Statistical Excellence Award for Early-Career Writing Open for Entries

Are you an early-career statistician with a statistical story to tell? If so, consider entering the 2019 Statistical Excellence Award for Early-Career Writing. The competition is open to the following:

1. Students currently studying for a first degree, master’s, or PhD in statistics or a related subject
2. Graduates whose last qualification in statistics or related subject (whether first degree, master’s, or PhD) was not more than five years ago

The rules of entry are simple. Send us your best statistical writing in the form of a magazine article (1,500 to 2,500 words) on any subject you like.

Successful submissions from past years were based on original analyses, produced specifically for the competition. This does take work, but it often results in a unique and compelling article.

For example, last year’s winner, Letisha Smith, scraped online recipes and used clustering algorithms to group foods with similar ingredients to help streamline meal plans and reduce food waste.

The year before that, Kevin Lin analyzed user activity on the social media site Reddit to investigate whether young people were becoming more engaged with political news and topics.

You might also write about work you have done as part of your studies or during your career. However, if these articles draw on previously published work, you must ensure the competition submission is sufficiently different in terms of style and structure. Remember, Significance is a magazine, not an academic journal.

You can also write about the work of others, but this must be in the form of a critique or wider overview of a subject area.

Whatever you choose to write about, articles must be engaging and easy to read. Significance is published for a broad audience, so accessibility is key. This means technical terms and mathematics must be kept to a minimum and explained clearly where used.

We recommend you read articles from past winners and finalists to get a sense of the style of writing and storytelling judges are looking for.

The competition is open until May 27. Three finalists will be selected in June, with the winner announced in July at the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Statistical Excellence Awards ceremony. The winning article will be published in the October issue of Significance and online. Runners-up also may be published online or in print at the editor’s discretion.

Finalists will be invited to give presentations based on their articles at a special session of the RSS International Conference, which takes place September 2–5 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.