Annual Sharon Begley Science Reporting Award 2024 (Up to $20,000)

The annual Sharon Begley Science Reporting Award is established to honor and promote reporting and writing that reflects the exceptional standards embodied by the late Sharon Begley (1956–2021), a science journalist known for her unwavering dedication, expertise, ethical clarity, and commitment to mentorship.

Annual Sharon Begley Science Reporting Award

The Sharon Begley Award includes a career recognition for a mid-career science journalist, as well as a grant of at least $20,000 to support the winner in pursuing a substantial reporting project.


  • A grant of at least $20,000 will be given to support the winner in pursuing a substantial reporting project.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates must have a minimum of 8-10 years of experience as working journalists, with a substantial focus on science journalism, or demonstrate an equivalent dedication to the field. Time spent in an editorial role will be considered as part of the eligibility criteria.
  • CASW aims to attract a highly competitive and diverse group of candidates, and encourages all mid-career science journalists to participate.
  • To achieve this goal, there is no entry fee, and applications will be accepted through an online platform.
  • Both staff and freelance journalists residing and working globally are eligible if they have published their work in news outlets accessible to international audiences. While the award can only be received once, there is no limit to the number of entries one can submit.
  • Current CASW board members, staff, contractors, and their households are not eligible to apply. Additionally, journalists who have previously served on the Sharon Begley Award Advisory Committee become eligible three years after completing their service.

Application process

Each submission includes examples of work, supplementary materials, and a project proposal.

Work samples

  • The submitted body of work should consist of three to five published clips or other work samples demonstrating the candidate’s top-quality science journalism. Eligible material may include:
  • news
  • features
  • heavily reported columns, analysis, and other commentary
  • newsletters
  • book chapters (not entire books)
  • podcasts
  • video, audio, and multimedia storytelling.
  • Submission may include data-driven stories and visualizations. Video and audio pieces should have been both scripted and reported by the candidate.
  • If collaborative or produced work is submitted, candidates must specify their roles in reporting and writing. For multi-author features, the candidate should have significantly contributed to the reporting.
  • The submitted work should be in English and not self-published.

Supporting documents

  • The application should feature a cover letter that advocates for the candidate and the proposed project. Important components of an effective letter should include:
  • A synopsis of the applicant’s accomplishments in science journalism and specific instances where their work has made a meaningful impact.
  • A personal statement communicating their drive and dedication
  • Additional personal details could involve:
  • Journalism advocacy, teaching work, mentoring, or innovation
  • It might encompass the applicant’s career trajectory, including education, experience, transition into science journalism, and ventures into other fields.
  • It should contribute to an overarching pitch answering “why now? why me?” for the proposed project.


Provide a resume that allows the judges to evaluate a candidate’s dedication and wider impact on science journalism, as well as the candidate’s career and publication history. The resume should encompass, where relevant:

  • Summary of published work and a link to a portfolio website.
  • Contributions to science journalism including:
  • Volunteer service, collegial and leadership activities
  • Journalism advocacy
  • Teaching
  • Mentoring
  • Innovation
  • Outreach activities such as public workshops, residencies,and lectures presentations.

letters of support

The submission should consist of one to three letters of support, including:

  • A letter of support or nomination from an editor or publisher who is acquainted with the candidate’s work
  • One or two additional letters from a senior colleague or another editor.

Project proposal

Every applicant needs to provide a project proposal outlining a reporting and writing project to be pursued with the award grant. The proposal should:

  • Demonstrate that the project is feasible, original, and well planned.
  • Show that the candidate has conducted sufficient research to confirm the existence of a story and has carefully considered how to approach the project.
  • Detail the research already completed and present a work plan that the grant would facilitate.
  • Include a timeline for the project.

You may submit your entries via

Visit the official website of Sharon Begley Science Reporting Award .

Application Deadline

April 30, 2024.

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