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Competition Rules

The Alexander A. Maximow Award

The Alexander A. Maximow Award for Cellular Therapy and Transplantation is awarding excellent work that shows new paths for research, therapies, and innovative insights on medicine, life and society. The aim of the online competition is to encourage scientific collaboration and networking on the web, that is a fundamental evolution of research work. The prize should help individual or teams of scientists at the early phase of their career in research, to undertake further studies and to present their work to the international scientific community by online publishing. A special invitation to a scientific convention in Germany in 2012 shall give the winners of the competition an opportunity to present their data for an international audience, and to establish new connections with other researchers in the field.

Who was Alexander A. Maximow?

The Alexander A. Maximow Award for Cellular Therapy and Transplantation is awarded in honor of the Russian histologist and pathologist Alexander A. Maximow (1874-1928). Maximow studied medicine in Saint Petersburg (Russia) and in Freiburg and Berlin (Germany). In 1903 he became the professor of histology and embryology at the Imperial Military Academy, St. Petersburg, where he conducted his fundamental research on the origin and development of blood cells. In 1909 he formulated the concept of the hematopoietic “stem cell”. in a groundbreaking presentation held in German at the "Berliner Hämatologische Gesellschaft" (Berlin Hematological Society) and subsequently published as a scientific article ("Der Lymphozyt als gemeinsame Stammzelle der verschiedenen Blutelemente in der embryonalen Entwicklung und im postfetalen Leben der Säugetiere", Folia Haematologica 1909; 8: 125-134). The original article with new translations into both English and Russian has recently been made available via open access on the Web in the journal Cellular Therapy and Transplantation, issue No. 3 (Maximow Centenary issue)

Eligibility Criteria

The online competition is open to young scientists, i.e. pre-doctoral students, doctoral students and post-doctoral scientists within their eight years after receiving their MD or PhD who have a German or Russian background, i.e.

  • have undertaken at least one part of their studies in Russia and/or in Germany
  • have worked in a research group in Russia and/or Germany or
  • work in international teams with at least one member from either Germany or Russia.

Any scientist, with a Russian or German background, who is not more than 35 years of age on entry, is eligible for the Award.

Participants can compete in teams or as individuals. In a team, at least one member must have a Russian or German background and each participant must be not more then 35 years of age on entry.

The competition is open to university students who may join as individuals, or as members of a team of young scientists.

Institutions or organizations are not eligible for the award. In particular, Editorial Board members of CTT or administrative members of any institution supporting the competition are not eligible for the award.

Competing Instructions

Phase 1. The competition starts on 1 October 2011 with an open discussion in the Maximow Award online forum. The online discussion is the core part of the competition as it points to a new path for scientific collaboration and development.

Participants will be assisted by a moderator who will remind them all the following deadlines.

The debate is anonymous and shall be possible in English, Russian or German behind a password wall. Participants choose a group to compete in (1. Russian, 2. German, 3. International team) and create an account for the forum by registering a nickname of their choice. Teams share the same nickname and account. Participants can create their login until 15 October, afterwards it won't be possible any more to join the discussion.

Phase 1 of the discussion will be closed on 7 November, when real identities will be revealed, so that forum colleagues, in their contributions to be uploaded, may reference real names in any acknowledgements.

For the online debates, individuals and teams may choose from among 14 topics. Participants may work on any number of topics during the online discussion. Each online contribution will gain 0-3 points, at the discretion of a moderator who will be introduced with a real name.

Phase 2. From November 8 to November 20 individual participants and research teams who have accumulated 10 points during the discussion phase (as notified by the moderator) may upload their Short Reports or Review Essays on any of the competition topics. Deadline for uploading the Reports is November 20, 2011 no later than 11:00 p.m. Berlin time.

Participants who upload their Short Report or Review Essay must enclose a full CV as well, which will be used not by the Jury but by the competition's organizing team only for the purpose of checking any eligibility criteria like country background, age, scientific career etc.

The Short Report is to be submitted in English, at a maximum length of 1500 words plus up to 2 tables and 2 figures. English language copy-editing may be provided at the advance notice of 14 days. A message confirming any uploaded submissions will be sent to participants.

