Research in Verse Competition

The Research in Verse Competition has now finished. You can read the winning entries and other notable poems here


Want to translate your research papers into poetry? Enter our competition.


The Literature and Science Hub have teamed up with the Sciku Project and science-poetry expert Sam Illingworth for a new poetry competition as part of Making an Impact 2021 

We are offering all academics and postgraduate research students the chance to have their research poems read by our stellar judging panel, published online and win exciting prizes

To enter you must write a poem about research (in any subject) occurring at the University of Liverpool. It can be about your own research or an area of research at the University you find interesting.

 Prizes – sponsored by The Academy and The Sciku Project.

  • First Prize: Adorn your bookshelves! The judges will each choose their favourite book about the relationship between literature, the arts and the sciences and we'll send you all five. You'll also get a £50 gift voucher.
  • Second prize: A Sonnet to Science: Scientists and Their Poetry by Sam Illingworth; A Spray of Hope by the Literature and Science Hub, one judge-chosen favourite book on literature and science and a £10 gift voucher. 
  • Third prize: One judge-chosen book on literature and science and a copy of A Spray of Hope

A collection of the best poems will be published on The Science and Literature Hub website and on The Sciku Project.


Why should you enter?

In addition to the great prizes and glory of winning (who wouldn't want to be a prize-winning author as well as a scientist; you'll basically be Carlo Rovelli). But as well as that you might find that writing poetry about research:

  • Provides fresh insights and perspectives about your own research.
  • Reaches and engages new audiences, introducing them to the political and social ramifications of your research.
  • Helps provoke wonder, amusement, curiosity or, occasionally, mind-curdling terror in your readers. 
  • Fosters logical thinking skills and hones critical thinking.
  • Deconstruct complex concepts and promotes deeper understanding of ideas.
  • Improves your communication skills.
  • Can stimulate conversations about ethics or inspire action and activism.
  • Is (whisper it) fun!


How to enter

Please submit your poem as a MS Word document to with the subject line ‘Research in Verse’ by the end of Monday 7th June 2021 to Please include your name, your role at the university and a brief description of the research that inspired your poem (less than 100 words). Poems can be anything from a Haiku to 40 lines long. If you are stuck for inspiration try some of the videos below (or a sonnet is always a good place to start).

Winners will be announced in the week of the 14th June 2021.

Full terms and conditions are here.  

Need help getting started?

To help you get started we’re running two research poetry workshops as part of Making an Impact 2021:

Friday 14th May 11:00-12:30 – ‘Rhyme your Research’ – Discover the benefits of writing poetry about research and take the first steps of your poetry journey. Register here.

Friday 28th May 12:30-13:15 – ‘Research in Verse’ – An interactive workshop allowing participants to further develop their research poems and receive feedback from friendly experts. Register here.


You can also check out ‘Exploring and Sharing Research Through Poetry’ – a session presented by Dr Sam Solnick and Dr Andrew Holmes as part of Making an Impact 2020. University staff can find the full video here.

Further resources can be found on the Communicating Research webpage, with links to relevant articles, websites and talks (including videos by Sam and Andrew about poetry and research).


Judging Panel

Professor Greg Lynall – King Alfred Chair in English Literature, Head of English and Co-director of the Literature & Science Hub. Find out more about Greg here.

Professor Deryn Rees-Jones – Prize-winning poet, Editor of Liverpool University Press’s Pavilion Poetry series and Professor of Poetry. Find out more about Deryn here.

Dr Sam Illingworth – Founder/Editor of the science poetry journal Consilience, author of A Sonnet to Science and Associate Professor in Academic Practice at Edinburgh Napier University. Find out more about Sam here.

Dr Sam Solnick – Co-director of the Literature & Science Hub and Senior Lecturer in English Literature. Find out more about Sam here.

Dr Andrew Holmes – Founder/Editor of The Sciku Project, an open-access library of science and research haiku, and Global Challenges Research Coordinator at the University.


Making an Impact 2021

Find out more about events taking place during ‘Making an Impact 2021’ on the Making an Impact webpages.