The #SciComm Space is a proud co-sponsor of the Josh Award for Science Communication, along with the BIG STEM network and Manchester Science Festival. On this page, we feature information about the current call for applications and provide some inspiration with stories from previous winners.

The Josh Award is the UK’s national award in science communication, established to recognise and support up-and-coming talent in science communication. The award provides the opportunity to become the science communicator in residence at the Manchester Science Festival, developing and delivering a new project or event while showcasing best practice in the field of science communication.


The winner receives support to nurture their development in the field and their involvement in the Manchester Science Festival from the Festival team, the University of Salford’s Science Communication cluster, and the BIG STEM Communicators Network.


The Prize

"It is inspired by and named in memory of Josh Phillips who was the first Science Communication Officer at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester.  Josh was a much loved, much respected and highly talented science communicator who was also Chair of the British Interactive Group (BIG)."
Sarah Bearchell

The winner will receive the following:

Role as Manchester Science Festival Science Communicator in Residence for 2017. The winner will receive the support of the Manchester Science Festival team, members of BIG and previous Josh Award winners to develop and deliver an innovative and creative new project or event at Manchester Science Festival.

A personal prize cheque of £500 provided by the Josh Award

Up to £2500 to develop your project or event with Manchester Science Festival and up to £1000 personal expenses budget. Please note this budget will be agreed and held by the Manchester Science Festival and the University of Salford.

The Josh Award trophy, held for one year

Attendance at the annual BIG Event (conference fee and annual membership provided by BIG, worth around £300) to network with and present to a diverse range of science communicators from across the sector. The 2017 BIG Event will take place from Wednesday 19th to Friday 21st July 2017 at Life Science Centre in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Past Winners

2016: Katie Steckles

In 2016, mathematician marvel Katie Steckles won the Josh Award and developed the Manchester Mega Pixel, a large-scale public engagement event exploring the science and technology and maths of how digital images are produced. 

2015: Prof Andy Miah

In 2015, Prof Andy Miah ran a drone expo at the Museum of Science and Industry, which gave people the chance to fly different drones and see them piloted by professionals. Andy curated a two-day drone expo, which gave visitors the chance to fly a number of drones, watch demonstrations from experts and discover new and surprising uses for drones.

2014: Sarah Bearchell

Sarah created 'The Cloud Machine'in collaboration with  Richard Ellam of LM Interactives. The project allowed every child to make their own cloud. Sarah was chosen as she focused her bespoke sessions on a SEN audience and developed connections with SEN schools local to the Manchester Science Festival, something that had not been done at the Festival before. 

2013: Aravind Vijayaraghavan

The 2013 winner was scientist Aravind Vijayaraghavan, a lecturer in nanomaterials at the University of Manchester. Aravind created a large scale, crowd-sourced model of graphene that was a striking addition to the Festival programme that year and allowed groups of people to add to this huge model that grew during the Festival, while taking with scientists about graphene.