The aim of the Science Writing Competition is to provide postgraduate students from all disciplines across the College with the chance to develop their writing skills. The event has been designed to ensure that all those entering are supported and are given the opportunity to develop in their endeavour to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. The competition allows for creativity, content and clarity in communicating science and research - our judges will look for and mark on these qualities.

2022 Competition Winners

The Graduate School are delighted to announce the following winners of the 2022 Science Writing Competition,

First Prize:

  • Thea Mainprize, PhD student from the Department of Life Sciences - Entry no. 24: The Trial of the Red Gazelle         

Joint Second Prize:

  • Nicola Robson, MSc student in the Department of Life Sciences - Entry no. 36: The Fossil Gallery                
  • Adwoa Sarfo-Bonsu, MSc student in the Department of Metabolism, Digestion & Reproduction - Entry no. 39: The more, the merrier: Cells have social lives too                 

Joint Third Prize:

  • Teodora Rînciog, MSc student in the Centre for Environmental Policy - Entry no. 35: Hyenas – misunderstood villains?                
  • Helen Stoelting, PhD student at the National Heart and Lung Institute - Entry no. 50: If Dr, Seuss wrote my PhD                        

People’s Choice:

  • Soteroulla Ellina, PhD student in the Department of Brain Sciences - Entry no. 41: Lab grown heart cells: Keeping the beat up              
We would like to extend our thanks to all of the contestants, the judges and to everyone who voted for their favourite entry via the People's Choice award.

How to Apply, Eligibility and Prizes

Eligibility & Competition Criteria

 Entrants must be studying for a postgraduate qualification at Imperial (MSc, MRes, PhD etc.).

  •  Entrants can write about any aspect of the research they are working on
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final
  • All entrants, both Taught Course and Doctoral, will be judged via the same criteria
  • Written work should be aimed at a lay audience

The Writing Competition

Students are asked to submit a written article of no more than 500 words. The writing can take on any form, but the piece must be original, solely the work of the author and not published anywhere else in any format. Please note that pictures, videos etc. can also be embedded. Winners of the writing competition will be announced via Twitter and the final prize winning articles will be published on the Graduate School’s blog.

 Written Articles - Entry Criteria

  • Comprise original work of no more than 500 words
  • Be creative, engaging and well-written
  • Communicate science clearly and be scientifically accurate
  • All submissions must be original, solely the work of a single author and not published anywhere else in any format
  • Pictures, videos etc. can be embedded
  • References must be included where appropriate and any audio/video material properly credited

Entrants are reminded that if they would like support with their writing, they can contact the Graduate School to arrange a one-to-one session with a member of the tutor team.

Judging Criteria

Judging Criteria

A judging panel of 3-5 judges will determine the winners on the basis of three judging criteria: content, clarity and creativity.

  • Content: Quality of content is key in science communication and the scientific topic presented should be well chosen to suit a lay audience. Entrants should demonstrate the ability to explain their chosen topic clearly and concisely by avoiding excessive use of jargon or technical terms.
  • Clarity/Structure: A coherent narrative and clear structure are critical for effective science communication; as well as making sure the reader/audience/judges can follow the narrative of the text, they should also be left with an understanding of the scientific concept chosen.
  • Creativity: Competitors are free to explore different written styles for their article if they so wish. Judges will look favourably upon contestants who employ effective, insightful and engaging approaches.

How to Apply

Please apply by emailing your submission directly to the Graduate School. Please note that some departments may hold a local contest from which entrants will be determined, so please check before you submit.

Submission Deadline
The deadline for students, Departments, programmes, institutes and CDTs to apply/submit their entrants is 17:00 on Wednesday 04 May 2022


Prizes for the competition are as follows,

1st Prize


2nd Prize


3rd Prize


People's Choice Award


Please note that further details regarding how you can vote for your favourite written article will be circulated in due course. Winners will be announced via the June edition of the Graduate School's newsletter.