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AUA Invisible Grail prize

The AUA Invisible Grail prize

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Invisible Grail is delighted to be partnering with the AUA’s Perspectives journal to sponsor their annual competition, inviting thought pieces on the theme ‘Creating Connections’.

What does ‘Creating Connections’ mean to you in your work?
And what does this mean for higher education more broadly?

Collaborating with colleagues at the AUA’s Perspectives journal, we want to hear from people across higher education what ‘Creating Connections’ means to people’s professional lives.

An intentionally broad category, we’re interested in sharing different views on how ‘Creating Connections’ is interpreted and lived out by people from across the sector. Open to anyone working in higher education, the competition invites people to enter short thought pieces that offer thought-provoking ideas, and feature problem-solving suggestions and practical applications.

The total prize fund for all winning entries is £2000, with the best piece awarded £1000.

Bringing together people’s thoughts on this topic, our hope is to share new, innovative and energising ideas that have the potential to benefit people working in higher education, and challenge them to reimagine new ways to create connections within their own work, and within and beyond their own institution.


Details of the competition

Who can enter?

We welcome entries from anyone working in higher education, including people who are not members of the AUA. However, it’s worth noting that the main audience for this competition will be people working in professional services, and likely working in the UK higher education sector.

We also welcome and encourage thought pieces from multiple authors.

What is the timeline?

Entries are now open. The closing date is Saturday 31 August 2019.

Judging will take place in late Autumn with the results announced in early 2020, and awards given at the AUA annual conference in the Spring of 2020.

What should I write about and what’s the format?

The brief ‘Creating Connections’ has been purposefully designed to be broad. We have no preconceptions about how this might be interpreted, rather we want to encourage colleagues to reflect on their professional experiences, and share their perspectives on this topic.

However, we would like to see thought pieces that discuss ideas and solutions that are relevant to higher education, and we encourage perspectives that can be evidenced, and that have practical, problem-solving relevance.

In our experience the most dynamic think pieces are around 1400 words. The maximum length is 2,500 words including any footnotes.

In previous years, submissions have tended to include footnotes, references and bibliographies. If your piece requires these please include them, but please note that they are not necessary, rather it depends on your style and interpretation of the brief.

What are the judges looking for?

We are looking for writing that is thought-provoking. Within the thought leadership piece, we would expect to see context and scene-setting, personal opinion and analysis.

We also encourage you to leave out jargon and convoluted sentences, and to focus on clarity and originality.

How to enter

If you’re interested in entering this competition, please contact the AUA office by email for more details: perspectives@aua.ac.uk