To submit a letter on behalf of a candidate, please select "Letter of support."
The Clark/Payne Award and Victor Cohn Prize will be listed on this site when the nomination period for each award begins on January 1 of each year. The deadlines for those submissions are June 30 and July 31, respectively. The application period for New Horizons in Science travel fellowships opens on July 1 each year.
For additional details on fellowships and awards, visit the CASW website.
The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing is committed to improving the quality of science news reaching the public. Comprised of a panel of distinguished journalists and scientists, CASW develops and funds programs to help reporters and writers produce accurate and informative stories about developments in science, technology, medicine and the environment.
Questions? Contact Diane McGurgan.
P.O. Box 910
Hedgesville, WV 25427
Applications for fellowships for the 2018-19 academic year are now being accepted. The deadline for submission of all materials is March 18, 2018.
For more background on the Taylor/Blakeslee University Fellowships, see this page.
If you are a recommender wishing only to submit a letter in support of an applicant, please use the Letter of Support form.
Journalists with at least two years of mass-media experience are particularly invited to apply. This can include work on a college newspaper or other journalistic experience involving reporting in any field. CASW welcomes anyone who can show good writing skills and interest in science journalism to seek these fellowships.
Students must have an undergraduate degree and must convince the CASW selection committee of their ability and commitment to pursue a career in writing about science for the general public.
Fellows may attend school either full-time or part-time. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Science writing includes writing about science, medicine, health, technology and the environment for the general public. Fellowships are not available to those intending to pursue careers in technical writing.
To apply online fill out the form on the next page and upload:
- Samples of your writing
- A brief letter of recommendation from a teacher or someone who knows you. (Alternatively, the recommender can submit the letter using the Letter of Support form.)
As Mark Twain put it: "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead."
Questions? Contact Diane McGurgan.
- a letter of support for a candidate for the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting (to submit a nomination package, please use the Victor Cohn Prize form)
- a letter of support for a candidate for the Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for a Young Science Journalist
- a recommendation of an applicant for a Taylor/Blakeslee University Fellowship or Taylor/Blakeslee Project Fellowship
- a recommendation of an applicant for a New Horizons travel fellowship
- The form accepts both uploaded documents and text entered on the page. To access the form, you will need to create an account.
Applicants and nominees should not use this form to submit materials.
Propose a "Science and Science Writing" session for the CASW New Horizons in Science portion of ScienceWriters2018.
NASW members are invited to propose a special session that draws on a current science topic for discussion of challenges or issues in covering science. "S+SW" sessions are intended to elucidate issues facing science writers covering particular areas of science. They also are intended to provide opportunities for open conversation between scientists and writers. Up to three selected sessions will be interwoven with the New Horizons in Science presentations that take place on Sunday and Monday.
- Proposed presenters should include both scientists and science writers/communicators.
- The session format can vary; Q&A, diverging opinions and audience engagement are encouraged to stimulate dialogue. Timeslots will be no longer than one hour.
- Ideally, your session will take advantage of a hot current topic in science as a case study, creating synergy with the CASW science presentations. The proposal should explain why this case study has broader interest and importance for science writers covering other fields.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of topics are appropriate?
Here are some examples:
- Covering an area where scientists are muzzled/reluctant to speak or where writers and scientists must navigate social, cultural, political and economic minefields.
- Topics that bring scientists, institutions and journalists into frequent conflict.
- Examples of how message manipulation by scientist, institutions or other actors affects coverage.
- A scientific practice that poses particular challenges for science writers (e.g. bias, publishing politics).
- Examining a recent egg-on-face case, where science writers or the media in general missed a big story, got it wrong or failed to critically examine the evidence.
What kinds of proposals are not appropriate?
- Discussions of craft suitable for the NASW workshop program.
- Sessions intended to draw attention to an "undercovered area of science," especially those submitted on behalf of organizations seeking visibility for their area of interest.
- Proposals that do not draw on current science.
Can you provide some examples of previous "Science and Science Writing" sessions?
- ScienceWriters2013: Maryn McKenna interviewed two public health experts on the challenges of communicating threats from emerging diseases in countries where bad news is actively suppressed.
- ScienceWriters2014: (1) Maggie Koerth-Baker and Emily Waltz shared the stage with two biologists for a discussion about communicating the environmental and safety issues surrounding genetically modified organisms. (2) Matthew Francis and Betsy Mason joined a cosmologist for a brief discussion of lessons from the BICEP2 story, in which a pre-publication announcement of a finding sparked first enormous coverage/hype and then criticism.
