SRF Stewart Rhind Science Writing Prize


25.09.17 We are delighted to announce that the undergraduate 2017 SRF Stewart Rhind Science Writing Prize has been awarded to Kirsty Uttley, a fourth year student at the University of Edinburgh studying Biological Sciences (Molecular Genetics) (BSc Hons). Kirsty won the prize for her essay ‘The Current State of Mitochondrial Therapy’.

Read Kirsty’s essay here.

Kirsty will be presented with her certificate and £500 prize money at Fertility 2018 in January.

There was no postgraduate prize awarded in 2017.

Who was Stewart Rhind?

The SRF Essay Prize was renamed in honour of Dr Stewart Rhind who was tragically killed in a car accident in March 2013, along with his colleague Dr Julian Dawson. Click here to read  more about Dr Rhind and why Professor Mick Rae, a friend and colleague of Dr Rhind, feels that renaming the essay competition was a suitable way for the Society to remember Stewart and his contributions.

Competition Guidelines
  • The essay must be about an aspect of reproductive biology and will be assessed on scientific content, style and topicality.
  • The essay should be written in a style accessible to the educated non-specialist reader (similar to a New Scientist or Scientific American article – see previous winning essays below for examples).  Course essays written in a standard scientific style are unlikely to be successful in the competition.
  • There will be two prizes, for the best undergraduate and postgraduate entries respectively.
  • The winners will receive a prize of £500, one year’s free membership of the SRF and will be invited to attend the Fertility meeting (January 2018) to receive their prize. The winning entries will be published on the SRF website.


  1. Entrants must be attending a university in the UK or Ireland to be eligible to enter.
  2. Medical and veterinary students on graduate entry courses will be included in the postgraduate section of the competition.
  3. Previous postgraduate winners are not eligible to re-enter the competition.  Winners of the undergraduate competition are permitted to enter the postgraduate section of the competition, but are not eligible to re-enter the undergraduate competition.
Submission Guidelines
  1. The essay should be no more than 2000 words in length (including references).
  2. Entries must include a cover page detailing the following information:
    – Author’s name
    – Author’s address, contact telephone number and email address
    – Degree title, year of study and institution
  3. Entries should be written in a style accessible to the educated non-specialist reader.
  4. Entrants must ensure that all figures comply with UK copyright regulations.
  5. Essays must be submitted by email (as MS Word documents) to the SRF Secretariat at
  6. SRF reserves the right to scan submissions electronically to detect plagiarism.
  7. SRF reserves the right to withhold the prize in the event that no entry is deemed to be of a sufficiently high standard.
  8. By submitting an essay, the author agrees to transfer copyright to the SRF and to allow the Society to disseminate the essay in electronic and print media.

CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES: Monday 3 July 2017 (09.00 hrs UK time)

The Stewart Rhind Science Writing Prize 2016 was awarded to Ms Lina Zakarauskaite (3rd year, BSc Hons in Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh) for her essay entitled ‘The evolution of sex chromosomes and dosage compensation in mammals’.

Lina accepting her prize from Dr Andrew Childs.

Lina accepting her prize from Dr Andrew Childs

A copy of the winning essay will be uploaded shortly.

No postgraduate prize was awarded in 2016.