The Young Investigators Writing Competition Applications are now closed! Updates concerning results are below!


We are delighted to announce the results of the 2021 Young Investigators Writing Competition! We gratefully thank everyone for participating and congratulate the placing authors.

The Stony Brook Young Investigators Review (SBYIR) envisions a generation of scientific communicators to meaningfully convey the relevance of scientific research to the general public. As such, the Young Investigators Writing Competition (YIWC) is an opportunity for high school students of all communities to adventure into scientific argumentation and evidenced-based communication. We pride ourselves in reaching out to the diverse community and those who may not have had previous scientific writing opportunities. To this end, we greatly appreciate the unique perspectives students bring on contemporary topics. After rigorous anonymized judging of 80 pieces, the following were deemed to represent a high caliber of professional communication, a coherent/analytical construction of scientific evidence, and convincing prose.

  • Finalist
    • Biology:
      • Sara Maltempi, 10th Grade
      • Jennifer Zhong, 11th Grade
    • Environmental Science:
      • Isabella Oliveros, 10th Grade
      • Angela Zhu, 12th Grade
    • Psychology:
      • Julia Froese, 12th Grade
    • Space Research:
      • Sophia Augier, 11th Grade
  • Semifinalist
    • Biology:
      • Nikhil Mehta, 12th Grade
    • Environmental Science:
      • Hiral Chavre, 11th Grade
    • Psychology:
      • Jessica Hernandez, 10th Grade
      • Elisa Kong, 11th Grade
    • Space Research:
      • Victoria Valsamos, 10th Grade
      • Zach Finger, 12th Grade
  • Quarter Finalist
    • Biology:
      • Sidrah Ashrafi, 10th Grade
      • Ethan Kim, 11th Grade
    • Environmental Science:
      • Vanessa Mathew, 11th Grade
      • Jonathan Chung, 12th Grade
    • Psychology:
      • Farrah Cadet, 10th Grade
    • Space Research:
      • Laisha Tamaca, 10th Grade
      • Jevin Biggiani, 12th Grade
  • Honorable Mention
    • Biology:
      • Ismael Rivas, 10th Grade
      • Nadia Mathew, 11th Grade
      • Anushka Tilara, 11th Grade
    • Environmental Science:
      • Jensen Herbst, 12th Grade
      • Sarah Schubel, 12th Grade
    • Psychology:
      • Savyion Lamour, 10th Grade
      • Jacqueline Rivera, 10th Grade
      • Caitlin Annan, 10th Grade
      • Arush Khisti, 10th Grade
      • Amina Walker, 10th Grade
      • Aleena Shino, 11th Grade
      • Victoria Yang, 11th Grade
      • Mia Frattura, 11th Grade
      • Aaquib Syed, 11th Grade
    • Space Research:
      • Natalia Pszeniczny, 11th Grade
      • Jessica Blumberg, 11th Grade
      • Brett Carnival, 12th Grade
      • Noor Ellahie, 12th Grade


On behalf of SBYIR, we wanted to thank everyone who participated in this year’s writing competition! We are currently in the process of finalizing the results and creating certificates.

Due to issues with our certificate-making program, results are going to be released later than expected. Thank you to all of you for being patient and understanding but we will keep you updated with this evolving situation. 

In addition, given that this is only our second year hosting this competition, we would appreciate if you would fill out this anonymous feedback form! The link to the form is here if you have not already filled it out.

Thank you!

We now have an emailing list for interested students, parents, and teachers who would like reminders of our upcoming deadline (July 15th)! The email subscription form is available here: https://forms.gle/xtvEdfggAyE3pofLA.

We created an informational video concerning the writing competition that can be found here! As well as a corresponding slideshow that you can view here.

Nothing in science has any value to society if it is not communicated.

Anne Roe

The ultimate goal of research is to not only learn more about the world around us, but to apply that knowledge in ways that will subsequently benefit society. Scientific research is one of the most important channels of knowledge. It has a specific role, as well as a variety of functions for the benefit of our society: creating new knowledge, improving education, and increasing the quality of our lives. Regardless of whether this research focuses more on the realms of discovery or invention, we have come to realize that there are some controversies in the use of science in society. 

Societies have changed over time, and consequently, so has science. Science must respond to societal needs and global challenges. It is important the public is well-informed about the current developments in science and how these developments impact their daily lives, so that they can form their own opinions on these matters. 

However, most literature is written for the academic scholar, often using jargon-filled and dry language that can be difficult for most to grasp. Our mission is to embrace and capture the essence of scientific controversies and present it to the public in a straight-forward manner. In order to keep society informed about these developments we need to give it a “human face” and tell the story of science in simple and accessible ways that people can relate to.

For this writing competition, you may choose one of four controversies in science. Your goal is to write a 750-1000 word article in newspaper or literature review format that describes and evaluates the controversy for the general high-school educated public.

Your writing should not only accurately articulate the issue and the science behind it, but it should be understandable and engaging. In evaluating the topic, you should carefully explain key sides of the argument. Though you are encouraged to think critically, you should still give credence to opposing arguments. You can find more of our rules and guidelines here.


Should we use synthetic biology in the development of vaccines and future medical research?


Should we integrate any aspects of virtual learning with the classroom setting after the pandemic, and to what extent?

Space Research

Should we further pursue space research and exploration in today’s world?

Environmental Science

How do we balance plastic use with our need to preserve the environment during a global

About Us

This competition is being held by the Stony Brook Young Investigators Review, Stony Brook University’s undergraduate research journal. We are committed to bringing STEM to the general public.

Why a Competition?

Last year, as a result of the switch to virtual learning, we saw a major gap between the interests of high school students on Long Island and what they could accomplish. To provide them outlet by which they could engage their interests, we created a competition in the spirit of self-empowerment and improvement.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out anytime!

Instagram: @sbyir
Twitter: @sbyir