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Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

Archive for the ‘Competitions’ Category

Competition for budding science writers

Monday, November 25th, 2013

“The 2014 Access to Understanding science writing competition is open for entries. Run by Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) and the British Library, the competition encourages scientists to make current research exciting and engaging for all.”

Access to Understanding is open to all early-career bioscience researchers (including PhD students) and the shortlisted entries will be invited to an awards ceremony at the British Library, with the winner receiving an iPad alongside their article being printed in the journal eLife.”

“Researchers will be asked to choose from one of selection of journal articles and write an engaging article which could be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their scientific knowledge.”

The closing date for entries is 10 December 2013. To find out more or to enter, visit:

[Source Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) news: ]

EPSRC launches Science Photo Competition

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

“The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has launched its first Science Photo competition which will run until 16 December 2013.”

“The competition is open to all EPSRC-supported researchers and doctoral students, giving them the opportunity to share their research through pictures and the chance to win prizes.”

“Share your photos to support excellence and promote outstanding UK engineering and physical sciences research.”

For further information go to:

[Source EPSRC news: ]

Manchester Writing Competition

Monday, June 10th, 2013
  • The 2013 Manchester Poetry Prize: £10,000
  • The 2013 Manchester Fiction Prize: £10,000

Deadline for Entries: Friday 30th August 2013

“Under the direction of Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University is launching the 2013 Manchester Poetry and Fiction Prizes – major international literary competitions, celebrating excellence in creative writing, and open to anyone aged 16 or over (with no upper age limit).”

“The Manchester Writing Competition began in 2008, funded in the first instance by the University’s innovative Enterprise Fellowship scheme. The project was designed to attract the best new writing from around the world, and to establish Manchester as the focal point for a major literary award. Since it began, the Competition has awarded more than £50,000 to its winners.”

“Initially, the Competition alternated annually between Poetry and Fiction but, from 2013, both will be running every year, with £10,000 awarded to the writer of the best portfolio of poetry, and another £10,000 to the writer of the best short story.”

For further information about the prizes and how to enter go to:

[Source: Manchester Writing Competition website as above]

Access to Understanding competition winner is announced as Europe PubMed Central and the British Library celebrate accessible, engaging science writing

Friday, April 19th, 2013

The winner of the Access to Understanding competition, a celebration of science-writing hosted in partnership by British Library and Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC), has just been announced.

“Entrants to the competition were challenged to summarise a cutting-edge research article, communicating in a simple and accessible way what the research is, and why it matters, for a non-specialist audience.”

“The overall winner, Emma Pewsey, a PhD student in material sciences at the University of Cambridge, was selected from among 400 entries from around the world for her entry explaining research that investigated the causes of hip fracture in the elderly.”

“A further eight entries were commended by the judging panel, spanning basic through to clinical science, and including complex papers on stem cells, cancer and genetics. The original articles are all available from Europe PMC, a free online life sciences and biomedical information resource.”

“The Access to Understanding competition aims to raise awareness amongst researchers of the increasing importance to the general public of being able to understand the outcomes of research which they pay for. Furthermore, it seeks to break down the barriers that highly technical research language presents to enabling understanding of research, and to encourage PhD students and early career post-doctoral researchers to develop their communications skills.”

To read the winning entries go to:

[Source British Library press release: ]

‘Digging into Data’ Challenge – Round Three

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

“On 5 February, ten international research funders jointly announced their participation in round three of the Digging into Data Challenge, a grant competition designed to spur computationally intensive research in the humanities and social sciences.”

“During the first two rounds of the Challenge, held in 2009 and 2011, nearly 150 teams, representing universities from across Canada, the Netherlands, the US, and the UK, competed to demonstrate how innovative, computationally intensive research methods could be used to address questions in the humanities and social sciences. Twenty-two of those teams were awarded grants during those earlier rounds, each of them demonstrating new methods for analysing vast digital resources used for humanities and social science research, like digital books, survey data, economic data, newspapers, music, and other scholarly, scientific, and cultural heritage resources that are now being digitized on a huge scale.”

“Due to the overwhelming popularity of the earlier rounds, the Digging into Data Challenge is pleased to announce that two additional funders have joined for round three, enabling this competition to have a world-wide reach into many different scholarly and scientific domains.”  “Jisc (United Kingdom) will be taking a supportive role by facilitating the progression of the project.”

