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Award For Outstanding Student or Post-Degree Abstract

Download the 2018-2019 Award Flyer here

2019 Award Recipients

Congratulations to all awardees of the 2019 ISDS Student Abstract Awards!

First Prize

  • Mallory Nobles - Multidimensional Semantic Scan for Pre-Syndromic Disease Surveillance

Mallory Nobles is a PhD candidate in Information Systems at Carnegie Mellon University.  Her dissertation research with Dr. Daniel Neill develops an approach for pre-syndromic surveillance to automatically learn syndromes in emergency department chief complaint data.

Presentation Information:

Wednesday, January 30, 10 - 11:30 am, Oral 04: Analytics, Rio Vista G

  • Yasmine Baghdadi - Performance of machine learning method to classify free-text medical causes of death

Yasmine graduated from the Pasteur-Cnam School with a Masters of Public Health and with a specialization in infectious risks in 2015. In Autumn 2016, she enrolled in a PhD program at the French public health agency, Santé Publique France. Her work focuses on the syndromic surveillance of mortality based on the medical causes of death from electronic-death certification. It includes the use of natural language processing methods to classify medical causes of death into mortality syndromic groups that are monitored in routine.

Presentation Information:

Friday, February 1, 10 - 11:30 am, Oral 12: Knowledge, Public Health Response, Data integration, Rio Vista F

Honorable Mention

  • Andrew Patton - Development of Text-Based Algorithm for Opioid Overdose Identification in EMS Data
  • Michelle Carr - Hurricane Harvey AAR: Preparedness Recommendations Based on Surveillance Data
  • Dylan DeLisle - Identifying Emergency Department Care in the Year Prior to Suicide Death
  • Kelly Walblay - Using Syndromic Surveillance to Quantify ED Visits for Coagulopathy Cases
  • Kristyna Rysava - Cost-effectiveness analysis of One Health surveillance strategies for rabies control
  • Roberto Souza - Identifying High-Risk Areas for Dengue Infection Using Mobility Patterns on Twitter
  • Jonathan Fix - Optimization of Linkage between North Carolina EMS and ED Data: EMS Naloxone Cases 
  • Haylea Hannah - Field-based Evaluation of Malaria Outbreak Detection & Response, Mudzi and Goromonzi 

Description and Purpose of Awards

The purpose of the Award for Outstanding Student or Post-Degree Abstract is to increase interest and participation in the International Society for Disease Surveillance, especially in its Research Committee and Annual Conference, as well as to recognize the exemplary work being done by students or recent students in the field of biosurveillance.


Two researchers are selected and awarded:

  • An oral presentation slot to present their innovative work in one of the conference tracks:
    • Methods and Science in Surveillance
    • Informatics
    • Communication, Visualization, and Reporting
    • Policy
    • One Health and Beyond
    • Public/Population Health Surveillance Practice
  • Free registration for the ISDS Conference (January 30 - February 1, 2019; not including the One Health Symposium on January 29, 2019)
  • Two free nights at the Marriott Mission Valley Hotel (January 30 - 31, 2019)
  • Certificate of Achievement
  • Recognition in 2019 ISDS Conference materials, as well as during the Conference Awards Ceremony
  • Opportunity to join the ISDS Board of Directors as an ex officio member
  • Invitation to review student applications in the following award cycle (unless reapplying that year)

Up to ten runners-up receive:

  • Half off the student registration rates to the 2019 ISDS Conference (excludes the One Health Symposium)

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be considered for the award, you must be both:

  1. A) Enrolled full-time in an undergraduate, graduate, or equivalent program or be in a post-graduate training program within two years of school in a surveillance-related field (e.g. epidemiology, informatics, statistics); OR B) have graduated from a post-graduate training program in 2018 in a surveillance-related field
  2. An ISDS member (Student rate: $30 - if you are not currently a member, you may join here)

Application Process

1. Register for (or renew) an ISDS Student Membership

2. Submit an abstract by the September 14, 2018 October 1, 2018 extended deadline for the 2019 ISDS Conference in any track.

3. Complete the online applicationwhich will be reviewed by the Award Sub-Committee (AC), by October 12, 2018 October 29, 2018. We require the following materials:

  • Name, address, school, and program
  • Proof of current or recent student standing – a scanned copy of your unofficial transcript and student ID (transcript will only be used to confirm eligibility and will NOT be a factored into the award decision)
  • Short personal statement, explaining what your plans are for a career in public health surveillance (approx. 500 words) 
The application has closed for the 2018-2019 award cycle. Please revisit this page next year to learn of student scholarship opportunities to attend the 2020 ISDS Conference.


Application Review Process

  1. Abstracts are reviewed and scored by the Conference Scientific Program Committee (SPC). Those accepted for presentation at the Annual ISDS Conference are sent to the Research Committee's Award Sub-Committee for further review. *NOTE:The abstract score will be taken from the average score obtained through the SPC's abstract review process.
  2. The Awards Sub-Committee convenes a group to review the accepted applications.
  3. Each personal statement is sent to a single reviewer and is reviewed for strength, using the attached rubric (pdf).
  4. Abstracts are reviewed and scored again by the assigned Award Sub-Committee reviewers.
  5. The scores are totaled and directly compared to determine the final awardees.

Elements of Scholarship Assessment


Maximum Points

Meet Eligibility Requirements    0% (Yes/No)    0
Abstract Accepted/Average Score of Abstract by SPC    25% 


Personal Statement 50% 10
Reviewer Score of Abstract 25% 5


View all past winners of the Award here


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Email: syndromic@syndromic.org


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