In the submissions for this year’s Student Research Paper Contest, many of the papers investigated different aspects of systems or environmental interventions. Li and colleagues presented a very interesting and elegant evaluation of one component of the New York City mobile food vendors intervention. However, just as the number of licenses alone doesn’t tell the story, their investigation does not provide a definitive answer to the question of how the intervention is affecting population health. Full understanding of the effect of systems interventions requires the measurement of many processes and intermediate outcomes as well as health outcomes. These health outcomes often take years to be observed. Rarely is there a simple yes or no answer to the effectiveness of a systems intervention. We need to keep in mind that we are trying to change population health outcomes and that these steps along the way are necessary to measure change in that outcome. However, evaluations alone cannot answer all our questions.
The Student Research Paper Contest is a great opportunity to recognize the outstanding work being done by the next generation of public health researchers and their mentors. In addition to the 67 students who submitted manuscripts, hundreds of mentors and colleagues supported these young investigators, and we want to recognize them. Without their contributions PCD would not have received the number of high-quality papers that it did. Having nearly 70 papers arrive in one day is no small accomplishment. We want to recognize the hard work of PCD staff members Sasha Ruiz and Tawni Wold who worked with the authors to make sure that the papers met submission requirements and that the papers were processed in a timely manner. Members of the PCD Editorial Board who helped with the initial review (Drs Barbara Bowman and Rachel Kaufman) and with the multiple rounds of review of the top 15 papers (Drs Ana Diez-Roux, Patrick Remington, Sara L Huston, and Eugene J Lengrich) also contributed countless hours reviewing and commenting on these manuscripts. I especially want to recognize Dr Deesha Patel, our 2013 student winner, who served as a reviewer this year. Congratulations and thank you for making the student contest a success!
Research Paper Contest “Luck is a dividend of sweat
Once every two years, a Shimadzu Cup Research Paper contest is held to help develop young researchers and promote scientific technology, where the researcher that presents the best paper is awarded the prize. The contest is judged by prominent scholars and researchers involved in cutting-edge fields of pharmaceutical analysis in China, who also have an opportunity for technical interaction.