BioOne Ambassador Award

Congratulations! You have been nominated for the 2019 BioOne Ambassador Award. BioOne created this award to honor early career authors seeking to communicate their specialized research beyond their immediate discipline and to the public at large.

As a nominee, we invite you to submit a brief response to the question:

What are the broader implications of your work, and how does your work impact the public at large?

In 2019, up to five individuals selected from the pool of nominees will receive a $1,000 (USD) cash award, in addition to the widest promotion possible of your work to news outlets, funding sources, and to your own academic community.


Submission Guidelines

If you choose to accept this challenge, please follow these guidelines:

  1. Respond to the question: What are the broader implications of your work, and how does it impact the public at large?

  2. Focus your response to this question as it relates to the article for which you were nominated.

  3. Write for a non-scientific audience. Your goal is to communicate why your research is important for everyone.

  4. Seek the advice of others as you craft your submission.

  5. Limit your submission to no more than 250 words, in English.

  6. Send your submission as a .doc or .txt file to caroline@BioOne.org by March 29, 2019.


Tips for Constructing a Winning Submission

You are an ambassador representing your specialty to a "foreign" community. Your scientific publication demonstrates that you are already able to communicate your research and conclusions to specialists in your field. You are also working in the age of social media, thus your work will benefit when you can speak to those who are not specialists. This is the purpose of BioOne's Ambassador Award.

Before you begin, please see samples of the winning submissions from 2018.

Below are some tips to consider when writing your submission:

  1. Write for a non-specialist (a non-scientist/grandmother/10th grade neighbor):
    •   • What is the bottom line?
    •   • Why is your work important to me, the reader?
    •   • How does your research affect me, or those I care about?
    •   • What do you want me to learn about your work?

  2. Start with a real attention grabber, something intriguing or even humorous that will entice me to keep on reading.
    •  • A strong lede is important and should explain what you’re writing about in an easily digestible form.
    •    i. Cover the Who, What, Where, and Why in your submission.
    •   • Ask yourself whether your lede will make a person want to read more? For example:
    •    i. “Human health begins with chicken health…”
    •    ii. “More adult earthworms will improve your vegetable garden…”
    •    iii. "It's 10:00 PM. Do you know where your turtles are?

  3. Start with the most important part of the message (this is the inverse of scientific writing). Put it in the first line, and then support it.

  4. Personalize your species or topic; create empathy—especially if it’s a new boa constrictor, toxic spider, or moss.

  5. Keep in mind that even those outside your discipline—and especially beyond the sciences—will not necessarily understand what is perfectly obvious to you.

  6. Although scientific terms and precise three-syllable words are important for scientific writing, they often confuse and alienate non-scientists. Use simple language and wherever possible avoid such technical terms as:
    •   • morphometric analysis
    •   • telemetry-location
    •   • conspecific intruder

  7. Use active rather than passive verbs to bring the words closer to the reader.

  8. Shorter sentences help both you and me, the reader.

  9. As a reader, I am not as invested in the topic as you. It’s easier to write for such an audience when you can step away and not take yourself as a scientist too seriously. This is not the same as dumbing down your work. Instead, you are doing us both a favor by speaking in a common language.


Important Dates

  • Draft Deadline (Optional) – Should you wish to receive constructive feedback on your submission, send caroline@BioOne.org a draft by Wednesday, March 13.
  • Submission Deadline – Final submissions are due Friday, March 29.
  • Winner Notification – We will notify winners on Monday, April 22.
  • Public Announcement - BioOne will publicly announce the 2019 winners on Monday, May 6.

We look forward to receiving your submission. Please contact us if you have questions.


Submit Your Response