“The closing date for applications is 15 May 2013. Further information about the competition and the application process (including all relevant documentation) can be found on the Digging for Data website:

[Source Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) website: ]

Videogaming meets cartography: Students are challenged to go Off the Map in a new competition

Monday, February 4th, 2013

“Maps are to be the inspiration for a competition… which challenges students to develop an original videogame concept using the British Library’s world-famous cartographic collections. The Off the Map competition, which is run in partnership with the annual videogame festival GameCity and software company Crytek, will include maps showing a proposed plan to rebuild Stonehenge, and an important engraving of London made months after the Great Fire of 1666. The winning entrants will be announced and showcased at the GameCity8 festival in October this year.”

“Students from participating universities and colleges will be granted complete creative freedom to adapt the maps, using CryENGINE 3D technology to stretch, build or totally re-design the materials as they wish. It is hoped that as well as creating a traditional playable game level, entrants will use the opportunity to try new approaches and to create interactive environments that push at the boundaries of the definition of what a videogame, and a map, can be.”

To find out more about the Off the Map competition go to:

[Source British Library press release: ]

Read all about it… New competition to encourage scientists to decode science research for all

Monday, December 17th, 2012

“A new science writing competition has been announced… by the recently launched Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) and the British Library to encourage scientists to make current research exciting and engaging for all.”

“The competition ‘Access to Understanding’ is open to all bioscience researchers and the shortlisted entries will be invited to an awards ceremony at the British Library, with the winner receiving an iPad alongside their article being printed in eLife.”

“Researchers will be asked to choose from one of selection of journal articles and write an engaging article which could be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their scientific knowledge.”

The closing date for entries is: 11 January 2013.

To find out more or to enter, visit:

[Source Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) news:  ]

Wellcome Trust and BFI launch screenwriting prize to inspire science in films

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

“The Wellcome Trust [has launched] a major new annual screenwriting prize, in association with the BFI Film Fund. The Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Prize aims to encourage high-quality feature films inspired by biology and medicine, from genetics and infectious diseases to consciousness and mental health.”

“Judges of the prize will include representatives from the BFI and Film4. As well as receiving a £20 000 cash prize to develop their idea to first draft, the winning screenwriter will receive support from the Wellcome Trust to connect them with world-leading scientists and to help identify commercial partners and producers. The BFI will provide the writer with access to professional development executives to help them develop their screenplay.”

“The Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Prize aims to develop feature-length dramatic films, with both live action and animation projects eligible to apply. First and foremost, the judges will look for great stories with interesting characters and compelling screenplay ideas, which are creative in the way they incorporate biomedicine into the story.”

The deadline for entries is 10 August 2012.

[Source Wellcome Trust news: ]

Funders join forces to develop biomedical entrepreneurs

Friday, June 1st, 2012

“Researchers in the biomedical sciences are being offered the chance to sharpen their business skills in a new national competition. The Biomedical Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (Biomedical YES) will help PhD students and early-career researchers to develop entrepreneurial skills for biomedical industries.”

“The competition is organised by the University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with support from GSK, the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst. It aims to develop key skills that will contribute to the UK’s bioeconomy and raise awareness of the advantages of collaborating with industry. The competition follows on from the success of other ‘YES’ competitions, such as Biotechnology YES which has upskilled over 3500 scientists over 17 years.”

“Application forms for Biomedical YES can be found on the Biotechnology YES website:

[Source BBSRC News: ]

Centre for Challenge Prizes launches

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Vicki Purewal writes in a Nesta (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts) blog:

 “In our blog in December I talked about how challenges prizes can be a very effective way to generate innovative solutions, as well as how they are not a new tool but are becoming an increasingly popular way to generate solutions to complex problems.  More on this can also be found in our new Challenge Prizes Landscape Review.”

“We have set up the Centre for Challenge Prizes to act as a hub for building knowledge about prizes across a range of sectors, and for disseminating this across the UK and beyond.  We will design and manage challenge prizes to deliver specific public benefit, and will generate and share learning and insights on the design and use of challenge prizes, working with a range of partners.”

To find out more, go to the Centre for Challenge Prizes website at:

[Source Nesta blog: ]

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