Thursday, 19 May 2016

ISTM Translate blog post COMPETITION!

To all ISTM young researchers and students...

We are keen to encourage more of our young researchers and students to engage with our ISTM Translate blog and are keen for you to play a bigger role in writing and editing articles for it. The blog has global reach with well over 5000 views to date and regular visitors from across 10 different countries. As well as having the opportunity to promote the Institute on an international level and to communicate stories and information that are of interest to you to a wider audience, you also have the chance to hone your lay-writing skills.

As you may have already heard, Keele University is now a member of The Conversation. The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public. Their team of professional editors work with researchers to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public.

So with a view to improving your lay-writing skills and helping ISTM to play a greater role in the public dissemination of research, we have decided to hold a competition to which you are all invited to participate.

Please see the information below from Dr Dimitra Blana, who will be helping to facilitate this writing competition...


You are invited to submit a post to the ISTM Translate blog describing a research topic of your choice to the general public.

Why, you ask? Because it will help you improve your public engagement skills, which is increasingly important for scientists. If that's not enough, there is also a prize, so read on!

Your blog post should be a lay-term summary of either a research paper you recently published, or the scientific area you are investigating. It should be no more than 1000 words and include some compelling images.

Submit your blog post and images to me over email ( by 30th June to be entered into a competition to win a cash prize.  First prize is £100 and the Runner Up prize is £50! The winners will be announced during a lunch party in the Guy Hilton Research Centre on Thursday 21st July.

A few points to consider when preparing your post:
  • Make sure the language is appropriate for the general public. To ensure that everyone can understand your writing, it will be judged by people outside your research area. I am thinking of enlisting my 14 year old Greek cousin.
  • Journal paper writing rules do not apply: be natural and informal. Of course make sure that the science is sound!
  • 1000 words is the upper limit, but try to keep it short and engaging. Can you keep my 14 year old Greek cousin's interest for 1000 words? Or will she switch to cat videos half way through?
  • Use images you have permission to use. And remember that journal paper result figures are not usually considered compelling by the general public.
Best wishes

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