Science begins with a spark of inspiration derived from a curiosity, an idea, or a fascination. A well told scientific story has the power to ignite excitement and inspire discovery in an ongoing chain of creativity and sharing.

Earlier this year, The Scientist, in partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific, launched What’s Your Story?, a science writing competition that celebrates the contribution of science communication to research and discovery. 

We received an overwhelming number of highly ranking entries. After careful consideration, our team of science writers has narrowed down the top finalists. Congratulations to Pedro Andrade, Megan Keller, Laura Mac-Daniel, Paige Nicklas, Harita Sistu, Vaishnavi Sridhar, and Alara Tuncer! The Scientist’s judging panel is now deliberating on ranking the finalists. The first place winner will receive $500 and the two runners-up will receive $250 each.

In addition to these cash prizes, we are opening the contest to our readers who can now vote for their favorite story. To participate in the Reader’s Choice contest, read the finalists’ stories and cast your vote via the voting form on this page. 

Daily votes accepted until May 27th, 2024!

Contest Finalists

<strong >Pedro Andrade, PhD</strong>
Pedro Andrade, PhD
Pedro Andrade is a postdoctoral researcher at BIOPOLIS-CIBIO working at the interface between evolutionary genomics and functional biology in wild and domestic vertebrates to understand how traits evolve in animals. 

Read the story, "Two Genetic Loci Control Migration Direction in a Small Bird Species" here.
Megan Keller
Megan Keller
Megan Keller will soon earn her PhD in microbiology from Cornell University and aspires to leave behind bench work and pursue a career in science communication. 

Read the story, "The Genome of a Gigantic Bacterium Reveals Odd Metabolic Properties" here. 
Laura Mac-Daniel, PhD
Laura Mac-Daniel, PhD
Laura Mac-Daniel earned her PhD in immunology from Pasteur Institute/Paris Diderot University. She explored immune responses to malaria vaccines, immune dysfunction in atopic dermatitis, and microbiota-immunity interconnection in urogenital disorders. 

Read the story, "How Migrating Cells Navigate Biological Mazes" here.
Paige Nicklas
Paige Nicklas
Paige is pursuing a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Rochester, studying how the brain juggles multiple things at once. 

Read the story, "Be My Vole-entine: How Love and Loss Change the Brain" here.
Harita Sistu
Harita Sistu
Harita Sistu received her bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from the University of Texas at Dallas and is currently pursuing a PhD in Microbiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

Read the story, "Exploring the Link Between Sociality and the Marmot Gut Microbiome" here. 
Vaishnavi Sridhar, PhD
Vaishnavi Sridhar, PhD
Vaishnavi Sridhar is manager of academic collaborations and events at the National Center for Biological Sciences. She holds a PhD in cell and developmental biology from the University of British Columbia, where she studied membrane contact sites using yeast as a model system. 

Read the story, "Cheddar Cheese Lovers Have Interactive Microbes to Thank" here.
Alara Tuncer
Alara Tuncer
Alara Tuncer is a PhD student in the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto, studying the bidirectional relationship between stress and immunity in the brain.

Read the story, "Another Reason to Challenge Yourself at the Gym" here.

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