One of the key objectives of the ECSS is the promotion of junior scientists and the fostering of state-of-the-art research. For this purpose, the ECSS established the Young Investigators Award (YIA). Since the inauguration of the ECSS and its first annual congress in Nice, France in 1996, the YIA is an integral part of the ECSS Annual Congress. Under normal circumstances, young scientists have the opportunity of entering this prestigious competition for scientific excellence, where their outstanding work can be presented at the annual congress. A jury consisting of the ECSS Scientific Board and ECSS Scientific Committee grants the awards based upon an oral and conventional poster presentation for the top ten presentations respectively. Today many former YIA winners are still closely connected to the ECSS and even support the ECSS in its boards and committees. The award has functioned for previous YIA winners as a starting point of their scientific careers.