May 21, 2022

I, Science

The science magazine of Imperial College

I, Write Competition

I, write is a science journalism contest organised by Imperial College’s I, Science magazine. Suitable for all students in Years 10-13, we want to challenge students to think outside the box, and consider where science can be found outside of the classroom. 

You can view the 2021 winner and runner-up posts here.

If you are a student all you have to do to sign up is complete the Google form below with a pitch for a popular science article, based on the theme “Joy”. Pitches should be 300-500 words long, and should detail what you’ll be writing about and why it would be entertaining/informative to read.

Find the Google form HERE

The submission deadline for proposals is 12pm on the 2nd of May

Afterwards, the best three pitches will be selected, and those students will each receive one-on-one mentoring (via ZOOM) from either our sub-editor, Sascha Pare, or our Editor-in-Chief, Jacklin Kwan. Students will be mentored on how to research and write their articles.

Finalists will be contacted by the 8th of May and will be receiving their mentoring between the 9th to 13th of May

Final articles must be submitted before 12pm on the 22nd of May.
The articles will then be examined by a panel of judges who will select which articles will be placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The winning article will then be published in the Summer issue of i,Science

Results will be announced on the 27th of May

FAQs

  1. You say this contest is suitable for all students, what does that mean?
  2. I am not based in London, can I participate?
  3. What does “Joy” mean? 
  4. Is there anything I shouldn’t write about?
  5. My proposal: what information should be included? How long should it be? What format should it be submitted in?
  6. I have written an article on a similar subject before, can I submit this instead?
  7. What exactly will the mentors be able to do?
  8. So the winning article gets published, are there any other prizes on offer?
  9. Where can I find information on your privacy and safeguarding procedures?
  10. There are other questions I want to ask, who should I get in touch with and how?

(1) You say this contest is suitable for all students, what does that mean?

To us at i,Science, it does not matter whether you are currently studying the GCSE’s, A-Levels, BTEC, IB or any other high school curriculum. It does not matter whether you are aspiring for a career in STEM, a career in journalism, or if you simply have a passing interest in science or want to try something new. You do not need to be the best scientist or writer. All that matters is that you have an idea and you can tell us about it. The role of the mentors is to guide and support you through the processes of researching and constructing your article. 

(2) I am not based in London, can I participate?

Yes you can! Although i,science is based in London, as all of our submissions and mentoring are done online, there are no geographical constrictions for submissions. Any student from any school in the UK or beyond is free to participate. However, all contest activities, including the mentor sessions, will be scheduled and based on UK timings. 

(3) What does “Joy” mean? 

Excellent question. The I,Science team wanted to end the year on an optimistic note. We challenge students to explore the emotional, the irrational, the playful, and the absurd in science and technology. These aspects are often glossed over in popular depictions of STEM – which portray science (and its researchers) to be clinical, objective and sterile.

Tell us about the things in science that inspire joy in you. What is the science behind joy: from neurochemistry to psychology? Which great scientists have been inspired by the pursuit of happiness? How has science helped promote humanitarian visions of a better world? Don’t be afraid to also investigate joy’s opposite – sadness, frustration, disappointment – which are all equally important and valid feelings to explore.

(4) Is there anything I shouldn’t write about?

We are asking students to write a journalistic article, not a piece of science coursework or a scientific report. We would also encourage students to try and think of a subject that is not COVID related. COVID proposals will NOT be disfavoured during the screening process, this message is simply to try and promote diversity amongst the submissions. 

(5) My proposal: what information should be included? How long should it be? What format should it be submitted in?

Your proposal should at minimum include the following information:

  • What points you will cover in your article
  • Why you think this is an important issue, or will be entertaining to our readers
  • Why it is relevant to the theme

The proposal is a written pitch that is 300-500 words long, submitted via the Google form above.

(6) I have written an article on a similar subject before, can I submit this instead?

Unfortunately no. In the interest of fairness we cannot reasonably judge the quality of ideas presented by one student who writes a 350 word proposal, and another who submits a fully written article. 

However, there is nothing to stop students from submitting a proposal based on or inspired by something they have previously written. Students are more than welcome to draw ideas from work that they have done in the past, including previous articles, blog posts and coursework. Should students follow this route they must proceed with caution as articles written by the finalists will be submitted through the Turnitin software.

(7) What exactly will the mentors be able to do?

The mentors are current students of the Imperial College Science Communication MSc. Their job will be to help guide the students on how to turn their proposals into proper articles. They will guide students on how to structure their argument, how to let their writing ‘flow’, where to research for their article etc. This is in addition to providing technical feedback on spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Students will meet with their mentors over ZOOM. The use of other video software is negotiable. They may have up to 2 one-hour long sessions during this one week period. Students are free to contact their mentors to ask smaller, more general questions (e.g. is this a good resource to use). 

(8) So the winning article gets published, are there any other prizes on offer?

There are indeed! However, their exact nature is yet to be finalised.

Prizes for the winner:

  • The student’s article will be published in the physical edition of the i,Science 2021 Spring Issue.
  • The student’s article will also be published in the magazine’s digital issue, as well as a feature article on the I, Science website.

The student shall receive:

  • A signed participation certificate
  • Copies of the printed magazine for themselves, their family and their school

Prizes for the 2nd and 3rd place runners up:

  • These students will have their articles published on the features page of the i,Science website.
  • These students will also be given signed participation certificates

(9) Where can I find information on your privacy and safeguarding procedures?

You can find our privacy and safeguarding information here in this downloadable file:

(10) There are other questions I want to ask, who should I get in touch with and how?

Our main points of contact are the Project Coordinator for the i,Write competition. You can reach them via this email: i.science.competitions@gmail.com. Please use this email if you wish to schedule a video conference with us.

However, you are also free either to contact them directly, or get in touch with the co-editors in Chief of I, Science:

Faye Saulsbury
Co-editor in Chief at I, Science
i.science@imperial.ac.uk 

Jacklin Kwan
Co-editor in Chief at I, Science
i.science@imperial.ac.uk 

Sascha Pare
Project Coordinator for I, Write
Sub-editor for I,Science magazine.
sascha.pare21@imperial.ac.uk