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Science Writing Competition – A chance for PhD students to shine

Science Writing Competition for PhD students


Communicating science in an accessible and engaging way is an important skill for researchers. Bio-Rad aims to encourage and help develop this skill with our annual science writing competition.

PhD/Grad students* are invited to write and submit a blog suitable for publication on Bio-Rad’s Lab Crunches website. They could write about their own research or communicate a discovery in the life sciences field. We are looking for an engaging style that will appeal to life scientists. Entries will be judged on their ability to communicate scientific findings in a concise and clear way to non-specialists, but also originality and writing style.

1st Prize:

  • Their blog will be published and promoted on the Bio-Rad Lab Crunches website
  • An invitation to receive professional mentoring in scientific writing for industry by Lab Crunches Editor, Kimberley Bryon-Dodd, PhD
  • A copy of: The Scientist’s Guide to Writing: How to Write More Easily and Effectively Throughout Your Scientific Career (Stephen B. Heard)
  • A commemorative trophy to celebrate their achievement

Blogs should be between 800 and 1,000 words, written in English and submitted by Tuesday June 1st, 2021

Full competition details including terms and conditions –  https://info.bio-rad.com/Science-Writing-Competition.html

Need inspiration? Take a look at the 2020 winning entries – first place was awarded to Alex Du Feu, Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, The University of Manchester – https://www.bio-rad-antibodies.com/blog/2020-science-writing-comp-results.html


BIG Event 2021 – Call for session proposals

Once again, the BIG Event conference will be held online, and this time Cardiff University are playing host!

With approximately 25 hours of STEM Communication content and great networking opportunities, we hope you can join us for the conference in July. Session dates are as follows: July 14, 15 & 16 and July 19, 20, 21,22 & 23.

The programme is created by STEM Communicators, for STEM Communicators, which means we need you! So jump in and share your expertise and knowledge with the community by proposing sessions. And if your session is chosen for the programme, you’ll get a discount on your conference fee!

Propose sessions on our proposals website: http://bigevent.info/ no later than 10am on 10 May 2021.

Don’t want to propose a session, but still want to attend the conference? Tickets are available at https://www.big.uk.com/Event21 £95 for non-members and £60 for members.

Posted on behalf of Ashley Kent, BIG – STEM Communicators Network

BIG’s Sci Comm Social, 21 October, 7:30pm

BIG, the Skills Sharing Network for people in STEM Communication, invites you to our next BIG Sci Comm Social.

See: http://www.BIG.uk.com/socials

BIG’s Sci Comm Socials are a regular social gathering of people who work in, or are interested in, science communication, outreach or public engagement in STEM. The sessions run approximately every two weeks and each session is hosted by a different group/person/organisation. These are primarily social in nature, but it’s also a chance to share news, ideas, upcoming events and thoughts on STEM communication.

Sessions are free to attend and you do not need to be a member of BIG to participate.

The upcoming session is hosted by BIG member Matthew Tosh in conjunction with Bristol Sci Comm and will be on Wednesday, October 21st, 7:30pm – 9pm.

To receive the Zoom link and passcode, please visit: http://www.BIG.uk.com/Socials/ where you can sign up to our mailing list.

Posted  on behalf of Ashley Kent, BIG – STEM Communicators Network


Scicomm 101 training session (pay what you can basis)

Hana Ayoob and Sarah Cosgriff (of the BIG STEM Communicators Network much more) are offering a two hour training session which is aimed to provide an introduction to science communication. This is ideal for those who are new to science communication.
The session will take place Wed, 28 October 2020, 11:00 – 13:00 GMT.

In this session, you will learn about:

  • What is science communication & why do we do it
  • What to think about while communicating your science
  • Different forms of science communication & choosing a format
  • Tailoring your content to different formats and audiences
  • How to find science communication opportunities

They are running this on a pay-what-you-can basis with a recommended ticket price of £25 (minimum price is £1). They wanted to offer this training session on a pay-what-you-can basis with the hope to improve access to science communication training.

You can find more details and book at:

Nominations open for The Josh Award 2020 – Science Communication (closes 14 April)

Applications are now open for the Josh Award, which celebrates the fantastic work being done by science communicators across the UK.

