DST AWSAR Award 2020 for PhD Scholars and Postdoc Fellows

Are you interested in research writing/science story? Do you want to win an award for research writing? The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is accepting the entries for DST AWSAR awards. Interested PhD scholars and Postdoc fellows can send their entries to DST by 15.10.2020. Read this article to learn the basic guidelines to write the popular science story and prize details.


AWSAR awards are given by the DST every year for popular science writings to the PhD scholars and Post for fellows. AWSAR stands for Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research. It is a writing contest which gives opportunities to the participants to grab a prize of up to Rupees one lakh for a research article. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has invited entries from post-doctoral fellows and PhD scholars for the DST-AWSAR program 2020.

Details of Award

There are two categories of awards:
  1. PhD Scholars
    1st Prize: Rs.1,00,000 will be awarded to the best entry.
    2nd Prize: Rs.50,000 Will be awarded to 2nd Prize winner.
    3rd Prize: Rs.25,000 Will be paid to their best entry.
    Besides, 100 selected write-ups will be awarded Rs.10,000 each.

  2. Post Doctoral Fellowship
    One outstanding story will be given a cash prize of 1,00,000.
    20 selected write-ups submitted by the post-doctoral fellows will be awarded a cash prize of 10,000 each.

A certificate of appreciation will be issued to all the winners of popular science stories.
Apart from this, all selected stories will be published.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for submitting the science story for AWSAR award is:
  • The candidate who wishes to apply For DST AWSAR award must be an Indian Citizen.
  • The candidates who are interested to apply for PhD scholar category must be enrolled in a PhD programme in S&T and who are applying for Postdoc fellow category must pursue Post Doctoral Fellowship in Science & Technology from any recognised University or Institute.
  • The applicants with good quality published research papers will be given preference.
  • For DST AWSAR award, both full-time and part-time PhD students will be eligible to apply.

Terms and Condition

  • The PhD Scholars and Postdoc fellow candidates will have to submit a story on the topic related to their research work.
  • Only one science story/write-up can be submitted in a year by an applicant.
  • Previous years applicants can re-apply if the eligibility criteria continue to be met.
  • Past award winners will not be considered in the same category for the second time.

Guidelines for Writing a Science Story for AWSAR Award

The candidates must write their research story in such a way that would be understandable by a person having a non-scientific background. The story must answer the following questions:
  1. Why does my research matter?
  2. Why is the research important?
  3. Why does it interest researchers?
  4. Why should it interest the reader?
The candidate must write an article based on his/ her research work.

The candidates can write a part of their research as an article or can convert complete research into an article. However, a general review will not be considered. The article must include some new knowledge created as part of the research.

The article must be written in simple language as it is aimed for a general audience. The study's significance must be understandable by the public. Further, the article or popular science story should not be published elsewhere.

The candidates must follow the below- mentioned guidelines:
  1. Language of the article should be very simple and understandable by the general public.
  2. Article should have:
    Word limits: It written in 1000-1500 words in MS word
    Paper Size: A4-size with 2.5 cm margin on all sides, single column,
    Font: Times New Roman font,
    Font size: 12,
    Line Spacing: 1.5 line spacing
  3. Followings are the details that must be mentioned in the submitted article:
    The theme of the article
    Title of the paper
    Name of the applicant
    Affiliation and contact details of the applicant.
  4. At the end of the article, there must be a declaration mentioning "that the article submitted is original and has not been previously published elsewhere."
  5. The article should not include any complex figure, graph, equation or formula. Only self-explanatory infographics may be included in the article for better understanding.
  6. To be eligible for acceptance, the science story/research article submitted for this award must be original. The articles which are already published anywhere or are under consideration for publication elsewhere, will not be accepted for the award.
  7. Applicants found guilty of plagiarism and multiple submissions by the same author will be blacklisted and debarred from being taking part.
  8. All science stories must be submitted through an online portal.

Selection of Science Stories

Articles will be judged and selected by a panel of eminent scientists, media persons, subject experts, practitioners and science communicators made up by DST. Best 100 entries received from PhD scholars and 20 best entries received from postdoctoral fellows will be selected for AWSAR Award.

The following will be the criteria for judging the entries:
  1. The panel will review all the entries and select them based on accuracy, clarity, insightfulness, fairness, and resourcefulness.
  2. The entries must answer the following queries:
    Why does the research matter?
    Does the article explain the research of the writer in an easy to comprehend way?
    Is it a convincing write-up?

Selection of entries will be done in the following steps:
In the first step of the DST AWSAR programme, best 100 write-ups or popular science stories will be selected for prizes. An expert panel will do the initial screening and review the entries. The expert panel will select the best 100 entries from the entries received in the PhD Researchers category. All these selected entries will be awarded a cash prize of Rs.10,000/-. A certificate of Appreciation will also be given, along with the cash prize.

Under Postdoc category, the expert panel will select twenty best entries submitted by the postdoctoral fellow candidates. All these twenty entries will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 10,000/- along with a Certificate of Appreciation.

In the second step, under PhD researchers category, top three leading popular science stories are selected among the best 100 entries and they will be selected as 1st, 2nd and 3rd best entries and will be awarded the cash prize of Rs.1,00,000/-, Rs.50,000/- and Rs.25,000/- respectively. For Postdoc fellow categories, one outstanding science story will be selected from leading 25 entries in this category. This outstanding entry will be awarded the cash prize of Rs.1,00,000/-.

Declaration and Distribution of Awards

DST AWSAR awards will be conferred on 28 February every year on the occasion of the National Science Day. All the award winners can avail the opportunity to attend the Science Film Training Workshop. This workshop will be organized by Vigyan Prasar. The workshop is for early career researchers, which helps them in writing popular science story. This workshop will be organised by the science experts and will be focussed on the suggestion of tips for original and effective writing by using proper words, sentences, grammar, punctuation and language, etc.

Last Date to Submit the Article: 15.10.2020

Contact Information

  • Department of Science & Technology (DST)
    Technology Bhavan, New Mehrauli Road,
    New Delhi-110 016.
    Phone: +91-11-26590541

  • Vigyan Prasar (Autonomous Organization of DST)
    A-50, Institutional Area, Sector-62, Noida-201309, UP, India
    Phone No: 0120-2401725, 0120-2404432
    Email: connect.awsar@gmail.com
    Website: https://www.awsar-dst.in/


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