Science Writing Competition Results

07 July, 2020
Science Writing Competition Results

We are pleased to announce the results of the 2020 Bio-Rad Science Writing Competition. There was a huge number of entries from all around the world and the judges were impressed by the high standard of submitted articles across a breadth of different topics. Your passion and dedication to your research were clearly conveyed, as well as honest accounts of some of the challenges that you face in the pursuit of a PhD.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the competition and to the following exceptional writers who are this year’s winners:

1st Place

Alexander Du Feu Alex Du Feu

Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, which is part of the University of Manchester, UK

Inspiring Science - Why Public Engagement Is Key

Alex’s ‘burning passion for biology’ is evident in the way that he writes. The judges were impressed by Alex’s writing style and his ability to write honestly around an emotive subject, as well as eloquently highlighting why public engagement with science is vital. An outstanding article and a very worthy winner of our competition. Alex’s blog can be read now on Lab Crunches and he also receives a trophy, a copy of ’The Scientist’s Guide to Writing: How to Write More Easily and Effectively throughout Your Scientific Career’, and Science Writing Mentorship from our Lab Crunches Editor. Congratulations Alex!

Read the Winning Blog


2nd Place

Amanda Koch Amanda Koch

Colorado State University, Colorado, USA

Out of My Comfort Zone: How I Use Science to Influence Policy

Amanda has a naturally engaging writing style that really impressed the judges. Her thought-provoking article on why scientists shouldn’t avoid policy issues includes helpful tips for other scientists wishing to start conversations around science policy. A really enjoyable read that is full of practical advice.

Amanda wins a copy of ’The Scientist’s Guide to Writing: How to Write More Easily and Effectively throughout Your Scientific Career’ and a commemorative certificate.

Read Amanda's Blog


3rd Place

Varadha Bilaji Venkadakrisnan Varadha Balaji Venkadakrishnan

Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, USA

Slash the Tires Instead to Slow Down Prostate Cancer

Varadha Balaji impressed the judges with his clever race car analogy to explain the biology of prostate cancer. His passion for his research was evident throughout his piece and it scored highly for originality and writing style.

Varadha Balaji’s blog will be published on Lab Crunches in August. He also receives a commemorative certificate.

The following writers were highly commended by the judges for their articles:


Marta González Prieto

Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

My Ph.D. Relationship

Jemma Milburn

Jemma Milburn

University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria

My Contribution: 

As an Immunology PhD Student during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Highly Commended

Emma Green

Keele University, UK

A PhD but Not as I Thought it Would Be

Highly Commended

Adithya Rajagopalan

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA

Normalizing Extremes


Shermaine Thein

National University of Singapore, Singapore

An Age Old Question



Pen Timer Coaster