Click the appropriate "Submit" button below to submit a nomination or application for a CASW prize or fellowship or propose a Science + Science Writing session for the annual ScienceWriters conference.

To submit a letter on behalf of a candidate for a prize or fellowship, please select "Letter of support."

Applicants may also submit supporting letters as part of a nomination or entry package.

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. 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 Sylvia Kantor,


P.O. Box 17337

Seattle, WA 98127


Propose a "Science and Science Writing" session for the CASW New Horizons in Science portion of ScienceWriters2020.

Science writers are invited to propose a special session to discuss challenges or issues in covering science. Drawing on current topics in the news, "S+SW" sessions are intended as case studies of issues at the intersection of science, communication, and journalism. They also are intended to provide opportunities for open conversation between scientists and writers on topics that are controversial, ethically fraught, or otherwise difficult. Up to three selected sessions will be interwoven with the New Horizons in Science presentations.


  •   Each S+SW session will be 75 minutes in duration. Proposals should include an agenda that shows how that time will be allotted among the speakers and used to include audience engagement via Q&A or other means. Feel free to get creative with the format. 
  • Proposed presenters should include both scientists and science writers/communicators. Diverse—even divergent—views among speakers will make for a more engaging and fruitful discussion. Include affiliations, links to personal websites, and notes about the distinct perspective each speaker will bring to the topic. Indicate whether speakers have been contacted and have agreed to participate. 
  • Submissions should explain why the topic proposed is both interesting and timely in its own right and why it will serve as a case study that has broader relevance for science writers covering other fields. 
  • S+SW session organizers will be expected to moderate their session or to propose a moderator, who will be responsible for holding speakers to their allotted times. New Horizons Program Director Wayt Gibbs will work with session moderators and speakers to refine the session plan, make necessary arrangements, and manage the session. CASW will reimburse session participants for selected travel costs if they do not have other support for their travel to ScienceWriters2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of topics are appropriate? 

  • Those in which scientists are muzzled or reluctant to speak.
  • Those in which both writers and scientists must navigate social, cultural, political and/or economic minefields.
  • Topics, including those involving misbehavior among researchers or their employers, that bring scientists, institutions, and journalists into frequent conflict.
  • Areas in which scientists, institutions or other actors have “spun” coverage by manipulating journalists or public opinion.
  •  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.

What are examples of previous "Science and Science Writing" sessions?

  •  ScienceWriters2019: Dan Vergano organized and moderated “The #CRISPRtwins story,” a S+SW session focusing on the role of scientists and journalists in the breaking science story of 2018: a Chinese researcher's claim that he had used CRISPR gene-editing technology to change the DNA of human embryos with the aim of making them immune to HIV. Sharing the stage with Vergano were Antonio Regalado, who broke the story in MIT Technology Review, and Marilynn Marchione, who covered it the same day for AP. Geneticist Kiran Musunuru of Penn’s School of Medicine provided insights into how scientists in the field responded to this massive ethical breach and the firestorm of criticism and concern that it sparked. 
  • ScienceWriters2018: Marilynn Marchione moderated a discussion on "The Wild West of stem cell therapy" on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the isolation of human embryonic stem cells. The session brought together a scientist-blogger, an FDA regulator, a public information officer (session co-organizer Terry Devitt), and a reporter to discuss policy controversies and challenges for PIOs and journalists through both a current-events and a historical lens.
  • ScienceWriters2016: 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.

Directions for submitting

S+SW proposals should be uploaded to this site by 11:59PM PT March 1. Please limit the description of the session and proposed speakers to 300 words. 

A joint NASW-CASW panel will review these proposals and notify you of a decision by May 15.

Now in its 31st 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 ScienceWriters2020 in October 2020.

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 2020 Award will be limited to those applicants whose 31st birthday is July 1, 2020 or later.

Applicants may submit a single article or series, or up to four individual pieces. Articles must be published between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 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 entries must be submitted in English.

All applications and submissions must be received by June 30, 2020


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, 2020. 

How to Enter

You may access the nomination form after you create an account and click "Create Account and Continue" below.

Questions about the process? Contact Sylvia Kantor.

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 2015. Books are not eligible. Letters of nomination should include an assessment of the nominee's body of work  along with a biographical sketch.

Please note: Starting in 2020, nominations are due by June 30.

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.

Questions about the nomination process? Contact Sylvia Kantor.

The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing offers fellowships of $5,000 to both professional journalists and students of outstanding ability who have been accepted for enrollment in graduate-level programs in science writing.

Applications for fellowships for the 2020-21 academic year are now being accepted. The deadline for submission of all materials is March 18, 2020.

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 and should have at least one year of study remaining toward a master's degree or graduate certificate. 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:

  • Resume
  • 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.)

Note to applicants: The selection committee focuses on the overall quality of your application, not its length. Your personal statement should have the length that you feel is best for you. Concise writing is a valuable trait for a journalist. 

As Mark Twain put it: "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead."

Questions? Contact Sylvia Kantor.

This form may be used to submit:
  • 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.
For further information about deadlines, requirements for recommenders and nominators, and about the prizes and fellowships, see the CASW Fellowships and Awards page or contact Diane McGurgan.

Applicants and nominees should not use this form to submit materials.
Council for the Advancement of Science Writing