Bioinformaticians of the world, it's your time to shine! The SIB Bioinformatics Awards promote excellence, diversity and innovation in the field of bioinformatics, and are now open to entries until 31 January 2023. 

SIB created the Bioinformatics Awards in 2008 to acknowledge early career bioinformaticians and ground-breaking resources of national and international standing. The international awards honour excellence in bioinformatics and computational biology within three categories:

The awards are assigned by an international jury, revised by the SIB Award Committee and announced during the biennial [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference.

Follow the latest news and announcements related to the SIB Awards on our website and under @ISBSIB on Twitter #SIBawards.

>> Discover the 2021 laureates >>

PhD Paper Award

The PhD Paper Award recognizes outstanding papers published by a PhD student in the area of bioinformatics and/or computational biology. This encompasses original methodological contributions, as well as innovative in silico analysis of biological sequences, structures or processes. For each edition of the PhD Paper Award, a specific theme will be chosen by the SIB Award Committee. The chosen theme for 2023 is: “Machine Learning algorithms for advancing spatial biology” (see below).

2023 Theme: “Machine Learning algorithms for advancing spatial biology”

In the last decade there has been massive progress in using machine learning algorithms for analysing spatial data describing biological systems. These systems range from molecular (spatial transcriptomics, proteomics or Hi-C), cellular (microbial communities, histological samples), organs (retina scans, heart ultrasounds, brain MRIs) to ecological systems (satellite data on deforestation, etc.), to name but a few. What unites the many different applications are common methodologies applied to process and model these data in time and space. For example, deep learning procedures have revolutionised aspects of image processing, such as segmentation and data modelling, but pose challenges in terms of interpretability and transferability. In many cases the data volumes are very large, calling for scalable solutions and dedicated efforts to minimise computing times and optimise storage. Finally, reproducibility is key, in particular for sophisticated data processing pipelines bringing together multiple analysis tools. Submissions for the 2023 PhD Paper Award can be based on the study of any biological system but must highlight ML-based methodologies that address one or several of the following challenges: interpretability, transferability, scalability (e.g. computing times, storage optimisation), and reproducibility (e.g. complex pipelines bringing together multiple analysis tools).

Top reasons to enter the next edition:

  • Receive a cash prize of 5’000 CHF.
  • Be invited to attend the [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference, during which the SIB Awards Ceremony takes place: a great networking and career development opportunity at one of the major bioinformatics events in Europe. Watch the video to discover the event and the past laureates!
  • Be given the opportunity to boost your work’s visibility by presenting a plenary talk during the Ceremony at [BC]2, and have it recorded and promoted through SIB’s institutional channels. Watch the talk of Xinrui Lyu, on behalf of the five co-recipients of the PhD Paper Award 2021.

An international independent jury reviews the applications and bases its selection criteria solely on the scientific excellence of the Candidate (see Criteria of Excellence).

For more information on the submission process and application requirements, please refer to the Terms and Conditions.

Meet the past laureates! Read some of our interviews with: Jochen Singer (2019 Laureate); José Aguilar-Rodríguez (2017 Laureate)Hannes Röst (2015 Laureate)Josephine Daub (2014 Laureate)Slavica Dimitrieva (2013 Laureate)Jakob Ruess (2012 Laureate).

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Early Career Award

The Early Career Bioinformatician Award recognizes international early careers who demonstrate excellence through one or several projects and/or papers in bioinformatics and/or computational biology. This encompasses original methodological contributions, as well as innovative in silico analysis of biological sequences, structures or processes.

Top reasons to enter the next edition:

  • Receive a cash prize of 10’000 CHF.
  • Be invited to attend the [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference, during which the SIB Awards Ceremony takes place: a great networking and career development opportunity at one of the major bioinformatics events in Europe. Watch the video to discover the event and the past laureates!
  • Be given the opportunity to boost your work’s visibility by presenting a plenary talk during the Ceremony at [BC]2, and have it recorded and promoted through SIB’s institutional channels. Watch the  talk of Heba Sailem, past laureate.

An international independent jury reviews the applications and bases its selection criteria solely on the scientific excellence of the Candidate (see Criteria of Excellence).

For more information on the submission process and application requirements, please refer to the Terms and Conditions.

Meet the past laureates! Read some of our interviews with: Eleonora Porcu (2019 Laureate); Shijulal Nelson-Sathi (2015 Laureate)Anamaria Necsulea (2013 Laureate)Christophe Dessimoz (2012 Laureate); Aitana Lebrand (2010 Laureate); Zoltán Kutalik (2008 Laureate). 

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Innovative Resource Award

The international Innovative Resource Award recognizes a bioinformatics resource (database, infrastructure, code-base, analysis framework, visualisation tool, etc.) that is breaking new conceptual and/or technical ground. The award is open to any new bioinformatics resource or any major new release of a resource.

Top reasons to enter the next edition:

  • Receive a cash prize of 10’000 CHF.
  • Be invited to attend the [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference, during which the SIB Awards Ceremony takes place: a great networking and career development opportunity at one of the major bioinformatics events in Europe. Watch the video to discover the event and the past laureates!
  • Be given the opportunity to boost your work’s visibility by presenting it plenary talk during the Ceremony at [BC]2, and have it recorded and promoted through SIB’s institutional channels. Watch the talk of Cédric Notredame (Nextflow), past laureate.

An international jury reviews the applications and selects the best entry (see Criteria of Excellence).

For more information on the submission process and application requirements, please refer to the Terms and Conditions.

Meet the past laureates! Read our interviews with: Gioele La Manno (Developer of the resource velocyto, which won the 2019 Bioinformatics Resource Innovation Award) ; Shameer Khader (2017 Laureate)Inanc Birol (2015 Laureate).

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Criteria of Excellence

What you need to know to apply

The Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics fosters excellence in bioinformatics and computational biology. Excellence in bioinformatics and computational biology encompasses multiple dimensions, including academic rigor, breakthrough character, sustainability, usability (for software and resources), and overall contribution to the field of bioinformatics/computational biology.

The SIB Award jurors abide by the DORA principles in not using journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles.

The SIB Award jurors strive to overcome unconscious biases, such as those associated with gender, minorities, affiliation, or subfields, to ensure a fair and diverse representation of excellence.

Collaborative and interdisciplinary work can also qualify provided the bioinformatics and/or computational biology aspects meet the excellence criteria outlined above.

Download the document below to learn more about the qualifications and criteria for each award:

Download the Terms & Conditions