The Rosanna Degani Young Investigator Award

1 - About the Programme

1.1 - Rosanna Degani

Rosanna Degani was a pioneer in the field of electrocardiography from the Institute of System Dynamics and Bioengineering in Padua, Italy, and Chair of the Organizing Committee of the 18th Computers in Cardiology Conference held in Venice, 1991. Her tragic illness and premature death occurred shortly after the Venice meeting. While her professional and scientific value is still evidenced by her papers, many of which appear in the annals of CinC, the memory of her human qualities is reserved for those who had the privilege of meeting her. The YIA is also a tribute to these qualities.

1.2 - The Annual YIA Competition

CinC 2005 YI awards

After the 1991 Computers in Cardiology meeting, the Local Organizing Committee proposed the establishment of a Young Investigator Award to be named after Rosanna Degani, the late Chair of the Committee. The decision to establish the Award was made by the CinC Board of Directors in Durham, NC during Computers in Cardiology 1992 and became effective immediately. The first Award was made at CinC 1993, London. Funding for the programme was provided largely by the Venice Organizing Committee with additional contributions from the corporation. The program was initially funded for ten years, but monies have been obtained to continue the award.

1.3 - The Aim of the Programme

The programme is designed to encourage young investigators to present their work and to have it discussed by the audience. It is also the intention to give young investigators an opportunity to enter the international scientific community from the main gate! The program also serves to encourage the attendance of students and young researchers by offering all entrants who conform to the regulations a reduced registration fee (see 3.7).

1.4 - Participants

The number of submissions has been steadily increasing and is now in the order of 25 per annum. The competition is therefore tough, but the odds are clearly not insurmountable! Someone has to win this prestigious award.

1.5 - Winners of the Rosanna Degani Young Investigator Award

2013Julia Ramírez
Universidad de Zaragoza
Prediction of Sudden Cardiac Death in Chronic Heart Failure Patients by Analysis of Restitution Dispersion
2012Emilie Bollache
INSERM U678 Paris
Automated Evaluation of Aortic Valve Stenosis from Phase-Contrast Magnetic Resonance Data
2011Frida Sandberg
University of Lund
Model-Based Analysis of the Ventricular Response during Atrial Fibrillation
2010Giacomo Tarroni
University of Bologna
MRI-Based Quantification of Myocardial Perfusion at Rest and Stress using Automated Frame-by-Frame Segmentation and Non-Rigid Registration
2009Kun Wang
Newcastle University
A Comparison of 2D and 3D Edge Detectors in Semi Automated Measurements of Chamber Volumes Using 3D Echocardiographic Laboratory Phantom Images
2008Emiliano Votta
Politecnico di Milano
From Real-Time 3D Echocardiography to Mitral Valve Finite Element Analysis: A Novel Modeling Approach
2007Francesco Maffessanti
Politecnico di Milano
Development of a Method for Left Ventricular Shape Evaluation Based on Surfaces Obtained by Real-Time 3D Echocardiographic Images
2006Simona Petrutiu
Northwestern University
Manifestation of Left Atrial Events in the Surface Electrocardiogram during Atrial Fibrillation
2005Gil Zwirn
Tel Aviv University
Adaptive Attenuation Correction in Contrast Echo
2004Xin Zhang
University of Minnesota
3-Dimensional Activation Sequence Reconstruction from Body Surface Maps
2003Cristiana Corsi
University of Bologna
Automated Quantification of the Effects of Low Body Negative Pressure on Left Ventricular Function during Parabolic Flight
2002Enrico G. Caiani
Politecnico di Milano
Automated Quantification of Regional Myocardial Perfusion by Analysis of Contrast-Enhanced Echocardiographic Images
2001Diego di Bernardo
Newcastle University
Computer Modeling of Cardiac Repolarisation for the Analysis of the Electrocardiogram
2000Eran Toledo
Tel Aviv University
Evolution of Compensatory Cardiovascular Control Mechanisms in Heart Transplant Subjects
1999Ezana Azene
Tulane University
Wavefront-Obstacle Interactions: a Computational Study
1998Michael Hilton
Birmingham Heartlands Hospital
A New Application For Heart Rate Variability: Diagnosing the Sleep Apnoea Syndrome
1997Wenguang Li
Erasmus University
Quantification of Blood Volume Flow by Decorrelation Analysis of Radio-Frequency Intravascular Echo Signals
1996Stephanie Caswell
University of Michigan
Separation of Ventricular Tachycardia from Ventricular Fibrillation Using Paired Unipolar Electrocardiograms
1995Neil L. Greenberg
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Noninvasive Assessment of Diastolic Intraventricular Pressure Gradients using Color Doppler M-mode Echocardiography
1994Eugene Seneta
University of Technology, Sydney
Optimizing Defibrillation Electrodes: Automating the Search for Better Configurations
1993David Bloem
Illinois Institute of Technology
Use of a Microprocessor-based Pacemaker to Control an Implantable Drug Delivery System

