SCI Research Writing Prize

Each year, we ask spinal cord injury researchers and clinicians to write about their research in a creative way. This provides an opportunity to present the research they are working on or have completed, to a broad-ranging, non-scientific audience.

Entries must be written in easy-to-understand language. They must be a compelling piece about published and/or in-progress spinal cord injury research for non-scientific readership.

Spinal cord injury research is being conducted around the world, in developed and developing nations, and we understand that writing in English may be challenging for those whose first language is not English. The Spinal Research Institute is committed to supporting researchers and clinicians from diverse backgrounds and we encourage those for whom English is an additional language to apply.

Successful entries are featured in our annual publication, Why Research Matters. Read them below.

Prize details 

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

Publication: Shortlisted entries will be featured in our annual publication, Why Research Matters, a non-scientific publication that showcases international spinal cord research.


Submissions open Wednesday 2 August 2023 and close at 11.59pm on Sunday 10 September 2023, Australian Eastern Standard Time (GMT/UTC +10).

Judging panel

  • Dr Emily Bray, Research Fellow, The Hopkins Centre, Griffith University, Australia
  • Stephen Muldoon, Chair, Education Committee, International Spinal Cord Society, Ireland
  • Kristine Hendry, CEO, Spinal Research Institute Australia

Assessment criteria

The judging panel will consider the following questions.

  • Does the written piece convincingly explain why the research matters?
  • Is the research explained in a way that is easy to understand?
  • Is the piece compelling to read?

Special consideration will be given to submissions from authors for whom English is an additional language, and particularly those from countries with low to very-low English language proficiency based on the EF English Proficiency Index.

Your written piece must

  • tell us why your spinal cord injury research matters in a way that would interest a non- scientific audience:
    • 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.


To enter, you’ll need:

  • photograph of yourself
  • photograph or image/graphic that illustrates your research
  • an 80 word biography
  • your written piece as a Word document with the following specifications:
    • 800 words maximum
    • 11pt Arial
    • 1.5 line spacing
    • text only – do not include any images or diagrams in your written piece
    • please do not include your name or any contact details in the document
    • use the title of your written piece as the file name

Please read the Terms and Conditions for more information.

If you have any questions, please email

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