Key Dates

09:00 January 1, 2024 (GMT) - Awards opened to entry

23:59 January 31, 2024 (GMT)  - Awards closed to entry 

May/June 2024 - finalists announced

June/July 2024 - winners announced at the annual awards ceremony, venue and date tbc

With thanks to our 2024 ABSW Award partnersThe Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), The Dr Katharine Giles Fund, The Royal Society and our media partner AlphaGalileo

Would you like to support excellence in science journalism by supporting an ABSW award in 2024?  Find out more.

Categories

In 2024 the ABSW is offering awards in 13 categories:

  • British Science Journalist of the Year - supported by the ABPI
  • Editor of the Year 
  • Feature of the Year: general audience
  • Feature of the Year: specialist audience 
  • News Item of the Year 
  • News Analysis or Explanatory Reporting of the Year
  • Steve Connor Award for Investigative Science Journalism 
  • Research Policy or Funding Story of the Year 
  • Opinion Piece/Editorial of the Year 
  • The Royal Society Audio Award  - supported by The Royal Society
  • Video of the Year 
  • The Dr Katharine Giles Award for best popular article written by a scientist or engineer - supported by the Dr Katharine Giles Fund
  • Newcomer of the Year

Our most prestigious award, The Lifetime Achievement Award, is not by self-entry but by nomination from ABSW members  – find out more.

Cost of Entry

ABSW members and members of the Irish Science & Technology Journalists' Association ISTJA pay nothing to enter the awards as it is a benefit of membership. Non-members are required to pay a fee of £55 per category entered. 

Why not join the ABSW now to enter for free and receive all the benefits of membership.

JOIN NOW

General Rules and Regulations

Work entered must have been published or broadcast on or between 01 January 2023 and 31 December 2023.

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 or blogs; The date/time of first broadcast will be considered for radio or television entries; For a series, the individual episode entered must fall within these dates. 

Work entered must be accessible to the general public.

You can only enter once in each category (NB: for teams they must be ‘substantially different’ in order to enter more than once in a category).

You can enter more than one category (NB: for non-members you pay a fee for each category entered).

You cannot enter the same piece of work in different categories, apart from those entering categories where multiple pieces of work are allowed (Editor, British Science Journalist of the Year, Newcomer) as you can then enter these individual pieces in other categories. 

Submissions must be substantially about science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) or their impacts, rather than non-science pieces about health, medicine or the environment.

The Awards are for works published within the UK or Ireland and are intended for British and Irish based journalists and writers, or those working for audiences in these two countries.

The Awards are for individual journalists and writers, or teams of up to four people, rather than for the organisation, institution, employer or publisher. All team members must be named in team submissions.

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.

ABSW members cannot (i) submit to any category on behalf of non-member colleagues nor (ii) nominate colleagues – all entries must be submitted directly. 

NB: Please read category specific guidance under the description of each category below

Category Guidance

British Science Journalist of the Year (£500) - supported by the ABPI

Individual submissions only.  Any format.  Three supporting pieces of work.

For excellence and creativity in journalism; this may include but is not limited to: entertaining and informing audiences; inspiring new generations of journalists and writers.

(NB: The winner of British Science Journalist of the Year will be considered the ABSW’s nominee for European Science Journalist of the Year an award run by the European Federation of Science Journalism)

Editor of the Year (£500)

Individual submissions only. Any format. Three to five supporting pieces of work.

For editing achievements in STEM subjects that go beyond the ordinary; this may include but is not restricted to: launching or relaunching new sections, programmes, publications, websites or other media; demonstrating extraordinary leadership or excellence in breaking significant stories; supporting and developing the editorial team. Particular consideration will be given to submissions from editors who set the overall strategic direction, rather than section/episode editors.

Feature of the Year: general audience (£500)

Print/online only.

For a feature published in print or online in any title that is primarily consumed by, and aimed at, a general, lay audience, whether broadsheet or tabloid in style. Examples include The Daily Mail, The Economist, New Scientist, Financial Times, Unearthed, BBC News. The feature may be part of a series or a standalone piece; only one item in the series can be entered to the awards. Please note that the maximum word count for the feature is 6,000 words.

Feature of the Year: specialist audience (£500)

Print/online only.

For a feature published in print or online in any title that targets specific, specialist audiences such as scientists, health professionals, chemists or engineers, whether trade press or other specialist publication. Examples include Nature, Carbon Brief, Chemistry World, Physics World, Computer Weekly. The feature may be part of a series or a standalone piece; only one item in the series can be entered to the awards. Please note that the maximum word count for the feature is 6,000 words.

News Item of the Year (£500)

Any format.

For a single news item published or broadcast in any medium. Examples include breaking news stories and first in-depth reports. The judges look for evidence that the story is new to a relevant audience, as well as excellent writing and original reporting.

News Analysis or Explanatory Reporting of the Year (£500)

Any format.

For stories that are neither hard news nor fully-fledged features that provide an insightful explanation of science behind the headlines and valuable new context and background to the news. The judges are looking for excellence and creativity in journalism; this may include but is not limited to: Insightful explanation of science behind the headlines; Valuable new context and background to the news.

Steve Connor Award for Investigative Science Journalism (£500) - in memory of Science Journalist Steve Connor

Any format.

For an in-depth investigation into a topic of scientific interest, leading to a conclusion. Submissions should detail any lengthy or complicated evidence gathering, and any difficulties faced. 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. 

Research Policy or Funding Story of the Year (£500)

Any format.

For stories that tackle policy and funding agendas related to science and technology research.

Opinion Piece/Editorial of the Year (£500)

Individual submissions only. Print/online only.

For written work that expresses an opinion or aims to change opinion. This includes opinion columns, editorial and blogs.

The Royal Society Audio Award (£500) - supported by The Royal Society

Audio only eg: radio/podcast.

For an audio programme or podcast where STEM 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.

Video of the year (£500)

Visual content only.

For a video where STEM is the primary issue covered. The award can be for a single video or series, although only one item in the series can be entered.

The Dr Katharine Giles Award for best popular article written by a scientist or engineer (£500) - supported by the Dr Katharine Giles Fund

Individual submissions only. Print/online only.

For a specific article aimed at a lay audience. The entry does not have to have been published in an established media outlet. The judges are looking for excellence and creativity. This may include but is not limited to: Quality and clarity of reporting; Creativity in reaching a new audience; Likely impact; Ability to translate complex themes.

Newcomer of the Year (£500)

Individual submissions only. Any format.  Three supporting pieces of work.

For science writers who published their first ‘professional’ piece within the past three years (01 January 2021 – 31 December 2023). Entrants should be currently working in journalism, whether freelance or staff, full-time or part-time. The judges are looking for evidence of initiative and career progression, as well as quality journalism and depth of reporting.

The Association of British Science Writers is registered in England and Wales under company number 07376343 at 76 Glebe Lane, Barming, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 9BD.
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