20 years of ECSS also means 20 years of ECSS Young Investigators Award. All in total there are 350 ECSS YIA winners! This is a great number and for the 20th anniversary we wanted to investigate where are the winners now and what did it actually mean to them to be named as ECSS YIA Winner.

Two questions were asked:

1. What does it mean to you to be an ECSS YIA winner?

2. How has being an ECSS YIA winner helped your career?

Congratulate ECSS on its 20th anniversary - here.

ECSS YIA Winners 2014

Arto Laukkanen, FIN

Winning year: 2014

Current position: Early stage researcher

1. Success in ECSS YIA was a tribute to the scientific research on children's physical activity and motor development, and a unique opportunity to present finding to a broad audience.

2. It has given lots of confidence on my own work and on the research career in the future.


Carlos Henriquez Olguìn, CHI

Winning year: 2014

Current posititon: PhD student in Muscle Molecular Biology

1. For me, to be a YIA winner is a great motivation because previous YIA winners are now world class scientifics, I hope to follow the way of them. The level of YIA competitions is very high, I'm proud to be part of this list.

2. I just won the YIA competition last year, but I think that this will be an inflexion point in my career.


Johanna Johannsson, BEL

Winning year: 2014

Current position: PhD student

1. This award means to me that I am on the right track to continue in the best possible way PhD and maybe more after.

2. I honestly think this award helped me get a scholarship to finance my PhD.

Sidney Grosprêtre, FRA

Winning year: 2014

Current position: Post-doc

1. It is a great honour, and hopefully a 'springboard' for the future. Whatever, I feel like I definitely entered the ECSS family!

2. It helped me to grow my network, by making new connections in my field. Thanks to the ECSS I went to Japan and met propably future collaborators!

Xinyan Zheng, JPN

Winning year: 2014

Current position: Ph.D. student

1. It is my honor to be an ECSS YIA winner. This award is an encouragement for my research career. It gave me courage to continue my research. In addition, I was praised by the president of Hiroshima University.

2. Firstly, as part of YIA winner, ECSS gave me a chance to attend 'Be active 2014' in Australia, and I presented my research around the world. Secondly, I was invited to write a review in the European Journal of Sport Science, and I might be know by more other sport scientists. These experiments must be useful for the future collaborations.


ECSS YIA Winners 2013

Kathrin Freyler, GER

Winning year: 2013

Current position: PhD/Research assistant

1. It is a great honour to win this prize, because it esteems the scientific work you are doing and promotes and encourages the research of young scientists on a high level.

2. By winning the YIA the ECSS sent me as an exchange delegate to the conference of the Exercise and Sports Science Australia. This gave me the possibility to present my research on an international level and to meet new colleagues all over the world and to join the interaction international, young scientists in an early stage of career.


Stefan Hochstein, GER

Winning year: 2013

Current position: Post-doc

1. It was a great pleasure for me. It encouraged me to continue to stay in science. It gave me the feeling that the things I am doing have a significant benefit for other people.

2. Until now, ECSS Young Investigators Award has not helped me so much.

Uros Marusic, SLO

Winning year: 2013

Current position: Researcher

1. YIA competitions make ECSS a unique event. Being a YIA winner is a wonderful impetus that comes at the beginning of one's career. It also offers invaluable networking experience and opportunities to meet with top researchers from the field of sport science.

2. Winning the ECSS YIA meant a confirmation that my research was on the right track and that my hard work paid off. Also, it is a strong encouragement for pursuing the topic and continue the studies with new confidence. In particular, the invitation to Tokyo at JSPFSM congress as well as an invitation for a review article have contributed to a widening of my perspectives and positively affected my scientific thought.

ECSS YIA Winners 2011

Simon Sebire, GRB

Winning year: 2011

Current position: Lecturer in the Psychology of Physical Activity and Exercise, University of Bristol

1. It is fantastic to have been a YIA winner from a well-established and academically rigorous society such as ECSS.

2. Winning an ECSS YIA award was an important achievement for my early career. In addition to the knowledge that my research was judged positively by other academics, I have been able to list the award on my CV when applying for lecturing positions and research grants. There are limited opportunities for society awards, so they are able to set your CV apart from the pack.

Sam Vine, GRB

Winning year: 2011

Current position: Lecturer Performance Psychology

1. Winning an ECSS YIA award was a great experience. The competition was and remains one of the best young researcher events in sport and health sciences. The standard of the YIA applicants is always very high, and competition is fierce, so to be among the top 10 was a great feeling.

2. Having YIA winner on your CV certainly gets you noticed. People recognise YIA winner as a marker of potential, and an indicator of excellent research. It is often a great discussion point in an interview.

Tori Sprung, GRB

Winning year: 2011

Current position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Liverpool

1. I was delighted to become a YIA winner. The YIA offers a unique opportunity to showcase your research work on an international platform and enables researchers to demonstrate their potential. It was an honour to be selected amongst the many fantastic young scientists who were in contention.

