The Brian Chambers international award for early career researchers in crop nutrition

Organised by the International Fertiliser Society, this is an award scheme for researchers working at the M.Sc or Ph.D levels, or equivalent, who can demonstrate how their work will provide practical benefits to farm crop nutrition.

The Brian Chambers award, organised and funded by the IFS, was launched in 2015, with a cash prize of £1,000 for the winner, plus £500 each for two runners-up. In addition, the winner and two runners up will benefit from five years’ free membership of the Society. The publicity generated by these achievements will also help to boost the career profile of the winners. The winner and two runners-up will be provided with the opportunity to present their research in a webinar organised by the Society in early 2024.

Information about previous winning and runner up entries, including their poster and a short interview with the entrants, can be seen by clicking on the buttons to the right. As the 2020 final was run as an online event, all the finalists’ posters, along with a short video they produced, can be viewed.

The 2023 Brian Chambers Award has now been completed and the winners announced. Information about their entries can be found via the button on the right.

The 2024 award will be opened for entries in June. 

Information on how to apply is given below.

Participation in the award will be open to the following people:

  • Anyone carrying out relevant research work at an MSc, PhD or equivalent level of scientific rigour.
  • Researchers and workers at the interface of research, development and extension, from all countries.
  • People whose work has either been completed, or at an advanced stage of research study. Work that has not yet been started will not qualify.
  • People whose research activity is based on field, controlled environment or laboratory studies, modelling work, or other data analysis.
  • People whose research applies to the nutrition of arable and horticultural crops, grassland, permanent crops such as fruit trees, and other perennial crops, covering all types of plant nutrients and nutrient dynamics in soils or growth media.
  • People who have either completed their last academic qualification (MSc or PhD) within four years, OR who have been undertaking relevant professional work for up to seven years.

Qualifying research activity must either have been completed, or be at an advanced stage of study.

Submission requirements:

  • Participants will be required to submit a 1 page abstract of their working, using the pro-forma, explaining how they consider it meets the evaluation criteria.
  • The ten submissions that the award evaluation panel consider to be the strongest will be invited to produce a poster detailing their work. (Download the detailed guidance on poster format.)
  • All ten posters will be displayed at the IFS Agronomic Conference, if held, and the winners will be selected by the evaluation panel. (If this year’s conference cannot be held, the posters will be displayed on our website.)
  • Attendance at the Agronomic Conference, if held, will be free to participants showing posters, but anyone unable to attend the Conference can send us their poster in digital format and we will print and display it for them.

The evaluation criteria that will be used to judge award entries are:

  • Novelty / distinctiveness of approach (Is the methodology novel in being integrative and/or bringing together approaches from different disciplines?).
  • Novelty / distinctiveness of results (Is there a clear conclusion and has this information generated new knowledge or provided a solution to advance the science or practical management in the area?).
  • Scientific soundness / rigour (Are the experimental design, measurement approach, data collection and statistical methodology appropriate?).
  • Practical relevance (Are the results or approaches not just novel and sound scientifically, but will the outcome have any relevance/practical application for farmers or for society as a whole?).
  • Comprehensiveness (Does the abstract / poster attempt to quantify and show the trade off(s) between (i) yield benefits/loss, (ii) the costs/gains of the ‘implementational actions needed’ and (iii) the environmental loss/benefits?)
  • Clarity and conciseness of both the abstract and poster.
  • The look and structure of the poster (Is the poster able to attract attention from people and does it convey the major message by finding the right balance between completeness and the time needed to digest the contents?) This criteria applies to the finalists only.

Benefits of participation

In addition to the cash prizes and free Society memberships for the three submissions judged to best meet the award criteria, the participants who go through to the second stage will also benefit from having their work viewed by the Conference delegates. In addition all the posters will be displayed on the IFS website, while the three winning entries will be publicised on social media and will participate in a webinar to present their research. Depending on the topic and practical considerations, we may also invite the winner to present a paper at a future IFS Conference.

For further information, please contact the IFS Secretary:
0044 (0)1206 851 819
PO Box 12220, Colchester, CO1 9PR, UK

Brian Chambers award

Find out more about the previous winners of the award.

2023 Brian Chambers Award 2022 Brian Chambers Award 2021 Brian Chambers Award 2020 Brian Chambers Award 2019 Brian Chambers Award 2018 Brian Chambers Award 2017 Brian Chambers award 2016 Brian Chambers award 2015 Brian Chambers award

Find out more about the Brian Chambers award

About the Brian Chambers Award Brian Chambers and the IFS