On 10 December 2011 the winners will be announced by the international Jury. Six short reports (two for each competition group) will win the Alexander A. Maximow Award. The most important contributions will be resumed and published online.

Phase 3. From December 2011 onwards, there will be an open peer review of the submitted contributions that are published (post-publication peer review, in the online forum as well as directly on the CTT website).

Participants whose Short Report or Essay is not among the winners, may still win a travel grant to attend a scientific convention in Germany in 2012 by contributing to the next phase of the online discussion to take place from December 2011 to 21 January 2012.

Three more participants who have contributed to the second forum discussion in a brilliant way will be announced on 22 January 2012 (A. Maximow's birthday) and will get a travel grant to the convention in Germany in 2012.

Judging Procedures and Quality Standards

The uploaded submissions will be judged by an international Jury. For this purpose, the organizing team will hide any author names and affiliations.
The Maximow Award competition encourages high-level contributions. In phase I and III, i.e., during the online discussion, the following criteria apply: A. scientific content quality and B. quality of interactivity (how participants talk to each other, e.g. if they take up issues raised by others and enhance the dialogue). In phase II (Short Report), criteria are the scientific quality and the presentational style of the research (understandability, figures, tables, structure, selection of information etc.).

Prize money

On 10 December 2011, after the Short Report’s evaluation, there will be 2 winners for each group and an overall prize money sum of 3.600 EUR (800 EUR/ 400 EUR). Team members will share the prize money. The six winners will be invited to an international convention in Germany in 2012 on which occasion they may also give a presentation.

1st prize

2nd prize


800 Euro

400 Euro


800 Euro

400 Euro


800 Euro

400 Euro




Legal terms/Agreement

Any entry must be an original work and must not infringe anyone's copyright.

Any recourse to courts of law is excluded.

Competition Topics

The title of the competition is "Stem Cell Transplantation: From bench to bedside".

The core part of the competition is the discussion of 14 topics and takes place under the auspices of the Journal of Cellular Therapy and Transplantation (CTT). The aim of this competition is to encourage young scientists to come up with new ideas and approaches in stem cell research, to reflect on any implications for clinical work, and on current information exchange in this field. Short reports (reviews, essays) are welcome, at a maximum length of 1500 words plus up to 2 tables and 2 figures. All contributions should be written in English. Participants should address results and ideas on any of the questions listed below:

  1. How broad is differentiation “plasticity” for hematopoietic stem cells?
  2. What sources of non-hematopoietic stem cells are promising for leukemia/lymphoma treatment?
  3. What are the main expectations and pitfalls in gene therapy, experimental and clinical?
  4. What biological criteria of transplant quality should be used in clinical settings?
  5. What sources/types of stem cells are applicable for regenerative therapy?
  6. Cell therapy in non-malignant diseases (e.g., myocardial, autoimmune disorders): what biological effects are curative?
  7. What biological factors mediate immunotherapeutic effects in leukemia/lymphoma?
  8. Modifying microenvironment: an auxiliary tool in leukemia treatment?
  9. Graft-versus-host disease: are there optimal ways for its prediction/prevention?
  10. What infections are worth of detection in transplant patients?
  11. Minimal residual disease: what biological markers are preferable?
  12. Life Quality assessment in transplanted patients: a guide for optimal treatment, or individual prognosis?
  13. Open access Internet sources in stem cell biology and medicine: is their current use optimal?
  14. What are the optimal types of current regulations in cell therapy (detailed guidelines, centralized licensing bodies etc.)?

The authors or author teams of the best Short Reports/ Review Essays will win the Award.

Prize-winning contributions will be offered publication in the international journal “Cellular Therapy and Transplantation” (CTT) after a peer review process. This opportunity may be also granted to any of the other good essays, reviews or reports that did not win the Maximow Award, but were uploaded on time by competition participants.


The Forum helpline is available in the three languages of the competition in case there are any issues that need to be addressed.

Inquiries about the login procedure can be directed to maximow-award@spam is badctt-journal.com


CTT: Cellular Therapy and Transplantation (Journal) http://www.ctt-journal.com