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Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR)

Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR) is an initiative that aims to disseminate Indian research stories among the masses in an easy to understand and interesting format to a common man. Under this initiative, PhD Scholars and Post-Doctoral Fellows (PDFs) in Science and Technology (S&T) streams would be encouraged to write at least one popular science article during the tenancy of their fellowship, and to participate in a national competition.

AWSAR – A Bridge Between Science and Society

India has made phenomenal progress in the domain S&T in the past two decades. However, the significance/relevance of the research performed was mostly restricted within institutional boundaries and research communication limited to scientific fraternity through publications of articles in peer-reviewed journals. There is a yawning communication gap that exists at science-society interface and bridging this gap between scientific community and lay public is a challenging task. Writing popular article based on a topic or focus of S&T research being conducted by a PhD scholar is both an art and a science, and still more of a skill or competency. It is even more challenging to tell a story about scientific affair evolving out of a R&D lab. These narratives from various research labs in the country need capturing and revealing the message of science in an easy to understand but at the same time interesting format, to connect with the masses.

About AWSAR

Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR) is a new initiative conceptualized & supported by the National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC) Division, Department of Science and Technology (DST) which is actively engaged in developing various outreach programs for the scientific fraternity. AWSAR envisages to bridge the existing gap in communicating research to common man by utilizing the latent potential of PhD Scholars and Post-Doctoral Fellows (PDFs). This program is being coordinated by Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous institute of DST.

Objectives of AWSAR

  • Encourage youth pursuing higher studies to submit at least one story/article based on their research work
  • Foster, strengthen and create scientific temper through popular science writing and creating a culture of science communication/popularisation among the scholars
  • Recognize the initiative and output of researchers on the specific aspects of natural, physical, mathematical, and information sciences, applied science, technology, engineering, and multi-disciplinary science
  • Conduct training workshops for Early Career Researchers (PhD Scholars and PDFs) in popular science writing

AWSAR Workshop

Under the initiative of Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR), workshops will be organized at different locations in the country for handholding and developing requisite skills to researchers. The workshops will be conducted by experts who will pool their ideas to suggest tips for good writing and good popular science writing. The tentative theme will cover:

  • Learn what makes writing good
  • Emphasise on effective way of writing in the clearest way possible, use of jargon which explain its meaning clearly
  • Use of appropriate words, language, sentences clinches for particular effects
  • Tips for original writing
  • Tips for getting a hook to grab the attention of the reader
  • Basic rules of style, the flow of words and sentences, grammar and punctuation

AWSAR Awards

Entries would be invited from research scholars and PDFs who wish to publish their research in a way that would interest non-scientific audiences. The story should focus on answering the queries objectively, such as:

  • Why does my research matter?
  • Why is it important?
  • Why does it interest researchers?
  • Why should it interest the reader?

The article must be based on the research undertaken by the individual researcher. The article could be on complete or part of the research conducted, but it should not be a general review of the area and must have the component of novel knowledge generated as part of the research. The article must aim at general audience through popular writing and should not be published elsewhere. It should be written in easy to understand language to convey the significance of the research for its outreach.

Award Categories

Selection of Best 100 Entries of Popular Science Stories and Prizes

  • For PhD Researchers: The initial screening of the entry will be done by an expert panel. 100 entries will be selected and each will be awarded a cash prize of Rs. 10000 along with Certificate of Appreciation.
  • For Post Doc Fellows: Twenty entries would be selected from articles submitted by PDFs relating to their line of research. Each will be awarded a cash prize of Rs. 10000 along with Certificate of Appreciation.

Selection of Top Three Leading Stories

  • For PhD Researchers: The top three articles/stories will be selected from the leading 100 stories. Further, they will be awarded a cash prize of Rs. 100000, Rs. 50000 and Rs. 25000 respectively.
  • For Post Doc Fellows: One outstanding article/story will be selected from the leading 25 stories. Further the same will be awarded a cash prize of Rs. 100000.

These awards will be bestowed on 28th February at the National Science Day event every year. All the awardees will be given an opportunity to attend the Science Film Training Workshop organized by Vigyan Prasar.

Source: Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR)

 



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