Guidelines for applicants 2020

Nature Research Awards for Inspiring & Innovating Science, Science Outreach Category


1. Introduction

The Nature Research Award Science Outreach Category is presented for initiatives that support girls or young women to engage with, enjoy and study STEM subjects OR to increase the retention of women in STEM careers. STEM includes natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. These initiatives can be run by an individual or academic, educational, charitable, governmental or corporate entity. In the case of corporate entities, the initiatives should form part of a corporate social
responsibility programme and not be part of core commercial operations.

2. Eligibility

We accept applications from organizations, departments, individuals (of any gender) or project teams.
Please nominate one spokesperson who will be our point of contact and represent the winning entry at the award ceremony.
We are looking for initiatives that have either:
● encouraged girls or young women to engage with and study natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine
● increased retention of women in STEM careers, with a focus on providing tools to support women through their career progression in a STEM discipline.
Entries will have shown exceptional vision, insight and/or imagination and demonstrated that they encourage, support or promote the interest of girls and/or women in STEM.

3. How to apply

Applications must be submitted through the online application form . The questions you will need to answer are listed below for reference. Entries must be complete (that is, all required fields are completed) and submitted by 14th June 2020 23:59 BST to be eligible.

By submitting this application you agree that:
– you have read and accepted the award terms and conditions.
– your personal data will be used as part of, and to communicate with you about, the Nature Research Awards programme. You can remove your details by emailing For more information view our Privacy Policy .


I represent an initiative that has :
● encouraged girls or young women to engage with and study natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine OR
● increased retention of women in STEM careers, with a focus on providing tools to support women through their career progression in a STEM discipline.

Applicant and initiative details
● Full name of the individual or academic, educational, charitable, governmental or corporate
entity responsible.
● Name of the initiative
● Address of the initiative – including city, country and postal/ZIP code
● Name of contact spokesperson
● Job title of contact spokesperson
● Email of contact spokesperson
● Phone number (including country code) of contact spokesperson
● Please define the exact involvement of the spokesperson in the described initiative
○ Organizer
○ Participant
○ Started the initiative
○ Other

Description of initiative
● Provide a brief introduction (maximum 400 words) to the initiative aimed at encouraging girls and women to engage with STEM subjects or aimed at addressing the retention of women in STEM. Include your vision for the initiative, its aims and aspirations.
● Provide links to your website and/or social media accounts.
● Specify the exact countries in which your initiative has an impact and briefly describe how the initiative operates in each country (300 words).
● What % proportion of your target group consists of girls or women?
● How many girls/women have you reached since you started your initiative?
○ <10
○ 10 – 50
○ 50 – 100
○ 100 – 1,000
○ >1,000
● What is the main method used to deliver your initiative’s activities?
○ Social media
○ Blog posts
○ Website
○ One-on-one contacts (in person, email or phone)
○ Lecture
○ Workshop, science fair
○ Networking event
○ Other [provide details]
● For how many years has your initiative been running?
● How often do you organize activities?
○ Daily
○ Once a week
○ Once a month
○ Once a year
○ Other
● How do you measure the success of your initiative? Please provide up to 3 examples that demonstrate the successful outcomes of your initiative ( maximum 300 words). These can include anecdotal evidence, quotes, comments or testimonials, social media measures, press comments, etc.
● Please describe any future plans, events and measures to increase reach or improve impact ( maximum 500 words). How would you use the additional $30,000 and the prestige of winning this award to further increase the engagement of girls and young women in STEM, or increase the retention of women in STEM? Explain how you would scale up the project to reach a larger audience.
● Additionally we invite you to describe particular challenges, professional or personal, that you have faced during the course of your studies, scientific career, or science outreach initiative
(maximum 500 words).
* This question will not be scored but will be used to provide context should your application proceed to the judges’ panel discussion.

Shortlist Profile
If your application is shortlisted, the responses to the following points will constitute your profile on the shortlist page of the awards website. This section is not judged:
● Introduce the project and your organization, department or group and tell us a little about what it does ( maximum 150 words).
● What are some of the challenges that the project or organization has faced whilst working on engaging girls and young women with STEM or supporting women to stay in STEM and what lessons have you learnt ( maximum 150 words)?
● What advice would you give to someone wanting to do STEM outreach ( maximum 150 words)?
● Please include a short statement about why it is important to encourage more girls to be interested in/engage with STEM subjects, or to support more women to stay in STEM. ( maximum 200 words).
● Please provide an organization logo (organisations) or photo (personal applicants), in high-resolution 150 x 150 pixel JPEG format.
NB: Parts of the above will be used on the website, mentoring site and across promotional materials.
I confirm that I hold the permissions for this logo/photograph.

4. Terms and conditions for applicants

By applying, applicants agree to the terms and conditions of the award programme.

5. Evaluation process and criteria

Applications will be assessed by our expert judging panel consisting of editors from Nature Research, independent experts and experts from our corporate partner, The Estée Lauder Companies. Each award category will have a separate judging panel. Panel members will review applications to create a shortlist of applicants for each award category. The full panel will then meet to discuss the merits of shortlisted applicants and select the winner. The judging panel will make up 100% of the votes. The chief judge will make the final decision in the event of a tie.
Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:
● Description of your initiative
● Success of your initiative
● Future plans.

6. Prize

The winners of the Nature Research Awards for Inspiring & Innovating Science will receive:
● A grant of US$30,000 to spend on initiatives linked to the award
● A grant of up to US$5,200 for event funding: to spend on an event over the next 2 years that showcases the initiative
● An invitation to the award ceremony in London, with accommodation and travel expenses paid by the organiser. In the event that it is not possible or advisable to hold such a ceremony, an alternative presentation or acknowledgement will be arranged
● Coverage on
● Access to online Nature Masterclasses courses for one year
● An invitation to present their work or initiative to the scientists at The Estée Lauder Companies
● Mentoring through The Estée Lauder Companies
The shortlisted applicants will:
● Be profiled on the Nature Research Award website
● Have access to an exclusive mentoring and networking community site
● Have access to online Nature Masterclasses online courses for the duration of 1 month

7. Key dates

Applications: applications are invited between 9th April 2020 and 23:59 BST on 14th June 2020.
Shortlist: the shortlist will be announced in September 2020.
Winner: the winner will be invited to the award ceremony, which will take place in London in October
2020, if circumstances permit.

8. Contact
Please contact us at if you require any further information.

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