On Friday 9 November 2012 the Tjeerd de Jong Award 2012 ceremony took place at the new Zodiac building located on the campus of Wageningen UR.
Just like last year three candidates competed for the prize of 2,000 euros which would be handed over by a symbolic check. During short presentations the three candidates gave lectures in English in which they presented their research plan.
This year the jury also contained of four people. Professor Dr Johan van Arendonk acted as chairman of the jury on behalf of the faculty. In his role he hosted the event, introduced the candidates, gave the audience the opportunity to ask questions and talked about how the three candidates of 2011 had done so far. On behalf of the Foundation there were three jury members present, Professor Dr Herre Kingma, Erik Meijer and mr Klaas-Jan van Dijk. Herre Kingma would actually hand out the prize to the winner.
Candidate Lenneke Cornelissen was the first to present her research plan. She has the goal to collect more knowledge on the functioning of the immune system of carp. Her research plan is too scientific and too technical to repete but with the gained knowledge resources could be developed that effectively stimulate the immune system of fish. Lissa McKenna took her place as the second candidate. She developed a research project in which the influence of high levels of noise on chickens will be tested at all stages of life of the chicken, from the egg to adulthood. Chickens nowadays are exposed to high levels of noise because of the use of fans and its negative impact is assumed but has not been scientifically proved by now. Third candidate Freek Jurg talked about his research plan about combining methods of treating cancer cells in order to make cancer treatment more effective. The basis of his research plan is that cancer cells inside a body can be labeled as hazardous so the body itself can recognize these cells and can suppress or destroy them.
After the three pitches and answering the questions the jury retired for deliberation. It appeared not to be an easy discussion. The jury took more time time to reach a verdict than expected but in the end the jury choose Lenneke Cornelissen to become the winner of the Tjeerd de Jong Price 2012. Lissa McKenna became second and Freek Jurg third. The symbolic check, flowers and cup were awarded by Herre Kingma. The jury praised the scientific level of Lenneke’s research plan but was also impressed by her goal to improve her English skills. The foundation supports this commitment to personal development wholeheartedly.
After the award winning ceremony stories of those who were involved showed that there defenitely had been an element of competition among the students following the Research Master Cluster course. Students helped each other out but also showed criticism. Johan van Arendonk agreed that for students who aspire a career in science this has not been a bad workout. The science world is full of competition and it is therefore usefull that students at an early stage become familiar to competition.
The Board congratulates Lenneke Cornelissen with winning the Tjeerd de Jong Price 2012. And thanks all friends and family of the candidates for their presence at the ceremony. The foundation would like to thank Johan van Arendonk, Jan van der Poel, teachers and other university staff for their commitment and dedication to make the 2012 edition of Tjeerd de Jong price possible.
On the picture the candidates of this year’s contest. In order of length you see standing next to our chairman the candidates Freek Jurg, Lenneke Cornelissen (winner) and Lisa McKenna.