Science Awards

With the objective of recognising and promoting young scientists, ECETOC has been active in the provision of annual Science Awards to outstanding works of science since 2003.

The first Science Award was accorded on the occasion of its 25th Anniversary to recognise the achievements of three promising European investigators in the fields of science relevant to its mission of supporting the safe manufacturing and use of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and biomaterials through good science. Since then the format of the Award may have varied, however the objectives have remained the same.

2017 Science Awards

Environmental science related award

SETAC Europe 27th Annual Meeting: Young Scientist Awards (YSA)

22-26 May 2016, Brussels, Belgium


The ECETOC Best Platform Award honours the early career scientist with the best platform presentation at the SETAC Europe Annual Meeting. At SETAC 2017, the award went to Richard Cross of the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, United Kingdom, for his presentation on “Routes of uptake and bioaccumulation of cerium oxide and silver nanoparticles depend on their fate in sediments.”

More information on the SETAC Nantes meeting can be found at and

Award winner Richard Cross at SETAC 2017Richard Cross accepts the Best Platform Award

Short Abstract:  
Engineered nanoparticles (NPs) undergo myriad transformations upon entering the aquatic environment, depending not only upon the composition of the particles but also the physicochemical properties of the surrounding media. Sediments are predicted to be a major sink of NPs released into the aquatic environment due to processes of aggregation and sedimentation occurring over relatively short timescales of a matter of hours to days in freshwaters. What is less understood is if NPs entering sediments will have the same capacity for toxicity as particles in suspension in the overlying water? Will transformations in sediments reduce or enhance nanoparticle bioavailability? Will these transformations be the same for NPs of different core or surface properties?

This work aims to address some of these questions. Specifically we hypothesise that the persistence of dissolution products or a colloidal fraction of NPs in sediment pore waters will allow for transdermal uptake of NPs into sediment dwelling species. We generated two viable phenotypes of the sediment dwelling aquatic worm, Lumbriculus variegatus through fragmentation to produce feeding and non-feeding worms. These were exposed to cerium oxide (CeO2¬ NPs) or silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) stabilised either electrostatically with citrate or sterically with PEG (mono mPEG phosphonic acid ester). A combination of centrifugation and ultrafiltration techniques were employed alongside the biological exposures to examine the fate of nanoparticles in the sediment pore waters, quantifying the colloidal fraction containing CeO2or Ag NPs

Results indicate that NPs which associate with the solid fraction of the sediment and do not dissolve within the sediments (CeO2 NPs) were only available through ingestion. These particles were also less bioavailable than Ag NPs and neither their fate nor accumulation differed between the two forms of stabilisation. PEG coated Ag NPs experienced significantly greater accumulation of Ag through transdermal uptake than either Citrate-Ag or silver nitrate and not all of this transdermal uptake of Ag could be accounted for by dissolution. The cause for this is the focus of ongoing experiments to be discussed in more detail during the presentation, alongside ongoing investigations into Ag NP transformations during the gut transition in these aquatic worms and their kinetic uptake from sediments over time.

Human health science related award

Eurotox 2017: ECETOC Christa Hennes Young Scientist Award

10-13 September 2017, Bratislava, Slovak Republic


This is a Best Poster Award for toxicological research into mechanisms and risk assessment, selected by a panel in which ECETOC participates at the EUROTOX Annual Meeting. In 2014, the award was re-named in memory of the late Dr Christa Hennes, former ECETOC Human Health Sciences Manager, who was instrumental in its organisation.

The award winner will be announced here after the event.