The Awards are intended to reward outreach work carried out by young scientists and established researchers to inform, enthuse and engage the public.
The competition is open to researchers working in any sector of UK biosciences, from universities, institutes or industry. There are two categories of award:
The New Researcher Award is open to bioscience researchers currently reading for a Masters/PhD or in the first year of a post-doctoral position.
The Established Researcher Award is open to bioscience researchers who are beyond the first stages of their research career, as defined in the New Researcher category. The Society is looking for researchers who communicate their own work well, and who represent their own field strongly in the science communication world.
Please note: Professional science communicators, paid for science communication work beyond their role as a scientist, are not eligible to apply.
The Society is looking for an applicant with commitment to outreach over a period of time. This could involve a wide range of activities, from talks and written articles to hands-on demonstrations or art displays. The audiences can vary from school children to patients to the general public, but should not include a scientific audience above school level.
Overall the judges will be looking for a programme of activities that can be demonstrated to have brought good quality science to non-academic audiences in engaging ways that are likely to foster a lasting interest in the biosciences. Judges will be marking specifically on scientific content, influence and recognition, innovation, evaluation and feedback, impact on society and working with underserved sectors.
Previous Society of Biology Science Communication Award winners are not eligible to enter again.
The awards closed for applications on Thursday 30th June 2016. All applicants will be notified shortly after judges meet on 26th September. Contact Karen Patel if you have any queries regarding your application.
Steve is a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow and the founder of the academic comedy night Bright Club and the science communication cabaret Science Showoff. He was originally a human geneticist, before jumping into science communication and then spending the last few years as head of public engagement at UCL.
Liz is a previous winner of the New Researcher Science Communication Award. Having completed a PhD in cell biology, Liz recently began a role at UCLan establishing a new branch of the Ri Young Scientist Centre, which will provide hands-on practical science workshops for school students in the North West.
Farrah is the national programmes adviser at the Wellcome Trust. With a background in evolutionary anthropology and psychology, Farrah began her career in science communication as a science explainer, gaining first-hand, valuable experience in face to face public engagement. With expertise in delivering and programming science festivals, Farrah's interests lie in exploring the impacts of bringing together diverse perspectives to catalyse new ideas and conversations connected to our health and wellbeing.
Rosie is engagement manager at the British Science Association, where she manages the British Science Festival and other national programmes. Prior to this she spent several years developing and delivering public engagement events at the Natural History Museum and Imperial College London. Rosie also spent a year working in science television production and has an academic background in neuroscience and a Masters in science communication.
The Society wishes to thank the Wellcome Trust for their support of these Awards.
Applications for the Awards were of a high standard and judges gave particular weight to applicants where:
The 2015 winners were celebrated at the Society's Biology Week Annual Award Ceremony. Congratulations to new researcher Anita Montagna (left), from King's College London and Dr Joana Alves Moscoso (right) of Imperial College London with judge Liz Granger (centre).