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Launching the #FailTales Science Communication Competition

17th June 2019
By Suze Kundu

Creatively convey your best research-related #FailTales and win a year’s subscription to Dimensions Analytics, a Science Communication mentoring session with one of our judges, and a swag bag of our awesome merchandise!

Failure is an inherent part of research, both professionally in the quest to find the best solution to a problem, and personally as a means to grow and develop as a researcher.

Though often shrouded in negative connotations, this year we are encouraging researchers to embrace their failures as stepping stones to success. As part of this campaign, and in the lead up to the International Day of Failure on 13th October 2019, and our celebratory stand-up comedy night at the Bloomsbury Festival, Digital Science presents Bright Club: Failure the day before on 12th October 2019, we want to hear from you.

Introducing our #FailTales Science Communication Competition!

Do you have a deliciously disastrous tale of your own research reality? Share it with us! The winning entry and up to five runners up will have their #FailTales featured on our website and across social media in September and October. The winner will also win a year’s subscription to Dimensions Analytics, plus a Science Communication mentoring session with one of our judges, and a swag bag containing some of our brilliant merchandise.

There are two ways that you can share your story with us;

  1. write a short essay (<1,000 words)
  2. create an illustration, an infographic or a cartoon, submit a research image with a captivating caption (<200 words), or produce a video (<1 minute 30 seconds in length)

Upload your creation to our dedicated #FailTales figshare submission portal to submit your entry.

You have until midnight on 31st July to submit your entry, after which entries will be shortlisted and handed to our judges who include:

  • Dr Daniel Hook, theoretical physicist and CEO of Digital Science
  • Adam Kreek, management consultant, adventurer and Olympic rowing gold medallist
  • Dr Suze Kundu, nanochemist, science communicator and Head of Public Engagement at Digital Science
  • Cameron Shepherd, illustrator and Marketing Manager at Digital Science
  • Selina Gerosa, designer and Marketing Associate at Digital Science
  • Alex Jackson, science writer and Head of Press at Digital Science
  • Dr Matthew Partridge, senior research fellow at the University of Southampton and mastermind behind the cartoon series Errant Science

Full terms and conditions can be found below. If you have entered, tweet us a teaser of your #FailTales using the hashtag, and good luck! We look forward to reading all about your failures, and hope you enjoy embracing them as a normal and natural part of research and personal development!

Competition Terms and Conditions

Please read these rules carefully before entering the Digital Science #FailTales Science Communication Competition (the “Competition”). By entering in the Competition, you agree to be bound by these terms and represent that you satisfy all of the eligibility requirements set forth below.

Eligibility: To be eligible to enter the Competition, you must:

(a) be at least 18 years old at the time of entry (and the age of majority in the jurisdiction in which you reside, if older); and

(b) not reside in a country that is prohibited from entering into competitions of the nature of the Competition or trade relations with the United Kingdom or United States or their citizens.

Competition process:

Entry to the competition shall be by means of uploading your written submission, image, infographic or video to figshare at (the “Submission Steps”). The Submission Steps must be completed between 00.00 DST on 17 June 2019 and 23.59 DST on 31 July 2019 (the “Submission Period”). No other means of entry shall be accepted.

The winner will be chosen from a shortlist put before a panel of judges, who will consider the content, clarity and character of the submission, or otherwise at our discretion.  Our decision regarding any aspect of the Competition will be final and binding, and we will be under no obligation to provide any reasons therefor.

Prizes: One winner will be awarded a one year’s subscription to Dimensions Analytics ( for your personal, non-commercial research purposes, subject to standard terms of use, along with a mentoring session by Digital Science. The mentoring session will be held at our offices in London or hosted electronically and will last approximately one hour.   The Prize does not include any travel or other costs or expenses. 

In addition, the winner and up to five runners-up will have their entries to the Competition showcased on our website and/or the website of our affiliates and will receive a swag bag of merchandise.

While we will endeavour to avoid disappointment, we may substitute any prize for a prize of similar nature and/or comparable value prior to their award.  Winners/runners-up may not request and are not entitled to a cash alternative to any of the prizes and the prizes are non-refundable and non-transferable.   We will not be liable if any of the prizes cannot be collected, used or redeemed by the winner/runners up.  If any prize goes unclaimed for more than 10 days after we have tried to contact the winner/runner-up by the e-mail address provided for that purpose, the winner/runner-up will forfeit the prize and a new winner/runner-up may be chosen. You expressly acknowledge that the prizes are made available by us “as is” without any warranty, representation or guarantee of any type.

 Competition entries: Participants may submit as many applications as they wish within the Submission Period. Responsibility is not accepted for entries which have not fully completed the Submission Steps during the Submission Period or are lost, damaged or delayed, including as a result of any network, computer hardware or software failure of any kind. In the event of a dispute over who submitted a winning entry, our decision will be final. The submitter will ensure that the information he/she has provided is accurate and that the submission is not infringing / is the original work of the submitter and that he/she is not attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition by cheating, hacking, deception or other unfair practices or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass. No entries from agents, third parties, organised groups or entries automatically generated by computer will be accepted. Entries not in accordance with the entry instructions may not be eligible or accepted.

Use of submissions: By entering the Competition, you grant us and our affiliates a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable licence to use and reproduce any submission you make as part of the Competition, in whole or in part, for any lawful purpose (provided that reasonable endeavours are made to attribute you where appropriate). 

Privacy: By entering the Competition, you agree that we may collect, store and use your personal information as set out in our Privacy Policy.  The winner/runners up must also agree to the use of their name, prize, hometown and their likeness for online posting, and/or any advertising and publicity without additional compensation.

 Changes to the Competition: We will not be responsible if the Competition cannot take place, or if any prize cannot be awarded or fulfilled, due to events outside of our control. If for any reason the Competition is not capable of running as planned, including any circumstances which, in our sole determination, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Competition, we may cancel, modify, or suspend any part of the Competition.

 Liability: We hereby exclude liability for any direct or indirect loss, claim, damage, expense or cost (howsoever caused, whether by negligence or otherwise) arising from or in connection with: the Competition; or any prize. You agree that under no circumstances will our total aggregate liability to you exceed the amount (if any) you have paid to validly enter the Competition. Nothing in these terms shall limit or exclude our liability to the extent such exclusion or limitation is not permitted by law and these terms shall be construed accordingly.

 General: We reserve the right to modify and amend these terms from time to time during the Competition, including for clarification purposes. If any provision of these terms is found by any court or administrative body of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the other provisions. Failure or delay by us to enforce any of these terms shall not constitute a waiver. These terms shall be governed by English Law and the courts of England shall have exclusive jurisdiction.

For any queries in respect of the Competition, please contact:

Digital Science & Research Solutions Ltd (Company No. 09984464), 4 Crinan Street, London N1 9XW, UK.

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