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Please note these rules do not apply to:

European Science Writer of the Year Award, see separate information and guidance re making your nominations for this award

Lifetime Achievement Award, see separate information and guidance re making your nominations for this award

Important dates:

Entries for the 2017 awards open on Wednesday 18 January 2017 and closed at midnight on Friday 24 February 2017. 

General rules

The Awards are for works of science journalism/science writing in print, broadcast or online published within the UK or Ireland and are intended for British and Irish based journalists/writers or those working for audiences in these two countries. You do NOT need to be an ABSW member to enter.

The Awards are for individual journalists/writers, or teams of up to four, rather than for the organisation, institution, employer or publisher. (Exceptions to this rule apply see specific guidance for each category below.)

The Awards are for science journalists/writers whose work is published or broadcast and is accessible to the general public (in the case of the best student science journalist award it is accepted that the audience may be restricted to a particular institution rather than available to the general public).

Books (published or online) do not qualify for any of the award categories.

The Awards are for journalism/science writing in science and technology (excluding consumer technology) and do not cover items exclusively concerning health or medical treatment.

Entry is by online form only.  

Entries must have been first published or broadcast between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016 inclusive. The cover date on the issue in which an article appears will be considered the date of publication. The date/time of posting will be considered for online articles, podcasts, blogs. The date/time of first broadcast will be considered for radio or television. For a series, the item submitted for the Awards must fall within these dates.

Judges of the ABSW Awards 2017 may not enter the ABSW Awards 2017.

The judges reserve the right to reallocate an entry to a category different from the one in which it has been entered, as well as the right to withhold an award in any category. The decision of the judges in all matters will be final. The judges will not provide individual advice or feedback to entrants.

The shortlist will be announced in early May. Shortlisted entrants (all members of a team) will be invited to attend the awards ceremony to be held on Thursday 24 May in London. 

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, winners will not be notified in advance.

Expenses are not available to cover accommodation and/or travel for shortlisted entrants/winners to attend the awards ceremony.   

Guidelines for filling out the online form:

Do read the guidelines first before completing the form.

The judges will focus on the quality of journalism/writing and will look for originality, style and flair in all categories. Entrants can summarise their entry and indicate the impact of their work on their entry form.

The awards are for individuals or a team (see specific category rules for exceptions to this rule). No more than four names should be included per entry and these should only be the names of those primarily responsible for the quality, clarity and originality of the content presented. The role of the entrant in the origination of the entry must be stated on the entry form and any collaborators must consent to the submission of the entry. Whoever completes the application form will be considered the corresponding (and lead) author and will take responsibility for the fair disbursement of prize money.

Individuals or teams can only enter ONCE in each award category, but individuals or teams may submit entries for a number of different award categories (entering one piece in news and one piece in features, for example).

Only one article, clip or programme PER CATEGORY may be submitted by an entrant or team. If the entry is part of a series, this can be indicated on the application form. (For exceptions to this rule see specific category rules below).

A separate entry form should be used for each entry.

Important Information on file formats/submission of entries

All entrants must complete the online form

Print/written articles:

Submit online via the online entry form by uploading a Word or PDF file, please note you will need to link all your pages into one word or PDF file in order to upload to the form (there are many free online tools for joining separate PDF pages into one PDF).

TV Programmes/Online Video:

All entries should be made digitally

  • Files under 10MB can be uploaded via the online entry form 
  • Files over 10MB can be sent via large file transfer after completing the online entry form (contact Sallie Robins This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. re the most suitable means of file transfer)
  • URL: If your entry is readily available online, and will remain so throughout the judging process (ie: end of May 2017), you may provide the link when completing your online form

Radio Programmes/Podcasts:

All entries that include radio programmes or podcasts must be submitted digitally in mp3 format

  • Files under 10MB can be uploaded via the online entry form 
  • Files over 10MB can be sent via large file transfer after completing the online entry form (contact Sallie Robins This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. re the most suitable means of file transfer)

Specific guidance relating to individual categories:

The best feature (words only: print or online)

The award is for a science or technology feature published in any print medium or online. Only one item may be submitted, although this feature may be part of a series. If this is the case this should be indicated on the entry form.   The judges will be looking for excellent writing and substantial science reporting.  