2 - Eligibility

2.1 - Definition of a Young Investigator

There is a great deal of variability in the training curricula of young investigators in different countries and there is also a difference between the training of physicians and engineers. It is therefore necessary to adhere to the spirit of the programme rather than to state precise rules. First of all, there is an explicit age limit of 36 years at the time of submission. Faculty members are not eligible. For scientists other than MDs, the ideal candidate is a Ph.D. student or a recent graduate who submits his/her doctoral work. Post-docs (on grant or scholarship or soft money) are eligible as long as they work under the scientific guidance of a supervisor. A young investigator in training is not supposed to have his/her own research funds as a general rule nor to lead a research team. For MDs, the ideal candidate is an intern or resident physician or a research fellow not yet board certified in a specialty. European MDs are expected to be in post-graduate specialty training or, where applicable, to be a post-specialty research student. Physicians holding a hospital position or engaged in private practice do not qualify.

2.2 - Proof of Eligibility

A statement is required from your supervisor or from the head of your department. The statement should indicate (a) that you meet the eligibility criteria listed in 2.1; (b) your contribution to the work, particularly if the paper has multiple authors. Your statement should be printed on your departmental stationery, signed by your supervisor or Head of Department. Scan it and save it as a PDF file (if possible; other formats are acceptable otherwise). Make sure that the statement is legible in whatever format you use, and submit it with your abstract and paper using the YIA submission page according to the instructions found there. Proof of eligibility is mandatory and submissions without a proof of eligibility will not be considered.

2.3 - Submission in Successive Years

If you have previously submitted a paper for the YIA competition, but did not win, it is allowable to resubmit an updated paper or a paper on a different topic. Often the work presented is in progress, and may benefit from further data collection or in general from further maturation.

2.4 - Submission of Work That Is Part of a Team Effort

It is allowable to submit work which is undertaken as part of a team. If your paper is co-authored by colleagues other than your supervisor, you should indicate on the eligibility form (see 2.2) which part of the work was performed by you and which part was performed by the others. If much of the groundwork was prepared by a colleague, perhaps an earlier student in the same lab, this should also be indicated. For example, the statement should delineate which tools or software were designed by you, as opposed to the tools or software that were provided by the team and used by you in your research. Please note that this will not necessarily devalue your work. The selection committee is well aware that certain areas of activity require a team effort and cannot reasonably be accomplished by an individual.

3 - Entering the YIA Competition

3.1 - First Steps

Apply for a visa if you will need one to attend CinC. Don't put off this crucial step! If you wait until you have been notified that your paper has been accepted, you may not have enough time to get a visa if you need one.

Ask your supervisor or department head to prepare and sign your eligibility statement. (See 2.2 above.)

Advance notice of a submission is not necessary, and indeed is troublesome when a paper does not follow as has sometimes been the case in the past. The organiser is then left wondering if a paper has been lost!!

Consult the Call for Papers for this year's CinC conference to verify the abstract deadline, usually 15 April (this is a new date for 2014). The deadline may be moved by a few days if 15 April coincides with another major conference.

Submitting a properly formatted abstract or paper is easy and usually trouble-free, but don't risk missing the deadline because of unfamiliarity with the formatting requirements or the submission process. Since you may revise your submissions at any time before the abstract deadline, test the process by submitting early drafts of your conference program abstract and of your full paper (see 3.3 below) to avoid last-minute surprises.

3.2 - Required Elements for a YIA Submission


Your submission is not complete without the eligibility statement described above (see 2.2 and 2.4) from your supervisor. It should be printed on the official letterhead of your institution and must be submitted together with your conference program abstract and your full paper.


In order to allow electronic processing, the abstract to be printed in the conference program must be submitted via the CinC abstract and paper collection site according to a predefined format. For details, see these instructions for preparing and submitting CinC abstracts.


YIA applicants must submit a full paper in the same format as required for the conference proceedings. This includes a short abstract (see 3.4). For details, see these instructions for preparing and submitting CinC papers.

3.3 - Submit All THREE Required Elements Before the Abstract Deadline

It is necessary to submit a full paper including a short summary/abstract at the beginning (for publication in the CinC proceedings), and in addition to submit a separate (usually longer) abstract (for publication in the conference program book distributed to attendees). The conference program abstract should meet the rules for the normal abstract submission and is different from the short summary/abstract at the start of the paper (see 3.4).

Once again, submissions for the YIA that do not include all three of these required elements:

  1. proof of eligibility (see 2.2)
  2. a conference program abstract
  3. a full paper
will not be considered!

The full papers are sent to the YIA judges and are reviewed before the abstract review meeting and before the final conference program is arranged. Four finalists are chosen to present their papers in the YIA plenary session that opens the conference.

If you are not selected as a finalist, your abstract will be reviewed together with all of the other abstracts submitted to CinC. If it is accepted, it will be assigned to a parallel or poster session. Note that the abstract reviewers will not usually have read your full paper, so it is important that the abstract stand on its own as a summary of your work.

Accepted YIA papers may be revised after the finalists have been selected and before the final paper deadline (usually in early September, one week before the CinC conference begins; but see 4.4 and 4.5).

