CFP: SRF Peacocke Prize Student Essay Competition

Submission deadline: June 1, 2023

Topic areas


In memory of its founding President and former Chairman, the Revd Dr Arthur Peacocke, the Science and Religion Forum offers an annual essay prize. The student essay can address any issue at the intersection of science and religion and does not need to relate to the conference theme, although students are welcome to address the conference them should they wish. Details of the 2023 conference can be found here or at

The Peacocke Prize Winner

The Peacocke Prize is usually awarded once every two years with the prize judged by a review panel. The Prize includes: 

  • A cash award of £250

  • Free membership of the Forum for one year.

  • UK travel and accommodation costs to the Forum’s annual conference to present their winning essay in full (subject to panel decision).

  • Publication of the essay as part of the conference “Special Section” in Zygon (subject to essay quality and continuing collaboration with Zygon).

Highly Commended Essays

Subject to the decision of the panel a number of further essays may be commended. Commended essays will receive:

  • (Unfunded) Opportunity to present their work in the “New Voices” section of the annual conference.

  • Opportunity for the essay to be published in the Forum’s journal Reviews in Science and Religion (subject to panel decision).

How to Enter

Essay entries can either be written or a recorded presentation.

The prize is open to students broadly defined as anybody in full or part-time education (over 16).

The written essay should be 3000-5000 words in length, including footnotes but excluding references, on any topic at the interface of science and religion. It does not need to relate to the conference theme. It should be preceded by an abstract of no more than 250 words.

The recorded presentation should be 30-50minutes in length (either a video or narrated PowerPoint) and should references to appropriate scholarship. The submission email should include an abstract of no more than 250 words, and a full list of references.  

Each submission should be accompanied by a separate cover document that includes your name, institution, level of study (post-16, UG, MA/PhD), and a contact email for your Tutor, Supervisor or Head of Department/Year, to enable the panel to confirm your student status. This information will be kept separate to the essay during the review process. Submissions without a cover document will not be considered. 

All entries should be received no later than MIDNIGHT 1st June 2023 (GMT) to Finn Lawson.

Essays should be submitted in Word or PDF format. Recorded presentations should be in PowerPoint or accessible link to the video (e.g., OneDrive, Google Docs etc). Finn Lawson can answer any questions about the prize. All submissions will be acknowledged within 1 week of receipt.

The essay/recording should be the original work of the applicant – unacknowledged quotation from the work of others will automatically disqualify the entry. Copyright in the essay will remain with the author. The panel reserve the right not to award the Prize if no entry of sufficient standard is received. Their decision will be final, and no correspondence about it will be entered into.

Essay Prize FAQs:

  1. I previously entered the Peacocke Prize can I enter again this year? We welcome new entries from previous applicants for the prize, however we do not accept resubmissions of previous entries.

  2. I have already won the Peacocke Prize can I enter again? Peacocke Prize winners from the last three years are not eligible to enter again. The exception is if you won as a sixth form student and are now entering as an undergraduate or postgraduate student.

  3. How can it be fair to have sixth form and university students competing for the same prize? We traditionally don’t receive many entries from sixth form students. However, if we receive a notable number, then as a committee we will look to judge the sixth form entries as a separate category with its own winner (including prize).

  4. Are undergraduate and postgraduate entries judged against each other? Yes. All university student work is judged together on its own merit. The Judging panel remove the entrant’s information (including UG/PG detail) prior to ranking responses.

  5. If I win do I have to attend the conference? No, it is part of the prize but you do not have to attend in person. You can choose to attend online or not at all.

  6. If I win do I have publish my essay? No, it is part of the prize but you do not have to publish your essay. However, we hope that you would like to share your work.

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#science and religion, #student essay, #essay competition