Are you an ESRC-funded student? Are you keen to communicate your research to a wider audience? Then the ESRC writing competition, in partnership with SAGE Publishing, is for you.

We want to hear from you about your research: we are keen to support and reward outstanding written communication.

This is the third time we have run this competition, and in the future it will be run on an annual basis.

You can download a Writing Competition 2018-19 poster (PDF, 1.4Mb) for your organisation.

What do you have to do?

We all want better lives, whether that is better health, education, relationships, a better economy or a more sustainable environment to live in. Your entry for the writing competition should answer the question 'How does your research help people have better lives?', and explain why it matters.

Your article should be based on your PhD research, but should not be a general overview of the topic. Read our top tips on science writing for a general audience.

Your article should be no longer than 800 words, excluding the title. Any entries that exceed this word count will be disqualified. Entries should not include images, diagrams or tables. The use of citations and academic references is not required as the article should be written in an accessible style for non-academic readers.

What's the prize?

  • The winner will receive £1,000 cash prize
  • Two runners-up will receive £500 cash prize each

All shortlisted entrants, including the winner and runners-up, will receive a SAGE master class on 'how to get published' and their articles will be published in print and online.

They will also be invited to the awards ceremony which will take place at the British Academy, London on 4 April 2019.


To take part, you must be an ESRC-funded student and still in receipt of ESRC funding on 7 December 2018 (the competition closing date).

We have changed the Terms and Conditions from previous competitions; students whose ESRC funding stopped within the last four years will no longer be eligible.

How to enter

Please submit your article as a Word document in 12 point Arial or Verdana font, as an attachment to a completed online entry form.

Each student may submit one entry only. The judges' decision will be final.

Articles may be edited by ESRC and SAGE for the final publication.

The deadline for entries is 16:00 on 7 December 2018.