Accepts entries starting
Entry Deadline November 20, 2015
Decision Date December 1, 2015
Ceremony Date February 27, 2016
Entry Fee (See Details)
Monetary or Material Award (See Details)

About the Award

The awards are in honor of Philip Meyer, professor emeritus and former Knight Chair of Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Meyer is the author of Precision Journalism, the seminal 1972 book (and subsequent editions) that focused growing numbers of journalists on the idea of using social science methods to do better journalism. He pioneered in using survey research as a reporter for Knight Ridder newspapers to explore the causes of race riots in the 1960s.

Three awards are given annually — a first, second and third place — to recognize the best work using techniques that are part of precision journalism, computer-assisted reporting and social science research.

Notable Winners


First Place

"The Prescribers" ProPublica
Tracy Weber, Charles Ornstein, Jennifer LaFleur, Jeff Larson and Lena Groeger

Second Place

"The Unequal State of America" Reuters
Deborah Nelson, Kristina Cooke, David Rohde, Himanshu Ojha and Ryan McNeill

Third Place

"Leaky Washington" The Wall Street Journal
Brody Mullins, Susan Pulliam, Tom McGinty, Michael Rothfeld, Jenny Strasburg, Scott Patterson and Christopher Weaver


The judges will consist of journalism educators who have significant professional experience doing journalism using social science research methods, and social scientists who have significant experience working with journalists and appreciate the differences between journalism and academic research.

Monetary/Material Award Details

First Place: $500
Second Place: $300
Third Place: $200

Eligibility Requirements

At least one person on your team has to be an IRE member to complete your entry.

All work must have been published, aired or posted between Oct. 1, 2014, and Sept 30, 2015

Work that included any significant role by a Philip Meyer contest judge may not be entered in the contest.

Entry Fee Details

IRE Members:

$55 (Professional)
Free (Student)
Membership must be valid through December 2013.

IRE Nonmembers:

$125 (Professional. This includes a one-year professional membership fee of $70.)
$25 (Student. This includes a one-year student membership fee of $25.)

Required Material

There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit or the number of stories (in a series) you may submit per entry.

A questionnaire must be submitted with each entry. It can be found here:

Entry Format

Entries should be submitted online, but some material may need to be mailed in hard copy form.

We accept entries in all languages, but require English translation for each entry.

Judges may disqualify any entry with an incomplete questionnaire. Work that included a significant role by an IRE contest judge may not be entered. Entries disregarding the rules will be subject to disqualification, such as not mailing hard copies of your video or audio.

Mail Hard Copy Entries To:
141 Neff Annex
Missouri School of Journalism
Columbia, MO 65211

Contact Information

[email protected]

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