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Calling for applications: Africa Science Desk Journalism Awards

Funding Call Details

The Africa Science Desk Journalism Awards

The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS) is launching the Africa Science Desk Journalism Awards to recognise and honour excellent reporting on science and scientific innovation in Africa. The awards also aim to improve and increase coverage of research and scientific innovation on the continent. 

Entry categories and prizes 
The awards will be given in 3 categories covering the areas of work for the Africa-based Grand Challenges partners. 

  • Best news story: this will be given to the journalist whose coverage of science and scientific innovation has made a traceable impact in either demonstrating the power of science, scientific innovations or igniting conversations or unveils some new science/approach that tackles health and development challenge/s. The prize will be $2500  

  • Best investigative feature: this will be given to long form and investigative stories which creatively provide insight into topical issues in health and/or development and/or whose coverage is contributing to raising public awareness of emerging issues, such as antimicrobial resistance, drug discovery; water, sanitation and hygiene, and maternal, neonatal and child health, along with highlighting how African scientific innovations are addressing the challenges or unveils a new science approach that tackles development. The prize will be $3000  

  • Science and innovations editor/editor’s award to be given to editors whose newsrooms have championed the coverage of science and local innovations. The goal is to incentivise more editors to cover science. The prize will be $3000 

We encourage applications focusing, but not limited to the focus areas of the Africa-based Grand Challenges partners, such as antimicrobial resistance, drug discovery; water, sanitation and hygiene, and maternal, neonatal and child health and the five strategic areas of The African Academy of Sciences — environment and climate change, health and wellbeing, natural sciences, policy and governance and social sciences and humanities. 

Applicants are allowed to submit one entry per category via The AAS Ishango online grant system 

Applicants registering for Ishango maybe required to submit an ORCID ID. This can be obtained at no cost by registering via the ORCID​​​​ website.

The awards seek to recognise: 

  • Journalists who use solutions-based reporting to highlight how African innovations are addressing the continent’s health and developmental challenges 

  • Editors who are advancing science and innovation on the continent 

Relevance and reach 

  • Stories must be topical, informative, interesting and highlight how African innovations are addressing the continent’s health and developmental challenges 

  • Has catalysed changes in policy or attracted wide readership  

  • Demonstrates use of other platforms, such as social media to give the story legs. 

Quality and creativity 

  • Presents complex scientific concepts in a way that is accessible to non-scientific audiences 

  • Unique and engaging story telling that piques the interest of the reader, is well written, researched and balanced 

  • Original or new angle to a running story. 

  • Applicants will be allowed to submit one entry per category of stories published between January 2018 to 1 August 2019 

  • All categories are open to African journalists who write for local or global print, broadcast and online media outlets.   

  • Editors must only be for African publications 

 Applications can be submitted as follows: 

  • 2 stories for the best news story 

  • 1 story for best feature stories 

  • 3 stories for editor’s award