2. On a personal level, being a YIA winner has really motivated me to continually aspire to produce high quality research. It has stimulated countless conversations that have lead to both research collaborations and long standing friendships within the scientific community. Being a YIA winner gives the recipients a serve of achievement, confidence and pride in their work.

ECSS YIA Winners 2010

Stuart Goodall, GRB

Winning year: 2010

Current position: Senior Lecturer, Northumbria University

1. It was a great honour for my PhD work to be recognised on one of the strongest platforms in sport science, especially whilst I was still a doctoral student. Looking upon this achievement, I feel it a great privilage to be named alongside tome of the biggest names in our discipline.

2. Being recognised as a YIA winner is a great accolade to put on my CV. The exchange trip to Japan in 2010 was a great way in which I could disseminate my work to an international audience, thereby increasing my reputation. The trip was also great for sharing ideas and forming international research collaborations.


Thomas Losnegard, NOR

Winning year: 2010

Current position: Associate Professor

1. Demostrated that our focus on new methods into cross-country skiing research was succesfull. Important to confirm that my PhD project had a relevant research topic also for other sports.

2. YIA has been important for our research group in order to highlight cross-country skiing as an demanding, but highly interesting sport to study.

ECSS YIA Winners 2008

Dick Thijssen, GRB

Winning year: 2008

Current position: Professor (UK) / Associate Professor (NED)

1. It is an honour to be an ECSS YIA Winner as this represents the most prestigious award in sports science and an extremely tough competition.

2. The Award importantly adds to the strength of my CV. Moreover, the annual YIA drink at the ECSS is an excellent opportunity to meet equally motivated and talented researchers to expand your network.

Jaimie McPhee, GRB

Winning year: 2008

Current position: Reader of Muscle and Exercise Physiology

1. I am proud to say that I received a Young Investigators Award at ECSS.

2. At the time I was a final year PhD student. Winning an award gave me a boost and the confidence to enter the viva knowing that the research was at a standard that was respected by peers. In addition to the achievement, it provides evidence on my CV that I have been consistently workin to the highest levels for several years.

Neil Cronin, FIN

Winning year: 2008

Current position: Senior Researcher / Assistant Professor

1. The ECSS YIA competition is an excellent platform to raise the research profiles of young and talented scientists. I am extremely proud to be a part of this club, and always look forward to meeting up with old friends and making new ones at the ECSS Cocktail party each year.

2. Winning a YIA award was a stepping stone towards organizing my own invited session a few years later at the ECSS meeting in Brugges. I have also met many great scientists through my involvement with the ECSS, some of whom are now research collaborators.

ECSS YIA Winners 2007

Ildus Ahmetov, RUS

Winning year: 2007

Current position: Director, Sport Technology Research Centre

1. For Russian young scientists receiving this prize is very prestigious. I was very happy that day.

2. The mentioning of this point in CV significantly increased my status.

Miriam Klous, AUT

Winning year: 2007

Current position: Senior Project Biomechanist English Institute

1. Winning an ECSS YIA has been an amazing experience. I found it exciting to present my reasearch in front of so many people, including a panel with a lot of expertise, on a topic I am very passionate about. When I am attending the YIA presentations during the ECSS conferences, it brings back good memories. I am very proud to be one of the ECSS YIA winners.

2. In August I am starting a new job as a senior project biomechanist at the English Institute of Sport (EIS). I am going back to my roots: sport related research to enhance performance. Besides biomechanics, I will use my knowledge and experience in motor control that I gained during a postdoctoral fellowship at Penn State with Dr. Latash and Dr. Zatziorsky and as an assistant professor position at the College of Charleston. I believe that the  ECSS YIA helped me to ge thte postdoc position at Penn State. Besides these opportunities, winning an ECSS YIA also gave me a lot of self confidence.

ECSS YIA Winners 2006

Vera Abeln, GER

Winning year: 2006, 2010

Current position: post-doc, lecturer for special assignments

1. It means much to me! It is a big honor, appreciation of my research and myself. It has been an incentive to go further!

2. I think some researchers might get notice of me and my research due to the YIA and it is a nice fragment of my vitae for futher applications. Being a YIA winner might open a lot of useful doors.

Vincent Martin, FRA

Winning year: 2006

Current position: Assistant Professor, Université Clermont Auvergne

1. Proud to be recongized by talented experts in sport science. Feeling to become the member of a family.

2. It was a good line on my CV. Not really sure that it helped but it was good to say that I got this award when I applied for positions


Jean-Benoit Morin, FRA

Winning year: 2003

Current position: Full Professor, University of Nice

1. It means both a high professional achievement and the prode of being part of the ECSS history and process. It is also very good memories from my PhD years, and good moments meeting colleagues and students during ECSS Annual Meetings. Last, it was really enjoyable to share our research during the final oral presentation.

