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.

Applications for Taylor/Blakeslee Graduate Fellowships will be accepted on this site between January 1 and mid-March.

Entries for the Sharon Begley Science Reporting Award may be submitted between January 1 and April 30.

Entries for the Clark/Payne Award and Victor Cohn Prize may be submitted between January 1 and June 30. 

The application period for New Horizons in Science travel fellowships opens and closes in late summer each year, the datse varying depending on the conference schedule.

During December 2022 and January 2023, CASW will accept applications for a GEOTRACES Expedition Journalist Fellowship.

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. CASW develops and funds programs to help reporters and writers produce accurate and informative stories about developments in science, technology, medicine and the environment and to enhance the quality, diversity, and sustainability of science journalism.

Questions? Contact Sylvia Kantor, sylviakantor@casw.org


CASW

P.O. Box 17337

Seattle, WA 98127

206-880-0177


Propose a "Science and Science Writing" session for the CASW New Horizons in Science portion of ScienceWriters2023.

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.


Guidelines

  • Please propose a session that will run 60 to 75 minutes. 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.
  • We plan for Science + Science Writing sessions to be given in person. If CASW's budget permits, a session may be webcast with questions taken online or recorded for later viewing.
  • Proposed presenters should include both scientists and science writers/communicators and can include discussants from outside those communities. Diverse—even divergent—voices, identities, opinions, and perspectives 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. The CASW New Horizons Program Director will work with session moderators and speakers to refine the session plan, make necessary arrangements, and help manage the session. CASW will reimburse session participants for selected travel costs if they do not have other support for their travel to ScienceWriters2021.

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?

  • ScienceWriters2021: Robin Lloyd organized and moderated "Covering COVID-19 through preprints, news releases, press conferences, and Twitter: How the pandemic has changed our reliance on peer review" (an online session archived here). Panelists included a Nature editor and two experts who analyze preprints, providing advice on how to sift good science from bad when science is pouring onto the internet prior to peer review.
  • ScienceWriters2020: Teresa Carr organized and moderated "Communicating about climate across political divides"  (an online session archived here), in which two expert climate communicators described communication techniques that effectively breach today's partisan divide. Max Boykoff, who heads up the Media and Climate Change Observatory at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and geologist and Yale Climate Connections contributor Karin Kirk presented insights that came from Boykoff's broad international survey and Kirk's first-person experiences.
  • 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 midnight ET March 7. Please limit the description of the session and proposed speakers to 300 words.

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 2023-24 academic year are now being accepted. The deadline for submission of all materials is  March 15, 2023.

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. Members of groups traditionally underrepresented in science and media professions are encouraged to apply.

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. CASW encourages applications from those committed to working in "science news deserts" where these stories are underreported. 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.) Up to two additional letters of support may be submitted.

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.



The Sharon Begley Science Reporting Award, given annually since 2022, recognizes and supports reporting and writing that embodies the high standards embodied by Sharon Begley (1956–2021), an exceptionally skilled science journalist of unflinching dedication, moral clarity, and commitment to mentoring. 

The Sharon Begley Award comprises a career prize, recognizing the accomplishments of a mid-career science journalist, and a grant of at least $20,000 to enable the winner to undertake a significant reporting project.

Eligibility

Candidates should have been working journalists for at least 8–10 years, including significant experience in science journalism, or provide equivalent evidence of commitment to the field. Time spent as an editor counts toward eligibility.

CASW aims to consider a highly competitive and highly diverse pool of candidates and encourages all mid- or later-career journalists to consider entering. There is no entry fee, and applications will be accepted online. Staff and independent journalists living and working anywhere in the world are eligible if their work has appeared in news outlets that are available to international audiences. Although the award can be won only once, there is no limit on the number of years one can enter.

For the 2023 award competition, submitted work samples must have been published in English.

Current CASW board members, staff, and contractors, as well as members of their households, are ineligible. Journalists who have served on the Sharon Begley Award Advisory Committee become eligible three years after their service ends.

Submitting Your Entry

The submission window for the first Sharon Begley Award will be open from January 1 to April 30, 2023.

Each entry consists of work samples, a résumé, supporting documents, and a project proposal, which may include a letter of interest from an editor at a prospective publication.  Applicants should create a Submittable.com account and follow form instructions carefully. Detailed advice and more information about the award itself may be downloaded from the CASW website or viewed at https://casw.org/awards-fellowships/sharon-begley-science-reporting-award/.

You may begin the entry process at any time, save your work, and return to edit and complete your draft submission later, but all materials must be submitted by midnight (ET) April 30.

Questions? Contact Sylvia Kantor, sylviakantor@casw.org. Please feel free to contact us if you need clarification or further detail on the submission requirements. If you currently work in a staff role for a news outlet that would serve as publisher of your project, please contact CASW for advice on the commitments we expect from employers.


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 2018. Books are not eligible. Letters of nomination should include an assessment of the nominee's body of work  along with a biographical sketch.

Deadline for nominations: 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.

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.

Now in its 34th 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 ScienceWriters2023 in October. Entries may be submitted from outside the United States; however, CASW cannot reimburse expenses that exceed the cost of a domestic roundtrip.

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.

Rules

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 2023 Award will be limited to those applicants whose 31st birthday is July 1, 2023 or later.

Applicants may submit a single article or series, or up to four individual pieces. Articles must be published between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023. A 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, 2023

Judges

The award will be judged by a panel of science writers selected by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. The award will be announced by August 30, 2023. 

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.

This form may be used to upload:

  • a letter of support for a candidate for the Sharon Begley Science Reporting Award
  • 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 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
  • a letter on behalf of an applicant for the GEOTRACES Expedition Journalist Fellowship

To access the form, you will need to create a Submittable account.

For further information about deadlines, requirements for recommenders and nominators, and about the prizes and fellowships, see the CASW Awards and Fellowships page or contact Sylvia Kantor, sylviakantor@casw.org.

Council for the Advancement of Science Writing