Forum Prize for Excellence in Research

The HST Forum is the annual showcase for student research; through this event, the exciting depth and breadth of HST science and accomplishment is highlighted for students, faculty, donors, and other members of the community. Approximately 45 research posters are presented each year, with participants drawn from all HST programs. It is a requirement that all HST students present their work at least once at the Forum during their HST tenure; hopefully, most will present their work annually. 

Established in 2008 to honor of Prof. Martha Gray’s service as co-director of HST, the Forum Prize for Excellence in Research recognizes the best poster presentations in a number of categories; the following is an explanation of the procedure.


To highlight our research thrust areas and exemplify the interdisciplinary nature of HST research, a prize is awarded annually in each of the following categories, without regard to HST degree program or relative seniority of the student. ALL posters submitted to the Forum are entered into the judging process:

1) Bioinformatics and integrative genomics
2) Imaging, acoustics and optics
3) Regenerative and rehabilitative biomedical engineering
4) Physiology and systems biology
5) Cell and molecular biology
6) Biomedical devices and technology


Posters are judged by the following criteria, which do not all necessarily favor an advanced thesis project:

1) Significance of research
2) Quality of research design and execution
3) Engagement and clarity of presentation
4) Limitations and next steps


Abstracts - written for an educated lay audience - are due on-line by Friday, March 6, 2020. Each student identifies two categories in which his/her work might be judged. The abstract should emphasize the clinical or scientific relevance of the work.

Judging occurs at the Forum, performed by panels of faculty and alumni who are selected for each category. Panelists visit each of their assigned posters so that the student can present his/her work and then entertain questions. Based on the above criteria, panelists reach consensus on a winner in each category. The winners are announced towards the end of the Forum, following the keynote address. 

The Awards

1) The names of the winners are published in TWiHST and on the HST website

2) The winners' names are engraved on two large "plaques in perpetuity" in the HST Offices at HMS and MIT

3) The winners receive individual, framed certificates

4) The winners receive cash prizes