Guidance notes for entrants and judges
1 Conditions of entry
1.1 Entry is open to registered students of horticulture and related subjects with no age restriction. It is also open to vocational horticulturists who are under 30 years old on the closing date of 1 July in each year of the award.
1.2 The winner will receive the Prize of £500.
1.3 Entries should take the form of a written thesis/dissertation/project on a horticultural or closely related subject which has been completed in the last 5 years.
1.4 The length of the submission should be approximately 10,000 words, but considerable flexibility will be allowed and submissions will be judged on quality and not quantity; excessive length could be disadvantageous.
1.5 TWO copies of the project should be submitted. These will be returned after judging (except those of the winner which the Institute has the right to retain).
1.6 Projects prepared as part of the final year of a Higher National Diploma or first degree course within the last year should be submitted via a member of staff of the University or College together with a confidential statement from the staff member as to the amount of guidance and/or special resources provided, and whether the work described was part of an existing departmental research project or an original idea of the student. Only two entries can be submitted from each Institution in any one year. (But see 1.7.)
1.7. Submissions from those who have already left the University or College should follow the procedure in 1.6 but should reach the Institution in sufficient time to allow the preparation of the confidential report and transfer to the Institute of Horticulture by 1 July. Such entries can be in addition to those allowed in 1.6.
1.8. Entries not based on work in a University or College should be submitted, in duplicate, direct to the Institute of Horticulture.
1.9.1 The winner will be expected to be present to receive the Prize at an Institute of Horticulture function to be agreed between the Institute and the winner. In addition, the winner will be required to make a presentation of the submission at a meeting of the Institute, or in the Institute's journal, The Horticulturist, in a form agreed with the Editor.
2 Content and presentation
2.1 The subject chosen should be relevant to horticulture and stress the appropriate scientific, managerial, aesthetic and horticultural principles.
2.2 It is recognised that most submissions will be prepared as part of University or College qualifications and that the requirements for these might differ between institutions. There are, therefore no detailed rules for the form of submissions, but there are some general guidelines.
2.2.1 Submissions should be typed or word-processed and be clear, concise and logical.
2.2.2 They should include a title page, list of contents, acknowledgements and an abstract that outlines the findings.
2.2.3 There should be an introduction that includes a review of existing relevant information, a description of the methods and material used and the main findings of the project.
2.2.4 They should end with a discussion of the significance of the information presented, the conclusions reached and any suggestions for further work.
2.2.5 There should be a list of references to all the work cited using a consistent method of citation.
3.1 Competition entries are assessed by a changing panel of usually three judges appointed by the Horticulture Training, Education and Careers Committee (HorTECC) of the Institute of Horticulture. The factors considered in the judging are:
3.1.1 Relevance to the practice or science of horticulture or a closely allied discipline.
3.1.2 Originality of topic or method.
3.1.3 Thoroughness of background research, and basic understanding of the subject.
3.1.4 Sound experimental technique, where appropriate.
3.1.5 Critical appraisal.
3.1.6 Considered conclusions and, where appropriate, suggestions for further study.
3.1.7 Literacy and numeracy.
3.1.8 Where a literature review comprises the main part of the project it should be comprehensive and lead to some conclusions.
3.1.9 Overall effort and application.
3.1.10 The prime consideration is the quality of the submission, not its length.
3.2 Evidence of plagiarism will disqualify a submission.
Aberconway Prize winners
Please contact the IoH office if you need any further information.