- ScienceWriters2015: (1) Tara Haelle and Seth Mnookin joined a pediatrician and a public-health expert to discern lessons for science writers from the controversy over vaccine hesitancy. (2) Ron Winslow and Meg Tirrell joined biotech scientists and entrepreneurs for a session on the challenges of covering corporate biomedical science.
- ScienceWriters2016: (1) Deborah Blum moderated a panel called "The next Flint crisis (and why there will be one." A resident of Flint, Michigan added an important dimension to this powerful session. (2) Later, a scientist's talk on creativity and robots was followed by a session on what science writers need to know about artificial intelligence, organized by Hal Hodson and Daniela Hernandez.
The organizer will be expected to manage the session as moderator or interviewer or find a moderator. CASW Executive/Program Director Ros Reid will work with you and any other participants on refining and implementing the session plan and logistics. CASW will provide travel reimbursements for session participants.
Directions for submitting
S+SW proposals should be uploaded to this site by March 1. Please limit the session description to 300 words. Be sure to include the names of proposed presenters, and a note about your choices.
A joint NASW-CASW panel will review these proposals and notify you of a decision by May 15.
Now in its 29th year, The Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award was created to recognize the contributions to journalism of both Ev Clark and Seth Payne.
The Award is intended to encourage young science writers by recognizing outstanding reporting and writing in any field of science. The winner will receive $1,000 and expenses to attend ScienceWriters2018 in October 2018.
The award is given in memory of Ev Clark, a veteran journalist at Business Week, The New York Times, and Newsweek; and Seth Payne, his long-time friend and colleague at Business Week and a founder of the Award. It is designed to carry on the work of both men, who offered friendship and advice to generations of young journalists.
The award is limited to non-technical, print and online journalism. Articles published in newspapers (including college newspapers), magazines, newsletters and websites are eligible. Both freelancers and staff writers are eligible. (Books, as well as articles in technical journals and trade association publications, are not eligible).
Science writing includes, but is not limited to, writing in the biological, physical, environmental, computer, and space sciences, along with technology, mathematics, health, and science policy.
Entries will be judged on the basis of accuracy, clarity, insightfulness, fairness, resourcefulness, and timeliness.
Applicants must be age 30 or younger. The 2018 Award will be limited to those applicants whose 31st birthday is July 1, 2018 or later.
Applicants may submit a single article or series, or up to four individual pieces. Articles must be published between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 but an entire series will be accepted if most parts are published between those dates. Applications may be submitted by the author or on the author's behalf.
All applications and submissions must be received by June 30, 2018.
The award will be judged by a panel of science writers selected by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing and the Clark/Payne Fund. The award will be announced by August 30, 2018.
How to Enter
You may access the nomination form after you create an account and click "Create Account and Continue" below.
CASW established the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science
Reporting in 2000. The prize, given annually, honors a
writer for a body of work published or broadcast within the last five
years which, for reasons of uncommon clarity, accuracy, breadth of
coverage, enterprise, originality, insight and narrative power, has made
a profound and lasting contribution to public awareness and
understanding of critical advances in medical science and their impact
on human health and well-being.
Work appearing in digital media is eligible. If an entry includes work that cannot be submitted but must be viewed online, the nominee should arrange access for the judges and explain the arrangement in the submission form.
Editors, colleagues, scientists and others familiar with the candidate's body of work may proffer nominations. Individuals may nominate themselves, but are encouraged to send at least one letter of support from a knowledgeable colleague. Nominators may submit up to five examples of the candidate's journalistic endeavors, all published or aired since January 2013. Books are not eligible. Letters of nomination should include an assessment of the nominee's body of work along with a biographical sketch.
An account is required to submit. After you click "Create Account and Continue," you will be able to access the submission form.
For further information about the prize, see this page.
If you are a nominator or supporter wishing to submit only a letter in support of a candidate, use the Letter of Support submission form.
If you have been nominated in a previous year and would like to update your nomination materials, you may use this form to do so. In place of the nomination letter, simply enter text explaining that you are submitting an update.
SPECIAL NOTICE: In July 2016 CASW launched Showcase, an online collection of award-winning science writing. We expect the winner of the Victor Cohn Prize to allow us to include a sample of the winning work in this database or to assist us in securing the necessary permission to do so. See the "terms and conditions" section of the form for details.