Pandemic Lab Safety Challenge

A TeleScience Telethon presented by SANBio & Seeding Labs

About the Challenge

SANBioIn collaboration with the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio), Seeding Labs is challenging scientists and students from developing countries to create videos for our online TeleScience video library in our first-ever telethon: the Pandemic Lab Safety Challenge.

With the worldwide impact of COVID-19, researchers facing a return to work have had to rapidly innovate enhanced lab safety protocols with the resources on hand.

This Challenge is designed to solicit videos that share creative solutions for lab safety in a time of COVID-19 that could be adopted by scientists in labs with limited resources, no matter where they might be.

Scientists and students are challenged to present their innovations in brief videos for our TeleScience library. Topics could include demonstrating how to safely sanitize instrumentation, or detailing how to adapt a physical lab space to implement social distancing between researchers, to name a few.

The Pandemic Lab Safety Challenge is global and open to anyone. Participants will include scientists and students from the Instrumental Access network and beyond, including the SANBio community of researchers from Southern Africa. Videos will be peer-reviewed by the Lab Safety Institute and four winners will receive a SANBio prize hamper.

With thanks to our sponsors:

Millipore Sigma Research Square Company TokaBIo Laboratory Safety Institute

Here's how it works...

Brainstorm

Step 1: Brainstorm

Form your team for the Challenge and decide on a lab safety solution you will share. Review the application instructions below.
Apply

Step 2: Apply

Submit your team info along with a written description of your video via the application by September 15, 2021. After a safety review, you'll be invited to submit your video!
Camera

Step 3: Create

Film your video, following the submission guidelines below, and enter it in the Challenge for judging by October 1, 2021. Four winners will receive a SANBio prize hamper!

Questions? Send us an email 

Calling all innovators and problem solvers!

Can you help?

Laboratory staff are used to working in an environment where samples are infectious, but the COVID-19 pandemic presents an extra challenge in an environment where colleagues may be asymptomatic carriers of respiratory disease.

Often the work performed in labs is critical to the health of our communities, whether directly processing diagnostics for disease, or training the next generation of students to become medical professionals and researchers.

Returning to the lab requires solutions to new challenges, such as protocols for safely disinfecting and sharing equipment, to the separation of physical spaces and people. For labs unfamiliar with working with infectious diseases and microbial pathogens, known sterile environment techniques and low-cost solutions need to be shared as well.

Has your lab implemented low-cost solutions? Do you have sterile techniques to share?

The Pandemic Lab Safety Challenge is designed to solicit videos that share solutions for lab safety in a time of COVID-19 that can be adopted by scientists in labs with limited resources, no matter where they might be. Technological solutions for everyday challenges can also be developed with a bit of ingenuity, even when the resources available are not always cutting-edge.

Join a global community of scientific problem-solvers and put your creativity to the test by solving real challenges.

The Challenge

Show us how you practice a safe working environment in the current COVID-19 environment when working in your lab, or working with lab equipment or medical devices at your university or college.

What can you share?

Anything that promotes methods for lab workers to return safely to the lab!

You can share innovations developed by you, or techniques that are already established as written protocols but would benefit from being shared more widely in video format. Our goal is to bring together all knowledge, whether new or existing, that supports a safe laboratory working environment.

Some suggestions include, but are not limited to:

  • Demonstration of sterile techniques, such as how to put on and remove gloves, masks, and other PPE
  • Educational information on choosing the correct PPE, including what types of materials to use for masks, gloves, coats, goggles, etc.
  • Demonstrating how to sanitize specific instruments and/or what chemicals are safe to use for sanitation and equipment integrity (i.e., will not damage the equipment)
  • Procedures added to the lab, such as entry and exit protocols, introduction of shifts, and other tools and systems to support physical distancing
  • Ways to safely conserve the use of PPE and other materials, including ways to disinfect masks, lab coats, and other reusable PPE
Why participate?

You can help spread your knowledge across the global scientific community. You will show off your method and get feedback from other academics and industry sponsors.

Seeding Labs will host the best videos on its TeleScience website. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a free laboratory safety training from the Laboratory Safety Institute. All participants whose applications pass the safety review will receive a Challenge participation certificate. Prize hampers will be awarded to four SANBio network winners.

