2018 FitnessGenes Science Writing

Fancy yourself as the next Bill Bryson, Liz Bonnin or Brian Cox? As part of the 10,000 Lives Campaign, aimed at changing 10,000 young lives for the better, the University of Birmingham have teamed up with FitnessGenes to bring you the 2018 FitnessGenes Science Communication activity with the selected candidate being offered a paid summer internship.

We invite you to submit your original, science-backed ideas to help transform the health and wellbeing of the nation. We encourage you to be as inventive as you like.

Entries should address one of the following questions:

  1. You’ve just been appointed Health Secretary for the day. What single measure would you take to improve the health of the nation? Why do you think this measure will work?
  2. How would you improve your school/ university to encourage pupils/students to adopt a healthier lifestyle? What challenges do you foresee?
  3. Imagine a future where everyone has access to knowledge of their personal genome. How will this change the health of the population?

How can I apply? We accept entries in any of the following formats:

  • Written – e.g. an article or essay (up to 1250 words excluding title and references)
    • Entries must be no longer than 1,250 words (excluding title and references) and be submitted in Microsoft Word (doc. Or docx.) or PDF format.
  • Video – video of up to 5 minutes
    • Please upload your entry to a video hosting site (e.g. Youtube, Vimeo) and then send a link to your video. (Links can be public or unlisted). Please do not send video files as attachments.
  • Podcast / audio – a podcast episode or audio recording of up to 5 minutes
    • Please upload your entry to an audio hosting site (e.g. SoundCloud) and then send a link to your audio entry. Please do not send audio files as attachments.
  • Art – e.g. drawings, comic strips, paintings, photographs (must be submitted digitally)
    • Please send only digital copies of artwork. Artwork should be no bigger than A3 size and sent as a .jpg or .png file.
  • PowerPoint presentation – up to 10 slides

Submissions should be sent to: and your name, age, school/university year should be included in the email body. Entries should be submitted by 23.59 on Friday 11th May 2018.

If you are selected you will receive:

  • A paid Summer internship at FitnessGenes offices – (aged 18 and over)
  • A free FitnessGenes DNA analysis – (aged 18 and over)
  • Publication of your entry on FitnessGenes website
  • £200 cash
  • A 1-Year Gift Subscription to a science or health/fitness magazine or your choice.

Your entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Engaging style – entries should aim to be engaging and foster interest in improving health and well-being. Your passion for the subject area should be evident in your entry. You may use humour where appropriate.
  • Accessibility – entries should be aimed at a non-academic audience. Your ideas should be clearly articulated and any jargon/technical language should be clearly explained in lay terms.
  • Communication of ideas – ideas and arguments should be clearly presented with a logical, easy-to-understand structure.
  • Production quality/quality of writing – videos, audio, art and presentations should be neatly produced.
  • Originality – entries will be rewarded for their creativity and use of innovative ideas to help promote health and wellbeing.
  • Depth and breadth of literature research – draw upon scientific research findings where possible and make sure your arguments are backed up by evidence.

Entries will be looked at by the following panellists:

  • Martin Cheifetz – Senior Vice President, FitnessGenes
  • Dr. Haran Sivapalan – Scientific Copywriter, FitnessGenes
  • University of Birmingham – Staff member TBC