Quality Assurance Division Virtual Oral Competition

Submission Deadline: September 25, 2015 by 4pm Central Standard Time

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The Quality Assurance Division is pleased to host this virtual oral competition for graduate students with research in the areas of quality assurance, quality control, food wholesomeness and other related topics/issues.


  • Students entering the competition must be members of IFT by date of submission (no later than September 25, 2015) and should not have graduated earlier than May 31, 2015.
  • All research must have been completed while the entrant was a graduate student.
  • The student entering the competition must be the principal author of the paper. The entrant’s name must be listed first to denote the student as the presenter / speaker.
  • Students who placed in a division competition (1st, 2nd, or 3rd place) at IFT15 will not be eligible for this virtual oral competition.

How to Enter:

  • All entries must be submitted as Word documents via email to amsp@ift.org by September 25, 2015. Use the Quality Assurance Division Graduate Student Virtual Oral Competition submission form and save your submission as a Word document with this file name convention: Abstract Title_First Name Last Name
  • All entries must comply with these competition guidelines.
  • If selected as a finalist, the abstract will be presented virtually as an oral presentation (finalists will present from their own location through computer Internet and video/audio conference). The competition presentations will be scheduled for the week of November 16, 2015.

    Finalists must be available that week to compete. The specific date/time of the competition will be determined based on schedules of all finalists and competition judges.

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Review Criteria:

The Quality Assurance division will select up to five graduate student finalists using the review criteria below. Each reviewer will provide a score of 1-5 for technical merit, writing, and organization. These three criteria will be weighted as noted below. IFT will take the average of all reviewers’ scores and share that with the competition chair. Using this data, the competition chairs will determine up to five finalists for onsite judging.

Technical Merit:

  • Did the work completed require technical skill?
  • Is the research significant to the field?
  • Is the research original and unique or merely confirmatory?
  • Can /is the research applicable to food science and technology?


  • Is the abstract written in a comprehensive manner? Is the work explained so individuals unfamiliar with the subject matter can comprehend it?
  • If a judge is not a specialist in the area of your research would the content of your abstract fully explain the research?
  • Are there major grammatical errors?


  • Is the abstract presented clearly?
  • Did the authors sufficiently and cogently summarize each section of abstract?
  • Are the methods sufficiently descriptive?
  • Does the abstract address the main components of the submission guidelines: Justification, Objective, Methods, Results and

Virtual Oral Competition Timeframe and Approach

The Quality Assurance Division Graduate Student Research Virtual Oral Competition will be scheduled and judged the week of November 16, 2015. Upon acceptance as a finalist, IFT staff will confirm the specific date and time of each presentation and provide more details and instructions for presenting virtually.

  • The virtual oral competition will have five finalists presenting for 15 minutes each (12 minutes of actual presentation time followed immediately by 3 minutes Q&A with the competition judges).
  • Each finalist must present using a computer connected to Internet (wired Internet for a stable connection is strongly advised), and must have access to a computer web cam or other video conference equipment. IFT staff will work with each finalist to make sure video/audio connections are sufficient and finalists and presentation materials are clearly visible.

Award Prizes

The Quality Assurance division will recognize five finalists and give one first place award of $1000, one second place award of $750 and one third place award of $500.

All five finalists will receive a certificate of achievement and be recognized through the IFT web site, Food Technology, division highlight in IFT Connect, and the opportunity to present research at IFT16.

Division Competition Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions during the abstract submission process, with references to additional information in this set of guidelines.

  1. When is the deadline to submit abstracts?
    Abstracts are due (complete the competition submission form by September 25, 2015 by 4pm Central Time. Late submissions will not be accepted. Please email submissions to amsp@ift.org.
  2. Is there proper format to save my submission?
    Yes. Please save your submission as a Word document with this file name convention: Abstract Title_First Name Last Name.
  3. Can I make changes after the abstract submission deadline?
    No. After the deadline, submitters will not be allowed to make changes. Please be sure each field in the Word document is complete prior to submitting.
  4. When will I hear if my abstract was accepted for presentation?
    Submitters will be notified on October 7, 2015 whether their abstract was selected as a finalist to compete in the virtual competition.
  5. Does submitting an abstract guarantee presentation?
    Unfortunately, it does not. Abstracts are peer-reviewed by division reviewers based on the quality factors outlined in these guidelines. Any abstracts submitted not meeting the quality factors will not be selected for presentation in the virtual competition.
    In some cases, abstracts that satisfactorily meet these requirements will also not be selected due to limited program space and the higher quality of competing abstract submissions.
  6. What is the competition review process for abstracts?
    Division members will review all abstracts submitted (using review criteria listed previously in these guidelines). The division may select up to five finalists to compete virtually.
  7. Do I have to submit my abstract to the Journal of Food Science for publication?
    Yes. Submission of an abstract to IFT indicates that the authors agree to give IFT the first opportunity to publish the work (right of first refusal). Authors are encouraged to submit their papers for consideration in any of IFT’s publications— the Journal of Food Science (JFS), Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety (CRFSFS), the Journal of Food Science Education (JFSE), and Food Technology. As soon as possible after the competition, authors should visit http://ift.ManuscriptCentral.com to submit their manuscripts to JFS, CRFSFS,  and JFSE. To submit to Food Technology, contact Bob Swientek at bswientek@ift.org. Call the IFT Publications Office at 312-782-8424 for further information. Those who do not wish to publish their papers in IFT publications but rather other journals should also contact Bob Swientek to request permission.
  8. How do I submit an abstract?
    Complete each field in the Quality Assurance Division Graduate Student Virtual Oral Competition submission form and save your submission as a Word document with this file name convention: Abstract Title_First Name Last Name. Email your completed submission to amsp@ift.org before 4:00 pm Central, September 25, 2015.

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Contact Information

Have a division specific question?
Go to: http://www.ift.org/community/divisions.aspx for a listing of all IFT Division Leaders and their corresponding contact information.

Call for Abstracts or Division Competition policy question?
TJ Williams
Knowledge and Learning Experiences Department Institute of Food Technologists
525 W. Van Buren St. Suite 1000 Chicago, IL 60607
Telephone: (312) 604-0272
Fax: (312) 596-5672
E-mail: twilliams@ift.org