If you have an idea for a show-stopping science communication activity, the Josh Award can provide the platform, experience and support to help you bring it to reality.

What is the Josh Award?

The Josh Award is a national prize for early-career science communicators who are passionate about continuing to work in this field in the future, including students, volunteers, researchers or creatives. The winner of this year’s Award will receive up to £2,500 to develop and deliver an activity for Manchester Science Festival in October 2020, along with a personal prize of £2,000 from the Josh Award Foundation, a year’s paid membership to the BIG STEM Communicators Network and access to professional development opportunities. Last year’s winners, Ben and Fred, wowed festival audiences with a science-themed juggling show.

Find out more and apply

Further information about the Award can be found on the Science and Industry Museum website.

You can submit your application through the online form or visit the website to access a downloadable form.

Audio and video submissions, as well as written applications are welcomed.

The deadline for applications is 10.00 on Tuesday 14 April 2020.

SciComm Summer School in Malta – Grants Available

Are you looking to develop your skills in science communication? Do you want to learn the most innovative techniques that combine science and art? Would you like to build an international network of science communication contacts?

Registration to the fifth STEAM Summer School in Science Communication is now open and a select number of grants are available! The summer school provides an online course combined with a 9-day face to face programme in July. We cover a wide-range of science communication topics, including journalism, social media, event management, arts and performance. What makes us unique is the combination of the Arts with STEM subjects for creative communication approaches. The course will be comprehensive and no previous experience is required.

The school is hosted at the University of Malta and will be a fantastic opportunity to hear from international experts and mix with science communication enthusiasts from around the world. Participants will be able to explore ways to engage various public groups with research and will have a chance to improve writing, speaking and other transferable skills for career development. Through the course, students will also organise their own public-facing event, putting theory into practice.

Watch our video: https://youtu.be/GK6TzhJhk1c for a glimpse of what to expect from the 2020 school or head to our website to see some testimonials: http://steamsummerschool.eu/video-testimonials/ from previous attendees.

When: 18 – 26 July 2020
Where: University of Malta, Malta
Who: Undergraduate and postgraduate students, established researchers, educators and SciComm professionals.
Price: €700 until 31 May, €800 until 18 June
Grants: We have early career, international and Maltese grants. Deadline 6 April 2020.

For more information go to:

Posted on behalf of Amanda Mathieson, STEAM Coordinator

Fanaroff Lecture – 19 February 2020, 6pm – with Dr Marga Gual Soler

If you are interested or involved in science communication and policy, then you won’t want to miss out of the Fanaroff Lecture – 19 February 2020, 6pm – with Dr Marga Gual Soler.

Find out more and get your free tickets at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fanaroff-lecture-2020-tickets-91803078479

About the 2020 Fanaroff Lecture
The 2020 Fanaroff Lecture will be held Wed 19th Feb at 6pm in the Samuel Alexander Building on the University of Manchester campus. This lecture has been organised through the DARA Big Data project, led by Prof Anna Scaife. The Fanaroff Lecture honours scientists who have been instrumental in developing policy and working with policy makers. It is a public lecture and is intended to raise the importance of science communication for policy within the scientific community.

About the speaker – Dr Marga Gual Soler
This year we are delighted to have the inspiring Dr Marga Gual Soler as the speaker for the Fanaroff Lecture.Dr Gual Soler will talk about the role that scientists have to play in international relations and policy, her own career path and her vision for how the global science community can most effectively engage with policy makers.

Following her PhD in Molecular Biology, investigating the role of protein trafficking in organ development and cancer, Dr Gual Soler joined the United Nations with an ambition of bridging the worlds of science and international policy. Since then Dr Gual Soler has led the development of science diplomacy globally, advising multiple national governments and the EU on science diplomacy strategy and training thousands of young scientists and diplomats around the world in this emerging field. Notably, Dr Gual Soler was responsible for overseeing the landmark cooperation agreement between the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Cuban Academy of Sciences after full diplomatic relations resumed between the USA and Cuba in  2015. She has recently returned from the largest-ever all-women expedition to Antarctica to promote the role of women in science diplomacy and climate action.