Awards and Prizes

The Prof. William C. Campbell Postgraduate Award

In honour of his 2015 Nobel Laureate achievement the ISP have named its annual postgraduate award after Prof. William C. Campbell. This award is given each year to the postgraduate student who delivers the best presentation at our annual conference. The award of £/€250 is sponsored by Cambridge University Press, publishers of the journal Parasitology.

Who: PhD student members of the Irish Society for Parasitology

When: Awarded at the ISP annual meeting for best postgraduate presentation

Scroll down this page to see recent recipients.


The JD Smyth/William C. Campbell ISP/BSP/BAVP annual conference travel awards

In recognition of the mentorship, inspiration and direction given to Prof. W.C. Campbell, Nobel Laureate, in his formative days at Trinity College Dublin by Prof. James Desmond Smyth, the ISP has opened its new award. The reward also recognises the important role that the British Society for Parasitology (BSP) and the British Association for Veterinary Parasitology (BAVP) have played in supporting parasitology in Ireland. 

Each year, four awards will be available:

1.  One for one postgraduate member of the ISP to attend and present (talk or poster) at the annual meeting of the BSP.

2. One for one postgraduate member of the ISP to attend and present (talk or poster) at the annual meeting of the BAVP.  

3. One for one postgraduate member of the BSP to attend and present (talk or poster) at the annual meeting of the ISP.  

3. One for one postgraduate member of the BAVP to attend and present (talk or poster) at the annual meeting of the ISP.  

Follow the competition guidelines below – 

Who: Postgraduate members of the Irish Society for Parasitology and/or British Society for Parasitology and/or British Association of Veterinary Parasitology

What: One page containing the abstract submitted to the conference organisers, along with student, supervisor and home institution details

When: Deadline is 5pm on February 28th, 2023 for students applying to attend BSP 2023 in Edinburgh. Deadline is 5pm on April 30th, 2023 for students applying to attend ISP 2023 in County Kerry. Deadline for BAVP 2023 TBA.  (value of £/€400)

Where: Email submissions with subject heading 'ISP/BSP/BAVP Travel Awards', to irishsoc.parasitology@gmail.com

2022 Winners

Congratulations  to Olivia Ingle, Caoimhe Herron, Allister Irvine, Darrin Mckenzie and Luke Cadd on receiving the JD Smyth/William C. Campbell ISP/BSP/BAVP annual conference travel award from the Irish Society of Parasitology (ISP) to attend the British Society of Parasitology (BSP) conference in York.


ISP Research Group awards

Does your research group want to attend the ISP annual meeting and could do with some financial support? The ISP will support groups/teams as a collective (consisting off Leaders, PRF, PG, and/or UG students) to attend our meeting. We would particularly like to see UG students come along with the group and meet local ISP members. 

Follow the competition guidelines below – 

Who: Group Leaders who are members of the Irish Society for Parasitology

What: Details of home laboratory, list of group travelling, purpose of parasitology visit (1 page)

When: Send in your application by 5pm on April 30th, 2023  (value of £/€500, maximum of 2 per year awarded)

Where: Email submissions with subject heading 'ISP Research Group Awards', to irishsoc.parasitology@gmail.com


ISP Shared Island Travel awards

Parasites don’t recognise borders, be they between counties or countries…and neither does the ISP! The shared island grants are offered to postgraduate and postdoctoral fellows who are members of the ISP and wish to visit another laboratory on the island of Ireland to enhance collaboration, learn techniques and/or promote parasitology is any other way. The ISP is particularly interested in supporting North-South parasitology interactions.

