Communicate your research as a popular science article and get rewarded

DST
Call for entries for the AWSAR award

From August 15 to September 30, 2018 science PhD scholars and Post-doctoral fellows can submit popular science articles about their research work to be considered for a cash prize under the Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR) initiative. DST is offering attractive cash prize to motivate and equip students to communicate science with lay people.

Starting today (August 15) and till September 30, science PhD scholars and Post-doctoral fellows from Indian labs and institutions can submit popular science articles about their research work to be considered for a cash prize under the Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR) initiative. The articles should be 1,000-1,500 words long.

The intent of the initiative is to encourage and equip research scholars and post-doctoral fellows with skills to communicate science with lay people, and in the process help disseminate Indian research stories among lay readers.

Only Indian nationals who have registered with an Indian university/institute are eligible to apply. While, research scholars who are in their first year are not eligible to apply, there is no age limit. Even part-time research scholars are eligible to apply. According to the AWSAR website, each student can submit only one article.

Students registered for a PhD programme with an Indian university but working in a foreign lab or institution for a short while as part of collaborative research will be eligible to apply for this award. “If the work they report on is in collaboration with an Indian institution and is part of their thesis then they are eligible to apply. Of course, both mentors should approve publication of that work,” says Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST. “The idea is to project and popularise the work done in India.”

The articles can be published in newspapers, magazines, blogs and social media and shared with AWSAR to be considered for the award.

The articles (not published elsewhere) are required to convey the significance of the research undertaken by the student while at the same time objectively answering queries such as:  why one’s research matters and why is it important, why does it interest researchers and lay public. The entries will be “judged on the basis of accuracy, clarity, insightfulness, and resourcefulness”.

“The article could be on complete or part of the research conducted, but it should not be a general review of the area and must have the component of new knowledge created as part of the research,” notes the instruction on the AWSAR website.

The article can be published in newspapers, magazines, blogs and social media and shared with AWSAR to be considered for the award. While any PhD scholar and Post-Doc can apply, preference will be given to those who have published research paper(s) related to his/her research. Those who win the AWSAR award will not be eligible to apply the second time in the same category. Essentially, a research scholar who wins this award can submit another popular article based on his research work only when he pursues a Post-Doc programme.

The best 100 articles by PhD scholars will get Rs.10,000 each along with Certificate of Appreciation. Three best entries will be awarded Rs.1,00,000, Rs.50,000 and Rs.25,000 respectively. Similarly, 20 best articles from post-doctoral fellow will get cash prize of Rs.10,000 each and one best entry will get Rs.1,00,000.

The awards will be given on National Science Day (February 28) each year, starting 2019. All the awardees will be given an opportunity to attend Science Film Training Workshop organisd by Vigyan Prasar.

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