More rebel thinkers required for 2017 LRI Award!


Are you a real rebel thinker? Do you have a great idea for novel research in human health or environmental risk assessment? Then apply now for the Cefic-LRI Innovative Science Award 2017. But be quick - the closing date for applications is 19 March 2017.

The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), in conjunction with the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), ), the Association of European Toxicologists and European Societies of Toxicology (EUROTOX), and the International Society of Exposure Sciences (ISES) is offering a €100,000 award to support promising new research in the field of dose-response of synergy in combined exposure to humans or environmental species. But you must apply by 19 March 2017!

New approaches to synergy needed

The risk assessment of combined exposures to multiple chemicals is largely based on the assumption that effects of chemicals acting via the same Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) / Mode of Action (MoA) can be estimated based on dose-addition, and that different AOPs/MoAs can be accounted for by response-addition models. The interaction of multiple chemicals that result in more-than-additive adverse effects (‘synergy’) is assumed to be rare and is mostly described for toxicokinetic interactions of pharmaceuticals at high doses.

Beyond the question of whether synergy can occur or not, the synergy dose-response is highly relevant for the risk assessment of moderate to low co-exposures to either humans or environmental species. But today our knowledge on the relevance of both exposure levels and mixture ratios on the occurrence and degree of synergy is limited.

So for 2017 the LRI Award is looking for new approaches and techniques that, in characterising synergy dose-response, will improve risk assessment of chemical co-exposures at environmentally relevant exposure levels. These could include:

  • Experimental approaches to examine the dose-response of more-than-additive interactions of chemicals in relevant models of environmental or human health effect assessment
  • Structure-activity modelling
  • Mathematical modelling to integrate mechanistic and/or kinetic knowledge and experimental data from different models

Award objectives

The objective of this LRI Award is to stimulate innovative research, ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking and new approaches which will advance the development and application of new and existing approaches in the assessment of chemical safety.

The research should be complementary to the Long-range Research Initiative’s (LRI) objectives. LRI is a chemical industry funded programme that aims at enhancing scientific knowledge to help protect health and the environment.

The award is intended for a European-based scientist with less than ten years post-doctoral experience. Active involvement in interdisciplinary research, current academic track record, and access to appropriate networks will be considered in the selection. There is no age limit for applicants.

Applicants must submit a two-page project proposal by mid- March. Short-listed researchers are then requested to send in a more detailed description of their work, after which the three finalists are selected to present their proposal before a jury panel in Brussels. This year the final selection in Brussels will be on June 2017.

The winning proposal of the LRI Innovative Science Award will be officially presented at the LRI Annual Workshop on 15 November 2017. The 2017 Awardee will be expected to present the results of the research supported by the Award at the LRI Annual Workshop in November 2018.

The Cefic-LRI Innovative Science Award was established in 2004 to inspire highly innovative and industry relevant projects in biomedical toxicology and ecotoxicology led by promisingly early career scientists. The prize of € 100 000 has been awarded annually ever since - boosting the careers of twelve younger European scientists in the challenging fields with which LRI is engaged.

For more details on the Cefic-LRI award and how to apply visit the awards web page or email the Cefic-LRI secretariat.

What is LRI?

The Long-range Research Initiative (LRI) programme is a major voluntary initiative of the European chemical industry to support the long-term sustainability of its sector and European society. Through the programme we hope to identify the hazards posed by chemicals and improve the methods available for assessing the associated risks.

The LRI sponsors high-quality research of a standard publishable in a reputable peer-reviewed journal, and seeks to provide sound scientific advice on which industry and regulatory bodies can draw-on to respond quickly and accurately to public concerns.