CIOMS Annual Award for Medical Students

The CIOMS annual award of $1500 US for the best scientific article published in the areas of pharmacovigilance and research ethics is available to medical students. The article must have been published in a scientific peer reviewed journal in English.

In case of papers dealing with medicines or vaccines safety related topics, CIOMS uses the WHO definition of pharmacovigilance – Pharmacovigilance is the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other drug-related problem.

In case of research ethics – papers dealing with health-related research involving humans are eligible.

Award applications have to be submitted annually by 1 June or 1 December. The next award applications will be accepted up to 30 November 2020.

Selection Process
Each year a Selection Committee for Student Awards is responsible for reviewing the candidates’ applications for the CIOMS awards. The Selection Committee consists of 5 members and is nominated by the CIOMS Executive Committee by the proposal of the Secretary-General of the CIOMS. The Selection Committee members’ names will be made public on the CIOMS website. The Selection Committee carefully considers the eligible nominations for the award and recommends the winner(s) of the award within 60 days from the closure of receiving applications on 1 March annually. The Selection Committee has the right to give no award or to give up to three awards (each $1500 US). Awards will be announced on the CIOMS Website within 10 days from the decision of the Committee.

1. Award applicants/recipients are expected to be medical students from member organizations of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA). Medical students continuing as PhD students can also be eligible.
2. All students listed as authors of the scientific article applied for the award are equally eligible meaning that the award sum will be distributed between student authors equally.
3. The applications can be done for scientific articles that have been published in peer reviewed scientific journals in English.
4. The applications for scientific articles with student-only authors are given priority. Papers with mixed authorship in which students are co-authors can be considered provided there is enough evidence of the important role of student/s in this work.
5. The applicants have to present all necessary data and evidence.
6. An individual may not receive more than one CIOMS award in a year, nor may an individual receive more than one award for the same body of work.
7. The applicant has to provide evidence that she/he is a medical student currently enrolled in a medical school.
8. A minimum of three eligible applications are required in an award cycle (usually one year) before a committee may select an award recipient(s). If three eligible applications are not submitted, then there is no award made that cycle but an applicant may request his/her paper to be considered in the next cycle.
9. Applications will not be returned and will be destroyed after their eligibility expires
Important Note: The system is based on trust. The applicant does not participate in the evaluation and selection process. To maintain confidentiality, the necessary facts should be obtained from the applicant only by the decision of the committee exceptionally, and only if the complete and correct background information is not available elsewhere.
Any unsuccessful applicant can be automatically considered for the award the following year. Applicants are encouraged to update or augment the award nomination materials, if appropriate, prior to the following year’s deadline. After consideration by the award committee during two consecutive years, the application is retired.

Award Application Requirements
Only complete nominations will be considered by the award committee. All application material is submitted by e-mail to This includes:
1. Short cover letter from the main applicant (applicant who duly represents all the student authors of the article, if more than one) with clear contact data and brief description of the accomplishments that make the application deserving of this particular award. The letter must also contain the contact data of the scientific supervisor of the student/s.
2. A copy of the article as it appeared in a peer reviewed journal must be presented for the award nomination.
3. A letter from the scientific supervisor in the University supporting the application (recommended but not mandatory)
4. One to two letters of reference (i.e. meaning one is minimum and two is maximum). All letters of recommendation may come from the nominee’s institution.
5. Nominations should be specific about the achievements. Clear, concise information about the accomplishments and impact of the applicant/s work is more useful than extensive materials. Excessive documentation will not be distributed to the selection committee. Incomplete applications will be returned, or held for consideration when complete, as decided by the CIOMS Secretariat. Only complete applications will be forwarded to the Committee.

Application Deadlines
Award applications have to be submitted annually by 1 June or 1 December. The next award applications will be accepted up to 30 November 2020.

If you have questions, please contact the CIOMS Secretariat at

Past winners

The 2019 CIOMS award of US-$ 1500 for the best scientific article published by a medical student in the areas of pharmacovigilance or research ethics goes to Mieke Foster from Deakin University in Australia. In her paper, Mieke is proposing a simpler and safer approach to calculating medication doses for children with cardiac arrest.
In the high-risk, high-stress and high-stakes environment of emergency resuscitation of children, there is a risk of medication errors. From crafting and completing an elegantly simple research project, Mieke went on to communicate with world experts in the field and writing an opinion piece that challenges the current paradigm of weight-based dosing in paediatric resuscitation.

In 2018, Connie Rees from the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands  received the 2018 CIOMS award of US$ 1500 for the best scientific article published by a medical student in the areas of pharmacovigilance or research ethics. Connie is the joint first author of the publication titled “The willingness to participate in biomedical research involving human beings in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review”, published in the journal Tropical Medicine and International Health. Biomedical research with human subjects—from clinical trials for new products, such as an Ebola vaccine, to tests of generic medicines—is being conducted more and more often in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), raising ethical issues around voluntary consent, undue inducement and the involvement of vulnerable populations. Connie reviewed data from 94 relevant articles and came up with a system to rank the reasons why people in LMIC accept or decline to participate in research.