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The John C. Johnson Award





This award was established in June of 1992 for the purpose of recognizing the best poster presentation given at a district or national convention. It is named in honor of John C. Johnson, Sr., first Vice President of Beta Beta Beta and his son, John C. Johnson, Jr., President of Beta Beta Beta from 1977-1985.


  1. It is the purpose of this award to honor undergraduate achievement in biological research. To be eligible, research must be completed by active or associate TriBeta members while they are undergraduates.

  2. Field and experimental reports are equally valid. Either should present data if possible and should be directed toward answering some question or testing some hypothesis. A review of the literature on a topic is not sufficient for the award. If the work has been published, it may be reported but is not eligible for the award.

  3. It is not required that all authors be TriBeta members, but the report must be presented by a member, unless the presenter meets the conditions listed in paragraph six.

  4. Work which is primarily that of faculty or graduate members or is an equal partnership between such persons and an undergraduate member may be reported but is not eligible for a John C. Johnson Award. Faculty direction and support should be acknowledged in an acknowledgments section together with grants or other financial aid.

  5. All other factors being equal, preference for the award will be given to the work of a single author rather than group research. Work conducted by the undergraduate member as part of an ongoing senior scientist's or research laboratory program may be reported but will be eligible only at the discretion of the judges. In making this decision, the judges will consider the degree to which the student was an independent worker and has a full understanding of the material presented.

  6. The poster report must be presented at the appropriate district or national meeting of the Society. Members whose work conforms to all other established criteria, but who have graduated, may compete for the award provided the student received the baccalaureate degree no more than fifteen months prior to a national biennial convention or six months prior to an annual district convention.

  7. A research poster report which won a national John C. Johnson Award, including second or third place for that ward, may not be entered into competition a second time fora John C. Johnson Award. All poster presented at district conventions may be presented at the next following national convention if otherwise eligible. No poster shall be disqualified from competition for the John C. Johnson national awards because of presentation at a preceding district convention.

  8. To assist the judges in establishing eligibility for this award, an author data sheet must be completed before presentation of any research poster report.

  9. Authors must be present at the site of their display during the time period specified on the program to answer questions concerning their research.

  10. Poster displays should be no larger than 4,000 square inches. 11. A 150 word abstract is required which includes a concise summary of content and conclusions.



Judging of posters will be by a panel of at least three professional scientists appointed by the District Director for district meetings and the Director of Paper Sessions for national meetings.

The criteria used by judges include:

  1. Evidence of knowledge of the project. (25%) Are there data? Is the methodology adequate? Were controls or normal baselines needed and used? Is there a conclusion? Is it warranted by the data?

  2. Organization of the presentation. (30%) Is the report placed in context? Are the methods clear? Are the data understandable?

  3. Clarity of the visual material. (25%) Are tables, graphs, etc., used if needed? Is the conclusion or summary clearly given?

  4. Degree of originality of the project. (10%) Does the work show ingenuity on the part of the student or is it the continuation of research initiated by a graduate leader? Are all materials provided through a large laboratory or must the student collect them him/herself from sources he/she discovers?

  5. Discretion of the judges. (10%) Includes recognition of unusual quality or for any other factor which seems appropriate to the judges.



As with the Frank G. Brooks Award, a plaque for the first place undergraduate research poster will be presented to the presenter's chapter. The student author(s) of first, second, and third place papers will receive certificates, suitable inscribed. Presenters are encouraged to submit their work to BIOS for publication consideration.

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