Who is invited?

The SANBio & Seeding Labs Pandemic Lab Safety Challenge is open to students (undergraduate and graduate) and academics across the globe who are learning or working in a lab.

Applicants are expected to form and apply for the Challenge as teams of one to four people. Team members do not need to be from the same country or institutions. For enquiries, please contact info@nepadsanbio.org.

Application Process

The application will be in two phases.

For the first phase, a written summary of the video needs to be submitted with a description of the technique or innovation to be filmed and a background of relevant safety information. The deadline for these submissions is September 15, 2021.

These descriptions will be reviewed by the Laboratory Safety Institute to ensure that information meets safety standards and does not encourage unsafe techniques. All applications that pass the safety review will be asked to then submit their video by October 1, 2021.

All videos will be evaluated by a judging committee comprising of Seeding Labs, SANBio, and corporate sponsors.

How can I get started?

First, form your team and ensure you have all the necessary information from all team members before completing the application. The application needs to be filled in one go; unfinished applications do not save automatically and cannot be returned.

On the first page, you will be asked to provide information for the team leader, who will also be the main contact point between the team and the Challenge organizers. On the following pages, you will be asked to fill in the same information for the other team members.

Then, you will be asked to share the solution you intend to create. Please describe the problem your solution is addressing. In as much detail as possible, describe what the video will demonstrate. Add a justification for why you believe that this technique supports a safe working environment.

If available, please also provide a citation to references that support the use of your technique as a safe technique. For example, an equipment manual detailing proper equipment decontamination technique, a handbook that describes the protocol you are sharing, or published sources showing the material’s permeability to viral transmission.

Lastly, please include an estimated budget for what it would cost a lab to implement your solution. The cost will not be a judging factor but can help potential labs evaluate solutions that they can use.

After the application period has closed and the teams have been selected, the participating teams will be requested to submit their videos to the judging committee by October 1, 2021. All applications must be submitted in English, although videos can be (and are encouraged to be) submitted in other languages.

Video submission Guidelines
  • Videos should be a maximum of 8 minutes long; shorter videos are preferred
  • Narration can be spoken in any language, but if not spoken in English, an English transcript is required
  • Videos can be filmed, animated, or a combination of techniques that most efficiently use a video format to demonstrate the technique
  • Videos do not need to be filmed inside a laboratory if demonstration of the technique does not require it
  • To the extent possible, all proper safety techniques should be demonstrated through the video. For example, if demonstrating the use of a chemical that requires the wearer to wear goggles, the wearer should wear goggles even if, for demonstration purposes only, the actual chemical is replaced with a non-hazardous chemical such as water
Start your application now!

2021 Pandemic Lab Safety Challenge Official Rules

THE CHALLENGE

Laboratory staff are used to working in an environment where samples are infectious – but the COVID-19 pandemic presents an extra challenge in an environment where colleagues may be asymptomatic carriers of respiratory disease. Often the work performed in labs is critical to the health of our communities – whether directly processing diagnostics for disease, or training the next generation of students to become medical professionals and researchers.

Returning to the lab requires solutions to new challenges – such as protocols for safely disinfecting and sharing equipment, to the separation of physical spaces and people. For labs unfamiliar with working with infectious diseases and microbial pathogens, known sterile environment techniques and low-cost solutions need to be shared as well.

Has your lab implemented low-cost solutions? Do you have sterile techniques to share?

The Pandemic Lab Safety Challenge seeks videos that share solutions for lab safety in a time of COVID-19 that can be adopted by scientists in labs with limited resources, no matter where they might be. Technological solutions for everyday challenges can also be developed with a bit of ingenuity, even when the resources available are not always cutting edge. Join a global community of creative problem solvers and put your creativity to test with real challenges. Then, share your solutions with the community of lab professionals.

In the 2021 Pandemic Lab Safety Challenge, Seeding Labs and SANBio challenge you to create the best lab safety video and post it to social media. We will host and feature many of the best entrants, including the prize winners, on our TeleScience website, Telescience.seedinglabs.org, as a way to preserve and share the knowledge collected during the contest.

