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Public Engagement

Science Communication Prize

We are looking to identify and celebrate outstanding science communicators with our annual Science Communication Prize!

Each year, we invite students across different educational stages to submit a written or media entry aimed at the general public, which discusses a topic in the biosciences.

The Science Communication Prize welcomes entries in two categories:

  1. A-level/T-level/BTEC National/Scottish Highers or equivalent students.
  2. BTEC Higher National, foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Entries must be bioscience themed and aimed at the general public, with entries welcomed from any written or media format including, but not limited to:

  • Written article (1,500 words max)
  • Short video (5 mins max)
  • Podcast/Audio
  • Infographic

Entrants who have graduated in the same year in which their entry is made can still enter and the educational stage of entrants will be taken into consideration when judging submissions (see full entry criteria below).

Winners are selected for both educational category, with prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

  • 1st prize winner receives £300
  • 2nd prize winner receives £200
  • 3rd prize winner receives £100

Winning entries will be published in the Society’s magazine, The Biochemist, and on the Society’s website.

Take a look at last year's winners below for inspiration!

Please note: winning entrants who are under 18 must have consent from a parent or guardian for their work to be published.

Deadline

The 2024 competition will be opening on 17 June with a deadline of 21 August.

  • You must be in the specified educational stages to enter the competition:

      1. A-level/T-level/BTEC National/Scottish Highers or equivalent
      2. BTEC Higher National, foundation, undergraduate or postgraduate

  • Entrants who have graduated in the same year in which their entry is made can enter the competition.

  • The competition is open to students from all over the UK and overseas.

  • The entry must be on a molecular bioscience topic (specified on your entry form).

  • The entry should be targeted to the general public.

  • The entry must be scientifically accurate.

  • The entry must clearly explain scientific subjects.

  • The entry must be creative, engaging and have a strong narrative.

  • Entrants can submit a maximum of one entry.

In addition to the general guidance, written entries should:

  • Comprise original work of up to 1,500 words.

  • Demonstrate a high level of spelling and grammar.

  • Include any relevant references as a 'further reading' section, which should be beneficial to readers interested in knowing more about the topic. 

  • Not include any copyrighted content (e.g. copyrighted images).

The inclusion of self-produced images is strongly encouraged. Images can be a valuable tool to effectively communicate scientific concepts.

Guidance on producing images and creating a 'further reading' list can be found here.

In addition to the general guidance, media entries should:

  • Be 2-5 minutes long.

  • Not include any copyrighted content (e.g. music).

Use of sophisticated film and/or audio recording equipment is not required to enter this competition; for example, a phone camera could be used. The key points that the entries will be judged on is how well the science is presented/described and not the technical quality of the filming.

Video and audio pieces can be entered by teams, with one person named as the lead entrant. Prizes will be shared by the team. The lead entrant must enter all names and contact details of the team members during the application process.

In line with the joint statement published by The Research Funders Policy Group, we appreciate that generative AI tools can be beneficial for reducing language barriers and assisting neurodivergent researchers produce competitive entries. However, the use of generative AI tools also presents potential risks in terms of data protection, confidentiality, copyright and bias.

What we do not allow:

  • Written entries created with the support of AI tools will not be accepted.
  • Applicants shall not use AI tools in generating images or videos for their Science Communication Prize entry.

What we allow:

  • Applicants may use AI to aid in the editing of written entries, as well as in the collection and analysis of data.
  • Applicants must disclose in the entry form which AI tool was used and how it was used. If the AI tool is custom written, both the algorithm and the source of the data (or the data) on which it was trained should be made available to reviewers. If this information is not disclosed accurately, and use of these tools is identified, the Biochemical Society reserves the right to withdraw the application from consideration.
  • Applicants are fully responsible for the content and information provided in their entry, even those parts produced by an AI tool. By submitting an entry to the Biochemical Society, the applicant acknowledges any bias and the accuracy of all information and data included within.

The judges

Find out who judged the competition last year and hear about their careers in public engagement and science communication.

Contact us

For further support or queries, please get in touch with the Grants department.

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