Statistical excellence in early career writing

Want to get your work published in Significance magazine?

Our early career writing award is for early-career statisticians with the ability to write data-driven stories in an entertaining and thought-provoking way. It is jointly organised by Significance and the Young Statisticians Section of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and forms part of the RSS Statistical Excellence Awards programme.

The competition is open to:

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

The rules of entry are simple: send us your best article, of between 1500 and 2500 words, on any subject you like.

The deadline for entries into the 2019 competition has now passed.

Winner announced for 2019

'The flying bomb and the actuary', by Liam Shaw (University of Oxford) and Luke Shaw (Office for National Statistics)
Judges were bowled over by Shaw and Shaw’s article. It tells the story of the analysis by the actuary RD Clarke, who studied the apparent clustering of V-1 missile strikes on London during World War Two.

The other finalists were, in alphabetical order:

  • 'A story about a tiny bot', by Marco Antonio Andrade Barrera (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
  • 'Trouble in paradise: polarisation and the popular vote in Switzerland', by Maximilian Aigner (Université de Lausanne)

Submissions were from early-career statisticians and data scientists from across Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Key dates

The winning article will be published in the October issue of Significance and online at

Finalists will be invited to give presentations based on their articles at a special session of the RSS International Conference (2–5 September 2019 in Belfast).


Watch our webinar

On 10 April 2019 we hosted a webinar to share tips and advice on crafting an award-worthy article. For a recap of the webinar's content, download speaker presentations from Significance editor Brian Tarran and 2018 award winner Letisha Smith