This is the first time we've done something like this, so this initial time out we've limited the number of universities - simply to ensure we have the necessary infrastructure and support staff in place to support a writing competition. But how to pick the participating universities? Well, we let U.S. News&World report do it for us by ranking the nation's graduate programs, which enabled us to identify The Top Ten Schools for Science - and these became the universities we invited to the competition. But if you're not a grad student at one of these universities, don't despair. Assuming all goes well, your chance will come in our next writing contest. But just because you can't submit an article, doesn't mean you can't participate. Become a registered member of Scientific Blogging, and your vote can help us select the winners!
In addition to the grand prize, the article receiving the most votes in each of our science disciplines (Physical Sciences, Earth Sciences, Life Sciences, Medicine, Social Science, and Culture) will also receive a $500 first prize. And all finalists will receive a special-edition Scientific Blogging "Finalist" T-shirt.
To learn more about the competition, check out all the details here. We're really looking forward to reading all of the articles as they begin rolling in. But remember, the submission deadline is midnight Pacific time on October 15th - so if you plan to participate, don't procrastinate too long. This is a great opportunity to have an article that you have written published on a premier science site and read by some of the most respected minds and writers in the science community - as well as win some fantastic cash prizes.
For all of you that plan to participate, good luck! We look forward to seeing what you bring us from the world of science.