Group Prize - The Early Career Physics Communicator Award

The Prize objectives and scope

The IOP Physics Communicators Group invites applications from people at the start of their careers in physics who have undertaken activities that support and encourage excellent communication of physics. The prize is called "The Early Career Physics Communicator Award", and is offered annually.


Applicants do not need to be a member of the IOP, but should be one of the following:

  • An undergraduate physicist
  • A person involved in appropriate postgraduate study within a few years of a degree qualification (not more than five years)
  • A person working as a physicist in UK or Eire within the first five years of their physics career.

The Prize

The winner will receive £250 and an award certificate at an IOP Physics Communicators Group event in November. As well as providing recognition of the winner's work through the prize money, the process will also facilitate networking opportunities for all participants.


Applicants need to submit a report of their communication activities which should be no more than 1500 words long

The report should be accompanied by the applicant’s CV and include:

  • brief details of their academic physics work or study;
  • evidence of communication activities undertaken to encourage others in physics appreciation or the general understanding of physics;
  • the names and contact details of two referees with close knowledge of the applicants work and/or their communication activities.

The application submission deadline for the 2014 Prize is 4th October 2014, and the Award Ceremony will take place on 25th November 2014. Submissions need to be sent to the Group Secretary, Dr Chris Sinclair, using the official entry form.

References will only be taken up for those who are short-listed.

Please note:

  • Any person wishing to nominate another for the prize must enclose the written consent of the nominee.
  • At the award ceremony those shortlisted will be expected to give a short presentation (no more than 10 minutes) after which the winner will be announced.
  • Shortlisted candidates must be prepared to be interviewed by the IOP and appear on IOP websites and within IOP publications.

The Results from the 2013 Prize Event

The 2013 Group Prize was won by Jessamyn Fairfield, who impressed the judges with the wide range of topics she covered in her writing, but especially excited them with a public poster campaign that included physics teaser messages displayed on Dublin public transport.

The award ceremony was held on Tuesday 26 November 2013 at the Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London W1B 1NT.

From the many applications, four candidates were shortlisted to give presentations describing their communication activities. The finalists were:

  • Christopher Clarke
  • Jessamyn Fairfield
  • David Farmer
  • Samuel Gregson

The 2013 finalists showed us a diverse mixture of approaches ranging from stand-up comedy to live demonstrations. The Prize was presented by TV science producer and presenter, Fran Scott, who also delivered a keynote address: ‘Is Explaining Complex Physics to Children Just Child’s Play?’

This link shows some images from the 2013 Award event.