The Brian Moss Student Competition

The Brian Moss Student Competition

The competition:  best published paper in Limnology appearing as part of a PhD or MSc.
The prize: plenary talk at the 2024 SIL Congress in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil.

We announce the 5th international competition, open to all students and early-career members of SIL (the International Society of Limnology). In this competition, the best paper in Limnology emerging from a Ph.D. or MSc. study of a SIL student member published recently (less than 3 years) will be chosen. The winner will present her/his study as a plenary lecture at the 2024 SIL Congress to be held at Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. Students who are not SIL members could become members at and apply.

The competition will have two stages:

Stage 1 – At this stage, each participating country will choose its best paper that will enter the international competition. The National Representative of each participating country will organize this selection in its country following the criteria described below. The National Representative will set up a committee of peers that will rank the papers according to the scoring system detailed below and will choose only 1 publication for Stage 2.

Stage 2International: An international jury consisting of at least 5 members who are editors or members of the editorial board of leading limnological journals will assess the papers and choose the winning papers for the first 3 places, based on a scoring system detailed below.

Conditions for participating in Stage 1 of the competition:

The candidate must be a SIL member.

The candidate must be the first author of the submitted article.

The candidate must be a student, or an early career professional who has finished his/her MSc / PhD studies in 2019 or later.

The article must be in the field of limnology.

The article must be written in English.

The article must have been published or fully accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed international scientific journal in 2020 or later.

Materials to submit:

1. The filled application form [download from:]

2. Reprint of the paper or alternatively the accepted manuscript, complete with all tables and figures in a single PDF file, accompanied by the journal’s letter of acceptance.

3. Scanned copy of the MSc / PhD degree certificate, or if not completed yet – a document with evidence of being a student.

Competing candidates should submit documents (1 through 3 listed above) to their respective SIL National Representative in the country where the student is doing the thesis or has been enrolled. Competing candidates from countries without National Representatives should submit their documents to Prof. Ruben Sommaruga, the Chair of the Brian Moss Student Competition Committee (see contact details below).


1 May – 15 June 2023 – submission period and deadline for articles and accompanying documents to the National Representative (NA) or to the Chair in countries without NA.

28 August 2023– deadline for submission of the winning article from each country to the Chair (it is the responsibility of the National Representatives).

28 October 2023– the competition winners (first 3 places), and names of all competitors reaching Stage 2 of the competition will be announced.

May 2024– competition winners will be awarded at a special session, dedicated to the student contest, at the SIL Congress in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil.

Criteria for evaluating the publications during the national and international screening:

Scientific quality of the study including methodology and experimental approach (if any). (Max: 10)

Originality of the research question or hypothesis tested. (Max: 10)

Relevance and potential scientific impact of the publication including its contribution to conservation and/or restoration of inland waters at local, landscape, or continental scales. (Max: 10)


Contact details:

Prof. Ruben Sommaruga

Chair, Brian Moss Student Competition Committee



The awards will consist of a main and two additional prizes, plus merit certificates to all those participating in Stage 2 of the competition:

The main prize will consist of a certificate and a grant to attend the Mai 2024 SIL Congress in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, including registration fee and travel costs.

The winning author will be required to give a dedicated Plenary Lecture (30 min) on his/her winning article during the meeting.

The winners of the second and third prize will each receive a certificate, and a grant to attend the May 2024 SIL Congress in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, including registration fee + US$500 each to cover a part of their congress expenses. They will be asked to jointly report and summarize their impressions of the congress as representatives of the young generation of SIL members in the concluding congress ceremony.

Each participant of Stage 2 will receive a certificate and will be invited to present an oral or a poster presentation during the congress.

Dr María de los Ángeles  González Sagrario
SIL Vice-President of Education

Prof. Ruben Sommaruga
Chair, Brian Moss Student Competition