Cork students scoop top award at EU young scientist competition

Cork students scoop top award at EU young scientist competition

Cork's Cormac Harris and Alan O’Sullivan have taken home first prize at this year’s European Union Contest for Young Scientists. Picture: Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography

Two Cork students have scooped a top award at the EU Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS). 

Cormac Thomas Harris and Alan Thomas O’Sullivan were awarded the EUCYS 2020 award for their statistical investigation into gender stereotyping in 5-7-year-olds.

The Cork students were among 158 promising young scientists aged 14 to 20, from 34 countries who took part in the EUCYS. 

The competition gathers promising young scientists from all over Europe and beyond, to present their projects to a panel of international judges.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s event brought together contestants from 2020 and 2021.

These students presented 114 different projects to an international jury of renowned scientists, chaired by Dr Attila Borics from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

The winning projects shared a total of €93,000 in prize money, as well as other prizes such as visits to some of the most innovative research organisations and companies in Europe.

Congratulating the winners, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The last year has shown us the importance of excellent research and innovation in overcoming crises that affect all of us. This competition celebrates a new generation of talents whose discoveries and innovations will be essential to shape the future we want to live in. I'm really proud of our youth's exceptional work.”

Due to Covid-19 safety measures, students participated remotely in the two-day event from their homes. 

A special virtual venue was set up where they could present their projects and debate with each other and the jury.

The event also featured a talk by Dr William D. Phillips, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics in 1997 and a roundtable discussion with recognised scientists on challenges that young scientists are facing today.

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