Write About Research – A GEE Research Blog Competition
By Claire Asher, on 3 March 2015
The GEE Research blog communicates UCL science with a wider, non-specialist audience, by providing short summaries of recent research in the department of UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment. This provides an opportunity to engage with a broad audience, including other academics, students, members of the public, and even businesses and policy-makers. It is a great way to increase the reach and impact of your research. Now we’re offering the opportunity to contribute your own writing to the GEE blog – this is your chance to explain your research to the world, to improve your science communication skills, and maybe even win yourself some cash!
Public communication of science is a key skill for any scientist, and is increasingly being appreciated by academics and research councils as an important part of science education and training. It is a totally different medium from traditional academic papers; it offers the freedom to tell a story, but also presents challenges – you must communicate in a way that anybody can understand. Compared to academic journals, popular writing has the potential to reach a far broader range of readers and can have many benefits for your research – for example leading to new collaborations and inviting comment and feedback from readers who would never otherwise come into contact with your work.
If you are interested in writing a guest post for the GEE Research blog, now is your chance! Enter our “Write About Research” contest and not only will your blog post be published online, but you’ll also be in with a chance to win £50!
Your blog should be written in a way such that an ‘educated non-specialist’ audience can understand and follow it. You can therefore assume a GCSE-level science background and jargon should be explained the first time you use it. Blogs should begin with a short opening paragraph that sets the scene – basically the abstract of the blog post – summarising the key points of the article and leading the reader into the post. The rest of the post should provide background, a summary of the focus paper(s) and should end with a broad conclusion, setting the research into the larger context, and highlighting it’s relevance and importance. Take a look at other GEE blog posts for an idea of what we’re looking for.
Choosing a Topic
- Your blog post must cover your overall area of research
- Entries should focus on one or two key papers
- You could therefore write about one of your own publications or a recent publication in your area of research. Alternatively, you could write a general background to your research area, focussing on a few key (but not necessarily recent) papers in that field.
- Just be sure not to scoop yourself – please don’t write about your own research that has not yet been published, or assessed work (e.g. MSc project) that has not yet been assessed.
- If you are unsure whether your idea fits the criteria, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries
You must be an MSc, MRes or PhD Student, or a PostDoc undertaking a research project (or having completed a research project in the last 12 months) in the UCL Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment.
How to Enter
- One entry per person
- Entries must be between 600 and 1200 words
- All entries must include a reference list including any published papers that you refer to directly. In-text referencing is not necessary. The reference list does not count towards the word count.
- Send your entry, along with a 150-word biography to email@example.com
- Please also recommend at least one photo to include with the post (either your own image or one from Wikimedia commons).
- Entries must be received by 5pm 31st March 2015
Prizes and Publication
- We will be posting all blog entries on the GEE Research blog over the next year (between April 10th 2015 and April 9th 2016).
- Additionally, there will be a £50 gift voucher for each of the three best entries, as judged by Dr Claire Asher
- Entries will be judged by Dr Claire Asher, and winners announced on 10th April 2015
- Winners will be announced in a specific post on the GEE Research blog, and will bear no relation to the order in which each blog post is subsequently posted on the site.
If you have any questions or queries about the contest, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.