Follow the competition guidelines below –

Who: PhD students & postdoctoral fellows who are members of the Irish Society for Parasitology

What: Details of home laboratory, visiting laboratory and purpose of parasitology visit (1 page)

When: TBA (value of £/€150, maximum of 4 per year awarded)

Where: CLOSED FOR 2022 - Call will open again in February 2023

2022 Winner:  Paule-Émilie Ruy, ATU


ISP Parasite Photographic Competition 

Every year the ISP hosts a parasite photograph competition. Send in as many photos of your favourite parasites as you like! From the entries 12 photos will will be selected to appear in the ISP Calendar for the following year, and the photographer with the overall winning image will receive a prize of €100.

Who: All members of the Irish Society for Parasitology

What: Your favourite parasite photographs, JPEG/TIF/PNG, minimum 2MB image size

When: Send your image in by 5pm on November 22nd, 2022

Where: Email submissions with subject heading 'ISP Parasite Photographic Competition', to irishsoc.parasitology@gmail.com

ISP Photographic Competition Winner


The Prof. William C. Campbell Postgraduate Award

2022 recipient

Mona Suleiman, Bath University.

piRNA-like small RNAs target transposable elements in a Clade IV parasitic nematode.

Small RNAs (sRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that regulate more than 30% of gene expression associated with chromatin structure, mRNA translation and transposable element (TE) activity via post-transcriptional gene silencing. Although sRNAs were first discovered in the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, little is known about their role in parasitic nematodes. The gastrointestinal parasitic nematode Strongyloides, like most other nematode species in clade IV, have lost the PIWI pathway involved in the production of piwi- interacting RNAs (piRNAs) and suppression of TE activity. Here, we investigate the role of endogenous sRNAs in the nematode Strongyloides ratti containing two genetically identical parasitic and free-living life cycle stages, allowing us to directly compare the genetic basis of parasitism. We identified a parasite- associated class of 21-22nt long sRNAs with a 5’ uracil (21-22Us) and monophosphate modification. The 21-22Us show striking resemblance to the 21U piRNAs found in C. elegans, including targeting a diverse set of TE sequences, physical clustering in the genome, an AT rich upstream sequence and an overlapping loci. We predict that these piRNA-like sRNAs may be directly related to parasitism or feature associated with the parasitic generation.


2021 recipient

Signe Martin_283 resizedjpg

Signe Martin, PhD student at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.

The disease status of velvet crab (Necora puber) in Galway Bay with a focus on the microparasite Paramarteilia sp.

Velvet crab are an important commercial species in Ireland with landings worth €419K in 2015. An apparent decline in velvet crab was reported in 2016 by fishermen in Galway Bay. We investigated the presence and prevalence of microparasites in velvet crab in Galway Bay over two years, as well as in several reservoir species. Velvet crab have currently been sampled from Galway Bay each month for one year. The parasites Paramarteilia sp. and Hematodinium sp. have been identified using histological preparations of velvet crab tissue. Of the crabs analysed so far, 52% have been positive for Paramarteilia sp., while 9% had a co-infection of both Hematodinium sp. and Paramarteilia sp. This project expands on the knowledge of velvet crab and microparasites. Findings from this study will contribute to the effective management of velvet crab fisheries in Ireland.


2019 recipient

Paula Tierney_rezsized 283jpg

Paula Tierney, PhD student at Trinity College Dublin.

Release from parasites: invasive dace in Ireland are less parasitized than native brown trout and dace in its native European range

The enemy release hypothesis (ERH) posits that invasive species lose natural enemies like predators, competitors and parasites in the process of invasion, giving them an advantage over native species in the invaded range. We found that invasive dace (Leuciscus leuciscus) in Ireland had dramatically fewer helminth species than dace in its native range - three species and two unidentified taxa in Ireland compared to 24 in Britain and 84 in continental Europe. In Ireland, invasive dace were infected with fewer helminths than sympatric brown trout; dace had four helminth taxa at the core of their range and one at the invasion front while sympatric trout had 10 and eight, respectively. Dace had significantly fewer helminth species per fish and 82% of dace were uninfected compared to 11% of brown trout. These results support the hypotheses that invasive populations are less parasitized than native populations and that more recently established populations host fewer parasites.