Victor K. McElheny Award

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

The Victor K. McElheny award honors outstanding coverage of science, public-health, technology, and environmental issues at the local or regional level. Entries for the 2020 McElheny Award will be accepted beginning December 1, 2019, and ending January 31, 2020

To encourage wide participation, we define “local or regional” broadly. Only outlets with a large staff and emphasis on a national audience will be excluded. We will accept entries on local or state-level topics from newspapers, small magazines and digital sites, broadcasters, podcasters, even bloggers.

The Victor K. McElheny award was made possible by the generous support of Victor K. McElheny and his wife, Ruth McElheny, and by the Rita Allen Foundation.

Eligibility Requirements

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. 

Entries must:

• have been published during the 2019 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. 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 — 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.”

One winning work will receive a $5,000 prize. The winner(s) will be honored in April 2020 at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

For further questions, please contact

Victor K. McElheny Award