Nature India | Indigenus

Nature India Essay Competition 2020 now open


[This competition has now closed. We hope to announce the results in early April 2020 here at the Indigenus blog.]

Nature India in partnership with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is launching an essay competition to provide young and experienced scientists, researchers and authors in India, a platform to share ideas on how socially-impactful science can advance and strengthen the country.

The Nature India essay competition is now open for scientists, researchers, writers or authors aged 25 to 50. The essayists will have an opportunity to draft a compelling narrative with personal anecdotes, emotion and a science-backed story that may become potentially historic in helping shape the roadmap for India’s scientific future.

We invite thoughts on the societal impact of science in India in not more than 1000 words. We are looking for essays with an aspirational tone, emotions and story-telling without too much sentimentality.  The essays should be reasoned, well-researched, forward-looking and supported by existing science. They should ideally be informative and entertaining in equal measure. Adding a personal perspective to the narration is desirable. We are not looking for academic papers, an academic writing style or science fiction.

Submitted essays will be judged by a panel of editors, scientists and science communicators.

The deadline for completed essays is midnight, India time, on 9 March 2020. The winners will have their essays published in the Nature India annual volume as well as the Nature India blog Indigenus. The top three essays will win cash prizes (Rs 40,000, Rs 30, 000 and Rs 20,000 or equivalent), a three-year subscription to Nature, trophies and certificates. We will also feature the essayists and their ideas in a Nature India podcast.

Please send your submissions to with the subject line “Nature India Essay Competition 2020”. Please include your name, affiliation and contact details in the email. We look forward to reading your imaginative and thought-provoking essays.

For inspiration, you may want to read these essays adjudged winner and runners-up (1, 2) of the Nature essay competition 2019.


Please read these terms and conditions carefully. By entering into this Nature India Essay Competition (“Promotion”), you agree that you have read these terms and that you agree to them. Failure to comply with these terms and conditions may result in your disqualification from the Promotion.

