2024 IAC Student Paper Competition – UK Selection

International Astronautical Congress 
Student Paper Competition
UK Selection

The UK selection of two entrants for the international finals at the IAC is carried out by the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) Space Education and Outreach Committee in joint partnership with the Institution of Engineering and Technology's (IET) Satellite Technical Network.

The UK selection process extends until after the main IAC abstract submission activity to allow students to make as much progress as possible on their project work before our selection takes place.

The annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is the world’s largest astronautics/space engineering conference, organised by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).

As part of each IAC, there is a student paper competition (the E2.1 Student Conference) with prizes for best papers/presentation. Papers may be on any subject related to space sciences, industry or technology and must be the work of the author(s) (no more than two students).

There are two categories: a) Undergraduate b) Postgraduate. For both categories, there is an age limit – entrants must have been no more that 28 years old on 1 January.

It is essential that you read the entry requirements before submitting an abstract.

Please click on the title or '+' to reveal extra information for the section below.


  • Entry is in two categories: a) Undergraduate b) Postgraduate.
  • For both categories, an age limit applies: Entrants must have been no more than 28 years old on 1 January 2024.
  • Entrants must be currently resident in the UK and studying at a UK-based university.
  • All entries must be submitted via the online submission form.
  • Since the abstracts will be rendered anonymous before shortlisting, do not include any information that could identify you or your affiliation (university) in the abstract text.
  • Abstracts must be an original, unpublished paper, that has not been submitted in any other forum.
  • Abstracts already submitted/accepted for other IAC2024 sessions may not be submitted for this competition.
  • Abstracts must fit into one of the following IAC categories: Science and Exploration; Applications and Operations; Technology; Infrastructure; Space and Society.
  • Abstracts must be written in English and the length shall not exceed 400 words.
  • Tables, drawings and equations are not allowed in the abstract.
  • Entries must be submitted by 5pm BST on the date stated in the TIMELINE.
  • Once all the abstracts have been submitted, a shortlist will be drawn up by a panel of judges and the finalists are required to present their work at the BIS-hosted UK Selection event, where a winner and runner-up will be selected in each category.

The winner in each category is required to attend and represent the UK in the student paper competition at the IAC.

Once the abstract has been received, the student supervisor will be emailed to confirm their support for the entry.

The format of the submission should be:

  • Student Name
  • Student Email
  • Student Age on 1 January 2024
  • Category (UG or PG)
  • Affiliation
  • Supervisor Name
  • Supervisor Email
  • Paper Title
  • Abstract

Please note: These entry requirements are set by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).

Sat 2 March 2024         Launch of selection/Call for abstracts

Mon 19 April 2024        Deadline for submission of abstracts  – Extended to Fri 24 May 2024

Wed 05 June 2024            Notification of shortlisted finalists

Sat 22 June 2024          Finalists to present at the BIS UK selection event. 

14-18 October 2024     Paper presentation at the IAC2024, Milan, Italy

Entry into the UK selection will be taken to indicate agreement to represent the UK at the IAC2024 in Milan, Italy, 14-18 October 2024, if selected.

Winners are responsible for making their own arrangements to attend the IAC2024.

Each of the two prize-winners will be presented with a cheque at the IAC2024 in Milan, after the student competition has taken place. 

The UK Selection is joint-funded by the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Satellite Technical Network and the British Interplanetary Society (BIS).

There are two categories; a) undergraduate and b) postgraduate.

The prize money is awarded to the winners after their presentation at the Student Paper Competition at the IAC to assist with the costs of attending the Congress to represent the United Kingdom.

The IAC2024 is being held in Milan, with a prize fund of £500 per category.


Please allow 3-5 working days for your question to be answered.

In joint partnership: