How to Enter

So you’re interested in submitting an article to the competition? That’s wonderful news! Read on to find out more…

What sort of articles are accepted?

Entries should be in either of two styles:

  • a short feature report, in third person, discussing a scientific breakthrough or issue
  • an editorial piece, in first person, arguing your opinion on a current scientific issue

Examples of both sorts of writing can be found at NewScientist.com or in New Scientist magazine. Your article should not have been published before, although it’s OK if you’d like to submit a reworked version of an article you’ve handed in as part of your coursework. If your article has been published somewhere that you control for copyright purposes (e.g. your own website or a student-run magazine that’s OK with us reprinting your piece), that’s fine too.

How should I present my article?

  • Submit your article as PDF, DOC, DOCX or RTF.
  • You’re welcome to include illustrations and photographs, as long as you have copyright permission for any images you use.
  • Don’t include your name in the document. Just make sure it has a title, so that we can later match it to your entry form. This helps maintain anonymity during the judging process.
  • Entries should be a maximum of 1000 words.
  • Email your piece as an uploaded attachment to info@newscientistprize.org. Include in the email body:
    - your name
    - the title of your piece
    - your university
    - your degree.

When does the competition open and close?

Entries for the 2012 competition were accepted from Monday 30th July 2012 right up until Friday 21st September. Dates for 2013 will be in a similar range, but you can start writing right now so you’re prepared and have plenty of time to get a friend or colleague to proof-read a draft or two.

Do I need to include references?

Your piece shouldn’t be a technical essay, so detailed citations are not required and you don’t need to provide a reference list. Of course, all your statements should be verifiable. If you’re quoting a researcher or paper, integrate them into your writing. The following two examples are taken from this article at NewScientist.com.

According to Gregory Berns, a neuroeconomist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, the problem is that much of the decision-making process happens at a subconscious level, and experiments reveal that people are generally not very good at explaining the thinking behind their choices. “Sometimes they simply don’t know why they chose things,” he says.

But when Montague told them in advance which cola was which, Coke provoked stronger activity in the emotion-related limbic system, and their stated preference switched (Neuron, vol 44, p 379).

  • Thanks to New Scientist!

    This competition would not be possible without the generous support of New Scientist magazine, via Reed Business Information. Visit them online at NewScientist.com.
  • Get in touch

    If you have any questions about the competition, feel free to email us at info@newscientistprize.org.
  • Want to do more?

    The New Scientist Prize was conceived by Michael West at the Sydney University Science Society (SciSoc). If you're a student interested in working together on establishing further projects like this to boost the profile of alternative careers in science, please contact him at michael@mjwest.org.