The best news item (any format)

The award is for a science or technology news item published or broadcast in any medium. The award is for a single news item rather than a series of items. Entrants should explain on their entry form why it should be considered in this category eg: breaking news story, first in-depth report.   Judges will be looking for evidence that the story is new to the relevant audience.   Judges will also look for excellent writing and original reporting. 

The best scripted/edited TV programme or online video

The award will be judged on the quality of science reporting demonstrated through the script and programme content and will be made to the individual or team responsible for the content of the script/programme.  The award is for a programme where science or technology is the primary issue covered.  The award can be for a single programme or a series, although only one item in the series can be entered for judging.   

The Royal Society radio prize: A prize for the best scripted/edited radio programme or podcast

The award will be judged on the quality of science reporting demonstrated through the script and programme content and will be made to the individual or team responsible for the content of the script/programme.  The award is for a programme (or podcast) where science or technology is the primary issue covered.  The award can be for a single programme or series, although only one item in the series can be entered for judging. 

The best investigative journalism (any format)

This category is for any form of journalism, print, online, broadcast, podcast, or blog on a scientific issue. Entrants are expected to have undertaken an in depth investigation into a topic of interest and produced a conclusion. The ABSW anticipates entries that may have involved lengthy or complicated evidence gathering, and entrants should indicate any difficulties involved in this work on their entry form. It is also anticipated that the entrant should have pursued an issue that others do not want the audience to know about.  The award can be for a single item or a series of items, although only one item in the series can be entered for judging. 

The NUJ Stephen White Award for best communication and reporting of science in a non science context (any format)

The award will recognise a journalist or team of journalists who have reported science on any platform in a way that when they are reporting science make complicated scientific ideas accessible to the non-specialist general public.  The Award will celebrate the achievements of science journalists who use their skills in covering science for a non-specialist audience.  Science publications and programmes, or science sections of publications are not eligible (eg: New Scientist, Inside Science – BBC Radio).  The entry can be in any format.   If the entry is part of a series then it will be judged on one submitted episode only.  The Award is made in memory of Stephen White a highly influential science communicator who sadly died in 2010.   The Award is possible due to a donation from Stephen’s widow Elizabeth.   

The best newcomer award (any format)

This award is for individuals only and not for teams. There are no age restrictions for this award. But the entrant should have published their first piece of journalism within the last three years (so for 2017 Awards between Jan 1 2014 and Dec 31 2016). Entrants should be currently working in science and technology journalism, either freelance or staff, full-time or part-time.  Entrants should use the Summary of Entry area of the form to outline their relevant achievements, and why they deserve the award.  FOUR samples of work are required to support this statement (the general rules on time of publication/broadcast apply to ALL these samples ie: they must have been published or first broadcast between 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 inclusive) . The judges will be looking for evidence of initiative and career progression. 

The Dr Katharine Giles science blog award

The Award is for a regularly produced science blog. The Award can be entered by an individual or a team (up to four named individuals – see main rules on teams) and is for the blog overall rather than for a specific post/article.  Up to five blog posts can be submitted via the online entry form for judging the overall quality of the blog (all must have been first posted in the relevant entry year – see main rules). 

Scientists winning this award will offered media skills training through the Dr Katharine Giles Award.

The best student science journalist award (all formats)

The award is for individuals only and not for teams. It is open to entry by student journalists for work published in student outlets (magazines/websites/blogs/student radio or video) or their personal blog or video channel. Students are classified as those studying full time or part time for an undergraduate, or postgraduate degree.  The individual must have been a student at the time of producing the work entered.   Only one piece of work may be entered.

Scientists winning this award will offered media skills training through the Dr Katharine Giles Award.

Now you have read the rules and regulations please complete your entry form. 

For queries related to entries email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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