Tobacco Regulatory Science Talent Student Competition October 2022

“TRS Talent Competition”


Organized by the WNY Center for Research on Flavored Tobacco Products (CRoFT), as a collaboration between the University of Rochester and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Application Deadline: 01 February 2023
Competition Date: 01 March 2023

Description: The competition aims to promote student awareness and interest in Tobacco Regulatory Science (TRS) and the aligned FDA Research Priorities to better understand toxicity, addiction, and appeal of current and emerging tobacco products, and to provide an evidence base for FDA regulatory considerations.

The competition involves each team developing and presenting a proposed solution – a well-developed and researched thought experiment – to address one or more identified Tobacco Regulatory Research Priorities. Presentations may also propose novel methodologies for addressing these priorities.  For a list of Tobacco Regulatory Science priorities, students should consult the collaborative NIH and FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Program (TRSP) Tobacco Regulatory Research Priorities.

A team can be either an individual or up to four students, although each team member has to contribute to the proposed solution and the presentation.  The presentation must be five minutes in duration or less.  It may utilize various AV resources and creativity is strongly encouraged.   Presentations should also aim to have high regulatory impact. Each presentation will be followed by two minutes of Q&A with our judges. The competition will be held at the Clinical & Translational Science Institute: America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent Competition on March 01, 2023, between 12:00pm – 1:30pm. The winning team will travel to the DC/MD region to meet with the FDA and NIH and present their proposal. Completed Entry Forms are due to CRoFT by February 1, 2023.

Questions and completed Entry Forms should be submitted to:

Examples of Proposed Solutions

General examples of proposed TRS solutions include but are not limited to: an idea for a new toxicology test; a better method to predict the impact of novel tobacco products on users behaviors (e.g., use and switching); an approach for FDA to better communicate risks and health effects of tobacco products; a tool to measure the impact of digital media on youth initiation and use (and the potential impact of marketing restrictions); an innovative method to examine effects of flavorings on physiology or use.  Examples from the 2019 winners of CRoFT’s Tobacco Regulatory Science Student Competition can be found here. The TRS competition is modelled from the original America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent Student Competition held by the University of Rochester and the University of Maryland and aligned with FDA’s broader Strategic Plan for Advancing Regulatory Science at the FDA (August 2011).  Examples from the 2019 winners of the America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent Student Competition and their presentations at FDA are included here.  One of the winners focused on a topic also relevant for TRS, Standardization of a Puff from Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS).

Eligibility: All full-time and part-time students (e.g. undergraduate, professional, graduate) at the University of Rochester and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center are eligible.

Presentation evaluation: Each presentation (~5 minutes in length) will be evaluated by a panel of judges selected from the University of Rochester, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, FDA, NIH and other relevant organizations for the proposed solution and presentation quality. Elements of proposed solution include responsiveness to priority areas and FDA authorities, innovation and potential significance. Short-term feasibility is helpful, but not essential. Elements of presentation quality include verbal communication, visual communication, impact of any AV materials or demonstrations, as well as Q&A responses.

Faculty Advisor: While it is not required to have a faculty or agency advisor for this project, it is strongly encouraged that you at least consult with faculty familiar with the scientific and regulatory issues in the field of your proposal.  We may be able to assist you with connecting with someone from the FDA or NIH to provide additional insight on your proposed solution.  If you would like assistance in being paired with an advisor, contact Dr. Ossip at  Keep in mind that material presented must be non-confidential.

Dates and Deadlines:

  • February 1, 2023 at 5:00pm – Completed Entry Form is due by 5:00pm
  • March 1, 2023 – Clinical & Translational Science Institute: America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent Competition (in person at University of Rochester Medical Center)
  • Winning Team will virtual meet and greet with NIH/FDA officials

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