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The BBSRC Impact Writing Competition 2019

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Are you aware of inspiring research, supported by BBSRC, making a real, tangible difference to people’s lives?

If so, this is an opportunity to put your writing skills to the test.

BBSRC invites PhD students and early-career researchers to submit an impact case study clearly describing the economic or societal impact of BBSRC’s activities and investments.

Winning entries will be used as evidence to further support funding to the UK’s world-leading bioscience research base.

The winner of the competition will receive £1,000, with £500 each for two runners-up.

The competition

Deadline: 18 March 2019, 17:00

The BBSRC Impact Writing Competition is an opportunity for PhD students and early-career researchers to produce an impact case study to showcase the tangible impact of research that depends on BBSRC investments in research, training and capability.

Your case study does not necessarily need to be based on your own project. It can be about any BBSRC-funded research/impact you are aware of, as long as you can write about it accurately and in an engaging manner.

Your case study should include:

  • The impact of the research, including details of the beneficiaries. The impact can occur in the UK or overseas, but there should be realised, tangible benefits. The impact should occur beyond academia (while academic impact is important, it is not the focus of this competition)
  • Some background on the research (which should have a clear link to BBSRC investment). What research was carried out, over what time period? Who was involved? What was the link to BBSRC investment?
  • Up to one illustrative photograph or image with your case study, including all relevant permissions for BBSRC to use the image in print and online alongside your case study. Please do not include technical diagrams, or graphs and charts. The inclusion of an image (and the quality or content of that image) will have no bearing on the judges’ decision.

The audience for the piece includes senior policy-makers in BBSRC, UKRI and in central government; i.e. educated non-specialists. As such, it should be written in an engaging, lively manner that will resonate with people who are not familiar with the underlying science.

The rules

  • Entries should be in narrative prose; no poetry, verse, infographics, etc.
  • One entry per person.
  • Case studies should be no more than 1,200 words long, including the title and any footnotes or endnotes
  • Case studies must be the work of the entrant, and must not have been published elsewhere
  • The judges’ decision is final.

Prizes and judges

All entries will be assessed by a panel of judges. They will use the criteria below to award three prizes: £,1000 for first place and £500 each for two runners-up. Winning entries will be published on the BBSRC website and in our corporate publication.

The winner (and a guest) will be invited to collect their prize at BBSRC’s Innovator of the Year awards event in London on 15 May 2019.

At the judges’ discretion, they may also choose to identify a number of commended entries. Although there will be no cash prize for such entries, they will also be published on the BBSRC website and in our corporate publication.

Judging criteria

  • Impact - does the case study clearly demonstrate the impact of BBSRC investments in the biosciences?
  • Writing - is the case study well-written and engaging? Does it explain any technical concepts in a clear and accessible manner?
  • Audience - will the case study engage the attention of the audience described above?

How to enter

Submit your impact case study as a Word document or PDF to Entries must be received by 18 March 2019, 17:00.

The case study should be clearly presented (for example, Arial, Helvetica or Verdana typefaces, a minimum font size of 11pt and 2cm margins). The filename should contain the title of your case study.

By entering this competition, you agree that BBSRC can feature your submission (in both its original form and in an abridged form, if required) in its internal and external reports and publications, and on its website and/or in any promotional material connected to this competition.

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