3.4 - Is the Conference Abstract the Same as the Abstract in the Designated Slot at the Top of the Paper?

No! The abstract at the top of the paper is just a short summary of the content (at most, about 150 words). The conference abstract, on the contrary, should contain enough information to let the abstract reviewers (and eventually, other attendees) understand your work and should effectively be a small, self-contained paper (of up to 300 words) with methods, results and real data.

3.5 - How Strict Is the Page Limit for the Full Paper?

It is absolutely essential to adhere to the limit of 4 pages. A paper that does not comply with this rule will not be accepted nor will the author be awarded the reduced registration fee.

3.6 - May I Submit More than One Paper to the YIA Competition?

No! The Board has decided that one paper is quite enough given the high number of submissions.

3.7 - Do YIA Participants Qualify for a Reduced Registration Fee for the Conference?

Yes; details are here.

3.8 - If I Still Have a Question, How Can I Inquire?

Please send an e-mail to, with your questions.

4 - The Selection Process

4.1 - Selection of Finalists

The selection of the finalists is a two step process. First of all, each member of the selection committee reads and ranks the papers. The Committee usually consists of the President of Computers in Cardiology, the Chair of the YIA programme, and at least three members of the Board of Directors. If a Board Member is also a supervisor of an entrant, then (s)he cannot be a member of the selection committee. The committee then gathers the day before the abstract selection meeting, reviews the markings for each paper and a decision is taken by consensus. Four young investigators are selected to make oral presentations at the YIA session, which is usually scheduled as the opening plenary session. For these four finalists, the registration fee for the conference is waived entirely.

4.2 - Notification of Results

If you have entered the YIA competition, you will, of course, receive an e-mail from the Organizing Committee notifying you of the acceptance/rejection of your abstract for presentation at the conference. The YIA Chair will notify you separately by e-mail about the status of your YIA paper as soon as possible after the final program is planned. In broad terms, all YIA applicants will be advised of the outcome by early June.

4.3 - If a YIA Paper Is Not Accepted as a Finalist, Is It Still Considered for the Conference?

Yes! As mentioned above, the reviews of the full paper for the YIA competition and of the conference program abstract for the regular sessions of the conference follow different routes.

4.4 - Will My Accepted Paper be Published?

If you present your paper at CinC, whether as a YIA finalist or not, it will be published. It is essential that CinC attendees have an opportunity to discuss your work with you. Papers that are not presented are not published in any case.

All accepted papers receive editorial review, and you should be prepared during the month after the conference to make corrections if requested by the Editor to do so.

4.5 - May I Revise My Accepted Paper?

You may revise your paper at any time after it has been accepted, until the final paper deadline (usually a week before the conference begins in September). Many authors use this opportunity to improve the style and the language, remove errors, and even add more data. If you were selected as a finalist, however, keep in mind that your original paper was the basis for your inclusion in the program; don't abuse your freedom to revise it. If you were not selected as a finalist, your inclusion in the program is based on your abstract only, so you may rewrite the paper completely if you wish.

5 - The Presentation

5.1 - When Will the YIA Session Take Place?

The YIA session is scheduled for the first day of the conference (usually Monday). The presentations are generally made immediately after the opening ceremonies.

5.2 - How Much Time Do I Have for the Final Presentation?

The YIA session allows 15 minutes for each presentation and 5 minutes for the discussion. Please note that this is different from all the other sessions, where only 10 minutes are allocated for the presentation.

5.3 - How Important Is the Presentation vs. the Written Paper?

There is no written rule, but you should think of the presentation as a new and entirely different contest. Although the final decision is made by the same jury as read the original submissions, an evaluation form is usually circulated to experts in the various topics who are in the audience. These experts will not have reviewed the papers beforehand and they assess the oral presentations on their own merit. The quality of the oral presentation is therefore as important as the scientific content.

5.4 - Will There Be Questions from the Floor?

Of course! And your answers will also have an impact on the final selection.

5.5 - I Am Not a Native English Speaker: How Will I Cope with the Questions from the Floor?

The Chairs of the session will be aware of this problem and will do their best to help you with language difficulties, if necessary.

6 - The Winner

6.1 - How Is the Winner Selected?

An evaluation sheet is circulated to a number of people who are experts in the various topics of the YIA session. The views obtained are taken as the base for a discussion within the jury, which produces a final decision by consensus. This decision is final.

6.2 - When Will the Winner Be Announced? What Is the Prize?

The name of the winner is announced in the final plenary session on Wednesday afternoon. At the end of this session, the four finalists receive their cheques (US$750 each), four semi-finalists receive checks (US$250 each), and the winner also receives a plaque (and an extra cheque for US$500). The semi-finalist awards will be given for the first time in 2014.

7 - How Do I Contact the Chairman of the YIA Program?

Write to:  

Dr Willem R.M. Dassen
Maastricht University
Dept. of Cardiology
PO Box 616
6200 MD Maastricht
The Netherlands

Phone: (31) 43 387 7090
Fax : (31) 84 718 3294