Schools Writing Competition Michaelmas Term 2018

We are pleased to announce the winners of the MT2018 Oxford Scientist national school science writing competition! Through our science writing competitions, we hope to encourage school students to think about science outside of the classroom, and give them the opportunity to explore their own scientific interests in a creative way. This term, students in Years 11-13 were asked to write a short article to the theme of ‘Inspirational Young Scientists’.

We received 171 entries written to an incredibly high standard, detailing the achievements of some truly inspirational scientists, from young entrepreneurs to well-known historical science greats. The articles were judged by a panel of experts, who selected a winning article from each year group to receive a signed popular science book. One overall winner was chosen to be published in our MT2018 issue of The Oxford Scientist magazine, as well as receiving a copy of the science-themed board game ‘Lab Wars’ and other prizes courtesy of Eppendorf.

The winning article, as selected by our panel of judges was:

Vivien T. Thomas: From Poverty to Pioneer by Emma Baker, Year 13, Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, Durham


Our Judges

  • Dr Priyanka Dhopade is a Senior Research Associate at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute (Department of Engineering Science) at Oxford University. Her research expertise is in the field of jet engine thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. She currently develops computational models for cooling systems in modern jet engines, in collaboration with industry and academia. In 2017, she was chosen as one of the UK’s Top 50 Women in Engineering under 35. She also leads various initiatives to promote diversity in STEM, including the Women in Engineering Network at Oxford University.

  • Dr Adam Hargreaves is an Evolutionary Biologist in the Oxford Department of Zoology, who loves weird animals. He has worked on sharks, gerbils, lizards and snakes, and tries to understand how changes in an animal’s DNA can lead to the evolution of new “traits” (things like wings, longer necks, venom systems). His current research is trying piece together how venomous snakes protect themselves from their own venom, and to try and use that knowledge to develop better treatments for snake bite.

  • Dr Chico Camargo is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Data Science at the Oxford Internet Institute, where he uses tools from theoretical physics and data science to develop new approaches to questions in the social and biological sciences. He is also is part of the Portuguese-speaking YouTube educational channel BláBláLogia, and has spoken at FameLab and at Oxford’s Science Cabaret.

  • Jacqueline Gill is a DPhil student in Evolutionary Microbiology in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. She was a co-founder of The Oxford Scientist magazine, and established the first national Oxford Scientist school science writing competition, and has managed all aspects of the competition since its launch.


If you have any questions about the competition, please email competition@oxsci.org.

If your school, sixth form or college would like to subscribe to The Oxford Scientist for just £15 per year, please contact editor@oxsci.org.


With thanks to Eppendorf for their support of the competition.