in prize money at an award ceremony at a PPSTI meeting in Chile in August 2019. Wiley and Elsevier, publishers of scholarly scientific knowledge, are sponsors of the initiative.

For more information please visit: http://www.apec.org/aspire. More on APEC meetings, events, projects and publications can be found on www.apec.org.

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