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The HDBuzz Prize for young science writers

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Announcing the HDBuzz Prize for young science writers!

By Dr Ed Wild on May 03, 2012Edited by Dr Jeff Carroll

We’re pleased to announce the HDBuzz prize, an opportunity for early-career Huntington’s disease researchers to get involved in communicating HD science to the global community, see their work published here and win real human money!

HDBuzz 2.0

Eagle-eyed visitors to HDBuzz.net will have noticed that a new logo has appeared atop the growing list of HD Associations who generously support our work. The Griffin Foundation is a non-profit family foundation based in Florida, USA, that supports educational projects. The Foundation has made a substantial donation to the work of HDBuzz in bringing the latest research news to the global Huntington’s disease community, and we’re honored to be the recipients of their generosity.

She's started writing her entry... have you?
She’s started writing her entry… have you?

We’re using the Griffin Foundation’s support to carry out some long-awaited updates and enhancements to HDBuzz, which we’ll be rolling out over the coming months.

Calling all HD scientists

After just over a year, the HDBuzz team has nine writers and we’re looking to expand. So we’re excited to be announcing the HDBuzz Prize for Young Science Writers.

The HDBuzz prize is open to PhD students and postdoctoral researchers with an active involvement in any aspect of Huntington’s disease research.

Entrants should write an article of strictly no more than 1200 words, suitable for publication by HDBuzz, about a recent Huntington’s disease research paper or scientific news story.

In addition to the article, each submission must contain a front-page summary of no more than 50 words, and - because we’re cock-a-hoop for Social Media - a Tweet of no more than 120 characters including spaces.

Entrants are free to choose any paper or topic, but we are also happy to suggest topics - email prize2012@hdbuzz.net if you’d like a suggestion.

The closing date for entries is 31st August 2012. Entries should be submitted by email, in Word document format, to prize2012@hdbuzz.net

All entries must be written in English. We regret that entries in other languages will not be considered.

Actual prizes!

Prize winners will be announced in fall (or autumn, if you prefer) 2012.

The winning article will be published on HDBuzz, translated into eleven languages and syndicated to dozens of HD community sites worldwide.

The winner will receive £500 in their local currency.

Up to ten runners up will also have their articles published and receive £150.

Public engagement is important for every scientist’s training, so apart from the cash, this would enhance the CV of any eager young HD researcher.

Tips for successful writing

  • If in doubt, simplify.

  • Assume that your reader is interested in HD and willing to learn, but has no formal science training.

  • Explain anything beyond high-school science, in bite-sized steps. Then go back and explain the high-school science.

  • Apply metaphor, analogy, humour and silliness generously.

The small print

The editors' decision is final and correspondence will not be entered into. By submitting an entry, you agreeing to allow editing of your article for style and content, and its publication via HDBuzz.net and release under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License including translation and unlimited syndication. Winners agree to be named at HDBuzz.net. All entries will be scrutinized for plagiarism and disqualified if it is found. Side effects may include uncontrollable vomiting. Elevators may go down as well as up.

Help us twist arms!

Whether you’re a Principal Investigator (that’s ‘top boffin’ in tabloid-speak) or HD family member, chances are you know a young scientist with a neat turn of phrase and a gift for communication.

If so, please put them in touch with us or send them to this article, so they can think about entering the prize.

‘Public and patient engagement’ is important for every scientist’s training, so apart from the chance of getting their hands on that delicious, nutritious cash, this is something that would enhance the CV of any eager young HD researcher.

So, eggheads - get in touch and get cracking!

This article has been updated since it was published to highlight that entries must be written in English.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. For more information about our disclosure policy see our FAQ...