DRA is a UK wide academic competition
awarded annually to junior researchers.

Promoting scientific excellence since 2012
What is DRA?
DRA 2022 keynote speaker Nobel Laureate Professor Jack Szostak
DRA is a UK wide academic competition which is awarded annually to junior researchers who are pursuing (or have recently completed) doctoral degrees in the UK. It has been organised annually since 2012. DRA's purpose is to promote and reward academic and scientific excellence among young researchers who will be the world class academics of the future. Indeed, despite being founded less than a decade ago, one is already witnessing the emergence of the leading scientists from the past winners of DRA who have reached the highest ranking positions in the academia. We are indebted to the intellectual support of our reviewers, financial support of our sponsor (Springer Nature and Applied Sciences) and local donators.
Organisers, Sponsors and Supporters
The applicants are rewarded in three main categories.
Natural & Life Sciences

This category includes (but not restricted to)

  • Fundamental Sciences (e.g. mathematics, physics, chemistry etc.)
  • Life Sciences (e.g. all biology related sciences including medicine)
  • Applied Sciences (e.g. geology, atmospheric science etc.)
    Engineering Sciences

    This category covers all main areas of engineering including

    • Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Materials Science
    • Computer Science
      Management & Social Sciences
      This category covers all areas of research (quantitative or qualitative) in humanities & social sciences. The category also includes disciplines related to economics and business. Examples are

      • Psychology
      • International relations
      • Operations Research
      • Finance
        The Awards!
        2nd Place
        • Prize money!
        • Every second place for the three different categories!
        3rd Place
        • Prize money!
        • Every third place for the three different categories!
        Other prizes
        4th and 5th places: Amazon vouchers and Springer book vouchers.

        Honourable Mentions: Amazon vouchers and Springer book vouchers.

        Recognition Awards: Springer book vouchers.
        Application deadline
        DRA receives all applications by June.
        Evaluation of applications by the scientific committees
        All applications are evaluated throughout June-July.
        Annoucement of succesfull candidates
        Successful candidates are invited to the awards ceremony in August.
        Award Ceremony
        Oral and poster presentations by the candidates. Keynote speech(es) by the guest speaker(s) - in September.
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        Why should I apply to Doctoral Researcher Awards?
        Participating and competing in DRA will bring you many benefits such as the opportunity to publish your paper on Springer Nature journal, networking with fellow academics, monetary and other prizes alongside with joining a great awards ceremony.
        I've already completed my PhD. Can I apply?
        You can apply if it has not been more than one year after your PhD graduation date.
        Can I submit an unpublished paper as part of my portfolio?
        Yes you can, but published papers would strengthen your portfolio more than unpublished ones.
        I have more than one published papers. Can I submit all of them in my portfolio?
        Please submit your best paper only. List other papers in your CV.
        Can I re-apply if I made an application in the previous years?
        Yes you can if you were not awarded in the previous competitions including honourable mention.
        My PhD work is interdisciplinary, which category should I apply for?
        You should submit your application to the category which is most relevant to your work.