SCI Research Writing Prize returns for 2021

To help demystify research, we launched the Spinal Cord Injury Research Writing Prize in 2020 with the top-12 entries being published in the first edition of Why Research Matters: A collection of spinal cord research from around the world.

We were so thrilled with the positive response to the writing prize and the publication that we are pleased to announce we are running this initiative again this year.

About the SCI Research Writing Prize

If you’re a researcher or clinician, we’re asking you to write about your (or your group’s) research in a creative way. This is an opportunity to present the research you’re working on or have completed, to a broad-ranging, non-scientific audience.

The writing style must be an easy-to-understand and compelling written piece of published and/or in-progress spinal cord injury research for non-scientific readership.

Your written piece can be up to 800 words and you have until 11.59pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Sunday 8 August 2021 to submit.

Prize details 

All shortlisted entries will win a place in a workshop that explores research translation and impact, facilitated by Australian course provider Research Impact Academy. This workshop will comprise 3x 2hr sessions and it will be held online.

Shortlisted entries will be featured in a non-scientific publication that showcases international spinal cord research. Take a look at last year’s publication here.

Judging panel

We are thrilled to announce this year’s judging panel includes: A/Prof. Doug Brown, SRI Executive Director; Prof Lisa Harvey, Senior Researcher, John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research, The University of Sydney; Martin Heng, Inclusive Travel Expert; John Koumourou, Composer and IT Project Manager; and Dr Anne Sinnott Jerram, Physiotherapist.

Assessment criteria

Judging panel will be considering whether your written piece:

  • Convincingly answers the question ‘Why does my research matter?’
  • Explains your research in a way that is easy to understand
  • Is compelling to read

Please complete the entry form (on survey monkey) making sure to include the title of your written piece. Your written piece must:

  • Tell us why your spinal cord injury research matters in a way that would interest a non- scientific audience. Consider: Why is it important? Why does it interest you? Why should it interest the reader?
  • Be based on the research you have done or are doing. This could be on the whole of the project or on just one aspect, but it should not be a general review of the area.
  • Be written for a non-scientific audience; written at a level that an interested member of the public could understand while conveying the significance or impact of your research.
  • Be no more than 800 words maximum.
  • Be submitted as a Word document, 11pt Arial and 1.5 line spacing (please do not include any images or diagrams in your written piece). Please do not include your name or any contact details on the written piece. Instead please save the document with the title of your written piece.

How to enter

To enter, please complete the entry form making sure to address the assessment criteria.

Email a photograph of yourself and the written piece as a Word document (title only, do not include your name on the written piece) to: writing.prize@thesri.org

Entries close at 11.59pm on Sunday 8 August 2021 (Australian Eastern Standard Time). Late entries will not be accepted.

Please read the Terms and Conditions for more information.


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