The Victor K. McElheny award honors outstanding coverage of science, public-health, technology, and environmental issues at the local or regional level — a special concern of the Knight Science Journalism Program’s founder, Victor K. McElheny, whose generous gift helped endow the award.
Entries for the 2023 McElheny Award closed on January 31, 2023. One winning work will receive a $10,000 prize. to be presented in April. Submissions will open for the 2024 award on December 1, 2023.
The Victor K. McElheny award is made possible by the generous support of Victor K. McElheny and his wife, Ruth McElheny, and the Rita Allen Foundation.
Entries for the Victor K. McElheny award may be submitted by an individual or by a representative of a publication. An entry may consist of a single story or a series of up to three stories on a single theme. An individual or publication may enter no more than three separate submissions.
To encourage wide participation, we define “local or regional” broadly. Only outlets with a large staff and emphasis on a national audience are excluded. We will accept science stories from newspapers, small magazines and digital sites, broadcasters, podcasters, even bloggers — as long as the platform’s primary mission is to serve a local or regional audience. Stories produced by a local or regional outlet in collaboration with a national outlet are eligible provided (1) the local or regional media outlet can demonstrate a significant contribution to the work and (2) the story had a local or regional focus.
Entries for the McElheny Award must:
- Include substantial reporting on issues relating to science, public health, technology, or the environment
- Have been produced with significant contributions from a local or regional media outlet
- Have been published during the preceding calendar year
- Have been published in a U.S.-based media outlet
- Have been published in English or — if published in a different language — accompanied by an English translation.
There is no entry fee. Submissions for the Victor K. McElheny Award may be accompanied by a 300-word statement of the significance and impact of the nominated work. Entrants may upload their work using the specified file formats or provide a permanent URL. For more eligibility information, see our FAQ page.
Judging and Selection
Submissions will be judged by a panel of distinguished science journalists. Emphasis will be put on investigative, community-service, and compelling narrative journalism that breaks new ground and makes a difference. In the words of Victor McElheny: “The prize can help illustrate a continuing contribution to the maximum level of public understanding of what technology and science are achieving, and what these achievements imply for humanity.”
The winning journalist or team of journalists will be awarded with a $10,000 prize.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.