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Sharon Begley Science Reporting Award 2024 (up to $20K grant)

Sharon Begley Science Reporting Award 2024 (up to $20K grant)

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Sharon Begley Science Reporting Award 2024 (up to $20K grant)

CASW will select the third winner of the Sharon Begley Science Reporting Award in 2024. The award, to be given annually, will recognize and support reporting and writing that embodies the high standards exemplified by Sharon Begley (1956–2021), a science journalist of unflinching dedication, skill, 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.

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Eligibility for Sharon Begley Award

  • 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-career science journalists to consider entering.
  • Staff and independent journalists living and working anywhere in the world are eligible if they have published in news outlets that are available to international audiences. Although the award can be won only once, there is no limit of the number of times one can enter.
  • For the 2024 award competition, submitted work sample 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.

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Each entry consists of work samples, supporting documents, and a project proposal.

Work samples

The submitted body of work should include three to five published clips or other work samples that illustrate the candidate’s best work in science journalism. Eligible work includes:

  • news
  • features
  • heavily reported columns, analysis, and other commentary
  • newsletters
  • book chapters (not entire books)
  • podcasts
  • video, audio, and multimedia storytelling.

Supporting documents

The entry should include a cover letter making the case for the candidate and the proposed project. Elements of a successful letter:

  • Summary of applicant’s work in science journalism and examples of how that work has had an impact.
  • Personal statement conveying motivation and commitment.
  • Additional personal information:
    • may have to do with journalism advocacy or teaching work, mentoring, or innovation;
    • may be about the arc of the applicant’s career: education and experience, the pivot into science journalism, excursions into other fields;
  • Overall “why now? why me?” pitch for proposed project.

resume should be submitted. The resume should include details that help the judges assess a candidate’s commitment and broader contributions to science journalism as well as the candidate’s career and publication record. The resume should include, as applicable:

  • A summary of published work and/or a link to a portfolio website.
  • Contributions to science journalism including:
    • Volunteer service, collegial and leadership activities
    • Journalism advocacy
    • Teaching
    • Mentoring
    • Innovation
    • Outreach activities such as public lectures, workshops, residencies, and presentations

The entry should include one to three supporting letters:

  • A letter of support or nomination from an editor or publisher who is familiar with the candidate’s work
  • One or two additional letters from a senior colleague or second editor.

Project proposal

Each candidate must submit a project proposal describing a reporting and writing project to be undertaken with the award grant. The proposal:

  • Should show that the project is viable, novel, and well conceived.
  • Should demonstrate that the candidate has done enough research to know that there is a story and has thought through how to approach the project.
  • Should describe the research already done and outline a plan of work that the grant would support.
  • Should include a project timeline.

Entries for the 2024 Sharon Begley Award will be accepted between January 1 and April 30, 2024. Entries may be submitted at Submittable.com.


Type of Opportunity Competitions and Awards
Deadline30 April,2024
Contact the organizer[email protected]



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