Statistical excellence in early career writing


Want to get your work published in Significance magazine?
Our annual writing competition, jointly organised with the Young Statisticians Section of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), is for students currently studying for a first degree, masters or PhD in statistics or related subjects, and graduates whose last qualification in statistics or related subjects (whether first degree, masters or PhD) was not more than five years ago.

This international award celebrates career-young statisticians, data scientists and researchers who can demonstrate the skills necessary for effective communication and who recognise the importance of explaining statistics to non-experts.

The award welcomes submissions from:

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

The rules of entry are simple: competition entrants are invited to submit their best statistical writing in the form of a magazine article (1,500 to 2,500 words) on any subject they like. Articles will be reviewed by a judging panel, and the winning entry (and up to two runners-up) will be published by Significance.

Read about the 2021 winner.

But what should you write about?
Successful submissions from previous years have been based on original analyses produced specifically for the competition. Past participants have also written about work they have done as part of their studies or during their careers, while some have written about the work of others 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 that judges are looking for. A list of published articles from previous years' competitions can be found here. You should also review Significance's Notes for Contributors for additional guidance and advice on structuring and presenting your submission.

Details of the 2022 award will be announced in February 2022.