New award to recognise lab technicians

They are the often-overlooked workers who keep the cogs turning in every laboratory. Now, a new award aims to celebrate the work of lab technicians.

Lab technicians are a fixture in every laboratory, and help to keep labs safe, while helping researchers with their projects. They have various responsibilities - from organising lab tools and equipment to helping to record data, and ensuring accuracy while scientific research is conducted, for example.

The Asian Scientist Lab Tech of the Year 2019 competition will be launched on Monday.

An initiative of Asian Scientist Magazine, it aims to honour the valuable contributions of laboratory technicians across Singapore. It is the first of its kind here.

Prizes will be given to individuals with heartwarming and inspiring stories of their struggles and sacrifices.

"Since Asian Scientist was founded in 2011, we have tried to feature the best scientists in Asia - inevitably, the Nobel laureates, chief executive officers and founders," said Dr Juliana Chan, CEO of Wildtype Media Group and editor-in-chief of Asian Scientist Magazine.

"So in 2019, we decided to flip it around, and find a way to honour these unsung heroes who have made great contributions to successful scientific research."

Prizes of $500 in cash will be awarded to 10 winners from Britain-based sponsor Abcam, along with a certificate of recognition, and a goody bag of books and magazines for each winning lab tech. The top prize is a three-day, two-night stay at the Banyan Tree Bintan, donated by Mr Ho Kwon Ping, executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings.

Supervisors of the winning lab techs will also win $500 in book vouchers for their lab, to act as an incentive for them to nominate their lab techs.

The competition will run from Jan 14 to March 15. Readers can submit stories of their favourite lab technicians at Asianscientist.com/labtech.

Cheryl Teh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2019, with the headline 'New award to recognise lab technicians'. Print Edition | Subscribe