2. It surely helped me get my first Associate Professor position 2 years after the award, and maybe indirectly to get my current Full Professor position early in my career. At the time of my award, the funding helped me travel to visit colleagues in the U.S. that played a major role afterwards in my research activities.

Lars L. Andersen, DEN

Winning year: 2003

Current position: Professor, National Research Centre for the Working Environment

1. I had a great time at ECSS in Salzburg in 2003, the presentations there really sparked my interest in pursuing a research career. It was my first international conference, and it meant a lot to be prize winner at YIA. All the positive feedback I got fueled my ambition for getting a PhD. I then started my PhD in 2006 and am now a professor.

2. In 2014 I chaired the 3rd International Wellbeing at Work conference with 380 participants. As I remembered my own good days from ECSS Salzburg I also initiated a Young Investigators Award at this conference. This was really a success with almost 40 young investigators.

Dimitrios Patikas, GRE

Winning year: 2002

Current position: Assistant Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

1. It was an honor for me. I proudly mention it from time to time when talking to my colleagues.

2. It certainly did, being among the nominations in my CV. Since the competition is high, ECSS YIA has a high prestige in our community.

Marko Laaksonen, SWE

Winning year: 2002

Current position: Associate Professor

1. First of all it was a big surprise for me to be one of the winners. Of course, that gave me self-confidence and an extra boost to continue with research.

2. I think the winners will be recognised and can therefore get better opportunities for e.g. co-operation with senior researchers. In my case, I do not really know, but definitely winning the award was not a negative thing.

Markus Gruber, GER

Winning year: 2000

Current position: Full Professor Sport Science

1. It means that you are a part of the ECSS "family". I always enjoy the special venue only for former ECSS YIA winners together with the current finalists. It is a "come together" not only with colleagues but also with many "old" friends.

2. The ECSS Young Investigators Award is definitely an outstanding award in the field of Sport Science. It is a special honor and it is recognized as a special feature in your CV.

Regina Crameri, AUS

Winning year: 2000

Current position: Senior Defence Scientist: Defence Science and Technology Organisation

1. Being an ECSS YIA winner has meant that I have been able to extend my network of peers and collaborators outside of those that I would normally associate with. I would recommend to all young scientists to participate in this wonderful program.

2. At the annoucement of the ECSS YIA I was asked if I was interested in a post-doctoral position in a wonderful and prestigious research group in Copenhagen. I quickly accepted the offer and professionally I have not looked back since that day.

ECSS YIA Winners 1999

Thue Kvorning, DEN

Winning year: 1999

Current position: Sports Physiologist, PhD, Team Danmark (Danish Elite Sport Institution)

1. I am proud to be an ECSS YIA winner and it was great excitement when I received the ECSS YIA from Paavo Komi, one of true "rock stars", when I shook hands and saw his approving glance - that meant a lot!

2. It surely strengthened my early interest in research, through my visit in Japan together with the other YIA winners, a kind of acknowledgement, but also convinced me that I was on the right path.

ECSS YIA Winners 1998

Andy Lane, GRB

Winning year: 1998

Current position: Professor

1. Pride, joy, surprise. It was a fabulous achievement and fills me with pride; very close to the pride linked with completing my PhD, which I did just before winning this award.

2. Hugely. It gave me confidence to persist; to publish to argue I had a point when the golden angel of self-esteem was shaking in the fear of being horribly wrong and being exposed so publically. Confidence is a wonderful thing.

Keith Tolfrey, GRB

Winning year: 1998

Current position: Reader in Peadiatric Excercise Physiology

1. I was thrilled to be an ECSS YIA winner in 1998 - it gave my work excellent exposure and provided me with the impetus to publish the work in a high quality peer reviewed journal. ECSS does an excellent job publishing the work of young investigators and I am pleased to know that it continues to bring young researchers together.

2. This is difficult for me to judge, but it certainly gave me a great boost in the year that I completed my PhD as a mature student. My career has progressed quite well and my next goal is to secure promotion to full professorship. The early career award provided me with the belief that I was conducting high quality research.

Jos Vanrenterghem, GRB

Winning year: 1997

Current position: Senior Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores University

1. I was able to win an ECSS YIA as an undergraduate student, and it was an incredible experience of scientific recognition. Whilst at the time I was of the impression that my work did not mean anything to others, the award made me realise that it actually does, even beyond boundaries of my country.

2. Foremost, winning an ECSS YIA has been a motivator do pursue a scientific career. Also, it has been an impotant factor on my CV that demonstrates quality within the broad professional world of sport science.

Labros Sidossis, USA

Winning year: 1997

Current position: Professor and Director of Metabolic Research

1. It was a great booster for my professional carrier to receive this award from ECSS. It made me feel accepted from my peers, and this is very important for a young investigator. We should all use every opportunity to show the young scientists appreciation for their efforts and their work, even if its not Nobel prize caliber!

2. It was a very possitive addition in my CV, especially at the time that my CV was very "light".