  1. Information about how to enter and prize details form part of these Terms and Conditions. Entry into this Promotion is deemed to be an acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
  2. This Promotion is run by Nature Research, a division of Springer Nature Limited, a company registered in England with registered number 00785998 and registered office at The Campus, 4 Crinan Street, London N1 9XW (“Promoter”).
  3. To enter this Promotion you must be: (a) resident of India; and (b) aged between 25 years old and 50 years old on or before 9th January 2020. This Promotion is void in Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Sudan, and Syria or where otherwise prohibited or restricted by law. Any government officials that enter the Promotion are responsible for ensuring that they may enter and/or receive a prize if they win and that the prize does not exceed the relevant limit for their role and jurisdiction. If a winner is not able to accept the prize then a charity donation can be made instead to a Springer Nature approved charity.
  4. This Promotion is not open to directors or employees (or members of their immediate families) of Promoter or any affiliate of Promoter. Promoter reserves the right to verify the eligibility of entrants.
  5. The Promotion is open for entries between 00:00 Indian Standard Time on 9th January 2020 and 00:00 on 9th March 2020 IST.
  6. No purchase is necessary to enter this prize Promotion and will not increase your chances of winning.
  7. You can enter this Promotion in the following way: write and submit an essay on the societal impact of science in India in a text file, along with your email address by submitting your text file to Nature India at the email address Entries should be in a text file (.doc, .docx), written in good and understandable English, with a word limit of 1000 words or less not including references.
  8. This Promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. By participating you hereby release and hold harmless Instagram, Twitter and Facebook from any and all liability associated with this Promotion.
  9. Only one entry per eligible person. Multiple entries will be deemed to be invalid and may lead to disqualification.
  10. Promoter accepts no responsibility for any entries that are incomplete, illegible, corrupted or fail to reach Promoter by the closing date for any reason. Proof of posting or sending is not proof of receipt. Entries via agents or third parties are invalid. No other form of entry is permitted. Please keep a copy of your entry as we will be unable to return entries or provide copies.
  11. The prize for the Promotion consists of the following: (a) three cash prizes (of Rs 40,000, Rs 30,000, Rs 20,000 respectively); (b) 3 year’s personal subscription to Nature; and (c) publication in Nature India’s annual volume and Indigenus blog. The cash prize can only be paid into the bank account of the winner.
  12. The editors reserve full editorial discretion in choosing winner(s), and may decide to award none of the entries. All essays submitted by entrants to the Promotion shall be subject to the Publisher’s editorial acceptance processes. Publication of any essay is at the sole and absolute discretion of the Publisher, and any failure by the Publisher to publish, or non-publication, of such essays, for any reason whatsoever, shall not be a breach by it of this Terms and Conditions.
  13. The prizes shall be awarded as follows: essays will be judged by a panel of Nature editorial staff and by an external judging panel. Judges will consider the editorial impact and general quality of the essay, as well as its adherence to existing science and reason. Full names of the judging panel will be available on request. Any decision will be final and binding and no further communication will be entered into in relation to it.
  14. Ownership of entries: for consideration into this competition, you must be willing to sign a license to publish form granting a license of the intellectual property rights in your essay to the Promoter. Such license will be supplied by the Promoter to selected entries and will include the right to use the entry in promotional or marketing material in print and online. You confirm that your entry is your own original work, is not defamatory and does not infringe any laws, including privacy laws, whether of the UK or elsewhere, or any rights of any third party, that no other person was involved in the creation of your entry, that you have the right to give Promoter and its respective licensees permission to use it for the purposes specified herein, it is lawful for you to enter and that you agree not to transfer files which contain viruses or any other harmful programs.  Please note that it is the responsibility of the entrants/author(s) to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce third party intellectual property (including without limitation figures or tables that have previously been published elsewhere).
  15. The winner(s) of the Promotion shall be notified as follows: informed by email. If the winner enters the Promotion via social media, the Promoter will use reasonable endeavours to contact the winner, but reserves the right to reject any such entry the winner cannot be contacted.
  16. The winner(s) will be required to confirm acceptance of the prize within five working days and may be required to complete and return an eligibility form stating their age and residency details, among other details. Promoter will endeavour to ensure that winner(s) receive their prizes within 30 days of the date they confirm acceptance of the prize and have fulfilled any post-promotion requirements. If a winner does not accept the prize within five working days of being notified, they will forfeit their prize and Promoter reserves the right to choose another winner(s). Promoter’s decision is final and Promoter reserves the right not to correspond on any matter.
  17. The name, region of residence and likeness of the winners may be used by Promoter for reasonable post-event publicity in any form including on Promoters website and social media pages at no cost.
  18. You can find out who has won a prize by sending an e-mail to or checking Winners will be announced on Nature India’s blog Indigenus.
  19. Promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend these Terms and Conditions or change the Prize (to one of equal or greater value) as required by the circumstances. No cash equivalent to the Prize is available.
  20. All personal data submitted by entrants is subject to and will be treated in a manner consistent with Promoter’s Privacy Policy accessible at By participating in this Promotion, entrants hereby agree that Promoter may collect and use their personal information and acknowledge that they have read and accepted the Promoter Privacy Policy.
  21. Promoter may at its sole discretion disqualify any entrant found to be tampering or interfering with the entry process or operation of the website, or to be acting in any manner deemed to be disruptive of or prejudicial to the operation or administration of the Promotion. Entries not submitted in accordance with these Terms and Conditions or entries that are incomplete or illegible (as determined in our sole discretion) will not be eligible.
  22. Other than for death or personal injury arising from negligence of the Promoter, so far as is permitted by law, the Promoter hereby excludes all liability for any loss, damage, cost and expense, whether direct or indirect, howsoever caused in connection with the Promotion or any aspect of the Prize. All activities are undertaken at the entrants own risk. Your legal rights as a consumer are not affected.
  23. The Promotion may be sponsored by a third party engaged by the Promoter.
  24. These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with Indian law. Disputes arising in connection with this Agreement shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the Indian courts.]


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