GENERAL RULES

1. Eligibility: The 2021 Pandemic Lab Safety Challenge (the “Contest”) is open to all undergraduate students, graduate students, and academics across the globe who are learning or working in a laboratory. Submissions from both individuals and teams (maximum of 4 people per team, collectively, the “Team Members”) are accepted. Team Members do not need to be from the same country or institutions, and collaboration is encouraged. All entrants from around the world are eligible to win the Grand Prize.

Entrants who have at least one team member who is a resident of a SANBio Member State (Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia), and who is able to receive physical mail in a SANBio Member State, are additionally eligible to receive a hamper of goodies from SANBio affiliated organizations (“SANBio Prizes”).

The following are ineligible to enter the Contest: (a) residents, 18 years or older, of any country or jurisdiction where the Contest may breach any local law or regulation; and (b) employees and their relatives, agents or anyone else professionally associated with the Organizing Parties or any of its subsidiaries.

No purchase is necessary to enter the Challenge, but all entrants must have access to the Internet. Entrants may enter as many times as they like.

2. Organizers: The organizers of this contest are Seeding Labs and the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (“SANBio”) (collectively, the “Organizing Parties”).

3. Deadline: First Phase submissions must be submitted by September 15, 2021, at 23:59 Greenwich Mean Time, via the Google Form link on the Contest website. Submissions that pass the safety review, detailed below, will be asked to submit a link to their video, posted on social media, by October 1, 2021, at 23:59 Greenwich Mean Time, via a second Google Form link that will be provided by email to entrants. Any submissions received after these deadlines will not be considered.

4. Prizes: The Grand Prize-winning team will receive a free automated edit of a scientific text (eg., manuscript, thesis, lab report) from American Journal Experts/Research Square for each team member, and access to one of the Laboratory Safety Institute’s on-demand safety courses. The value of the Grand Prize is approximately US$2750. Up to four SANBio Network winners will receive a hamper of goodies from SANBio’s partners, with a value not to exceed US$500. All entrants whose videos pass the safety review will be awarded a participation certificate.

5. Submission Instructions:

First Phase – Application Instructions (“First Phase”):
On the first page of the Application, fill in the information of the team leader, who will also be the main contact point between the team and the Organizing Parties. On the following pages, fill in the same information of the other team members (if any).

On the final page, fill in information of the laboratory safety solution/technique you intend to create. Please describe the problem your laboratory safety solution/technique is addressing. Describe in as much detail as possible what the video will demonstrate. Add a justification for why you believe that this solution/technique supports a safe working environment in a laboratory. If available, please also provide a citation to references that support the use of your solution/technique as a safety technique. Examples of citations include but are not limited to equipment manual detailing proper equipment decontamination technique, handbook that describes the protocol you are sharing, published sources showing the material’s permeability to viral transmission. All applications must be submitted in English.

Lastly, include an estimated budget for what it would cost a laboratory to implement your solution/technique. The cost will not be a judging factor, but can help potential laboratories evaluate solutions/techniques that they can use.

Safety Review
All First Phase submissions will be reviewed by a committee of Laboratory Safety Institute representatives to ensure the promoted solutions/techniques do not encourage any unsafe actions. The decisions of this committee are final. Once the Safety Review has been completed, the participating teams will be requested to post their videos to social media and send links to the posted videos to the judging committee.

Second Phase – Video Submissions:
Videos should be a maximum of 8 minutes long. Narration and text within the videos can be in any language, but if not in English, an accompanying English transcript is required.

Videos can be filmed, animated, or a combination of techniques that most efficiently use a video format to demonstrate the technique.

Videos do not need to be filmed inside a laboratory if demonstration of the technique does not require it.

To the extent possible, all proper safety techniques should be demonstrated in the video. For example, if demonstrating the use of a chemical that requires the wearer to wear goggles, the wearer should wear goggles even if, for demonstration purposes only, the actual chemical is replaced with a non-hazardous chemical such as water.

Participants under the age of 18 are eligible to participate in this Contest or appear in a video only if they have obtained the express permission to participate from their parents or legal guardians. Proof of express permission may be requested.

Videos that do not portray the following of proper safety protocols will be disqualified at the sole discretion of the Organizers. All decisions are final.

Videos are to be posted to any of the following social media: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter. After posting, participants will fill out a second survey giving the link where it can be downloaded. At the time they are uploaded, Participants should not mention or tag the Organizing Parties or the Contest. When the video is determined to be eligible, the Organizing Parties will request that participants add the names and hashtags of the Organizing Parties and the Contest.

6. Selection of Winners: After the submission of all videos, the judging committee, made up of representatives from the Organizing Parties, will select and announce the Grand Prize-winning video, the recipients of the SANBio Prizes, and any Honorable Mentions that the judging committee sees fit to award.
The winning teams will be informed via email. The selection of winners is at the sole discretion of the judging committee and all decisions are final.

7. Representations and Warranties: By entering the Contest, each team member represents and warrants that the video entry complies with the Official Rules, and that:

      • The team member(s) own or have the necessary licenses, rights, consents, and permissions to reproduce, distribute and publicly perform works of authorship or other content, including music, and images or likeness of any person, contained in the video entry, and have the right under all patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights to grant to the Organizing Parties the appropriate licenses for use, and in particular, for hosting and making available the videos associated with any Contest entry on the Organizing Parties’ web sites, including Telescience.seedinglabs.org, as described above.
      • Participants shall avoid, to the extent feasible, depicting the corporate logos, trademarks, designs, or other intellectual property or commercial property of any third party, including, for example, medical or laboratory equipment manufacturers, in the video submissions. Recognizing that it may at times be impossible to depict certain items of equipment without showing the trademark or trade dress of the manufacturer, participants shall take care to limit such depiction to what is reasonably necessary for purposes of the video.
      • At the time of entry or any time thereafter, the video entry does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any third party and use of the video by the Organizing Parties, as contemplated by the Official Rules, will not infringe any copyrights, rights of publicity or any other rights of any person, living or dead. The video and materials used are not subject to any prior agreements that would limit the scope of the permission granted to the Organizing Parties under the Official Rules.
      • The video entry complies with the terms of service of any website or social media channel on which the entries are posted or described.
      • The video entry does not contain any profane, pornographic, defamatory, obscene, religious or anti/religious, criminal, illegal, or violent content. The discretion to determine whether any videos inappropriate content so as to be disqualified is solely in the discretion of the Organizing Parties. All decisions are final.
      • At the time of entry or any time thereafter, the video entry does not contravene any contractual, legal or other obligation.
      • Team member(s) have complied with all relevant laws, rules, and regulations in the production of the video entry.
      • Each team submitting a video has the express permission of anyone who appears in the video, and for children under eighteen (18), such express permission is in written form from their parent or legal guardian; and
      • By submitting videos, each team attests that it is their own work. Use of the work of others without permission and/or any form of plagiarism will result in immediate disqualification.

8. Use of Submissions: In consideration for participation in the Contest, each team member, on behalf of themselves and each Team Member, grants the Organizing Parties (jointly and severally) a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive perpetual, sub-licensable, and transferable license to copy, reproduce, distribute, and display each submitted entry, in whole or in part, or as derivative works, in any media including posting and display on the Organizing Parties’ websites, social media accounts, publications, and various marketing materials, and with the right to use, copy, modify, edit, and create derivative works therefrom, and agree to execute documents confirming such right and license at the Organizing Parties’ reasonable request.

9. Waiver: By participating in this Contest, each team member agrees that the Organizing Parties will have no liability whatsoever (jointly and severally) for, and will be held harmless by all team members for any liability for any bodily injury, violation of personality or personal data, loss, cost or damages of any kind to persons, including death and property, damages sustained due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the creation, use, or intended use of each entry, participation in this Contest, and the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of the prizes.

10. Disputes: All disputes will be resolved under the internal substantive laws of the State of Massachusetts, United States, without regard to its conflicts of laws principles, and under the laws of the United States. All disputes arising out of or with respect to this Contest or these Official Rules shall be heard exclusively in Courts of Massachusetts.

11. No hosting or social media website is affiliated with the Contest in any way and only the Organizing Parties are responsible for the administration of the Contest or the awarding of the prize.

 

 

The life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operates as MilliporeSigma in the US and Canada. The MilliporeSigma logo is a trademark of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

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