Rules and Regulations
1. Essay Application
All Essay Competition Entrants must first apply to BICS.
Prior to essay submission, each prospective entrant must submit this signed application by email describing their background and qualifications to receive BICS approval to enter the Awards competition (see #2 for more details).
All applicants must sign releases to BICS for any and all media interviews and publicity. By signing this document applicants agree to make themselves available for media (TV, radio, newspaper, social media interviews if their essay is declared a winner or a notable runner up.
Only those entrants with approval from BICS will be eligible to enter the Essay Competition.
Preliminary Applications must be received by BICS January 26-February 28, 2021. People who have been approved to submit an essay will hear from us on or before February 28, 2021. If you have not been approved, you will not hear from us.
2. Essay Application Qualifications
a. Applicants must provide evidence that they have investigated the topic of Survival of Human Consciousness after Death for 5 years or more. For multi author submissions, only one author must have 5 years experience in the topic while other authors can be less qualified. Evidence of investigation such as published papers, monographs, books or producers/directors of film or digital documentaries will be accepted. Embedded links to written or digital work will be welcome as part of the application.
b. It may help if applicants are/were a member of relevant organizations for example Society of Psychical Research, Society for Scientific Exploration, American Society for Psychical Research, Institute of Noetic Sciences, International Association for Near Death Studies, Rhine Research Center, Windbridge Research, Parapsychological Association, Eternea, Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology (CERCAP), Koestler Parapsychology Unit (University of Edinburgh, Scotland), NUPES Research Center in Spirituality and Health (Brazil) or be a staff researcher (including emeritus) in an accredited university in the world. Submission of curricula vitae is allowed.
c. Applicant may be an ordained member of a religious order or group. Formal ordination, or membership in religious orders is relevant only if the affiliation relates to scholarly works in the body of the essay.
3. Essay Question
Each essay must address the following question:
What is the best available evidence for the Survival of Human Consciousness after Permanent Bodily Death?
4. Essay Submission Deadline
Essays must be emailed to, and received by, BICS by 5.00pm Pacific time August 1, 2021.
a. Essays will be judged by a panel of six renowned experts.
b. Judge's decisions are final.
c. Winners will be announced on November 1, 2021.
d. All judging deliberations and inter-BICS discourse in any form are proprietary to BICS and will not be disseminated to candidates or to the public.
6. Essay Formatting
a. Essays must be in English, typed in 12 font, be up to 25,000 words not counting references.
b. Each submitted essay must detail all citations and references of information sources and evidence. Paraphrasing other people's work must be referenced.
c. References must be numbered in the body of the text and arranged numerically in a reference section at the end of the essay. Footnotes are also acceptable. References can be in the styles of the writers, but should use the American Psychological Association Manual style for guidance and cite: Author(s), (Year) volume, page number(s) and book or journal title / publisher.
7. Essay Guidelines
a. Quoting sacred scripture is an expression of faith. For the purposes of this contest, faith is not sufficient and does not constitute evidence, although it may well inform or influence the specific argument and choice of materials used. Therefore scriptural quotations would not be accepted as evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, that is, they will carry no authority for the sake of this contest because they claim as much for the believer. Of course quotations from scholarly faith-based literature if relevant to experimental research of others, or non-evidentiary material is permitted [eg if related to case or subject of past research criteria being analyzed]. BICS understands that true (or veridical) evidence includes a combination of a wide variety of forms; scientific, experiential, witnessed, repeatable, anecdotal and otherwise persuasive far beyond rules of traditional evidence-based hypothesis tested research paradigms.
b. All essays must be original, unpublished, and not submitted elsewhere. Authors are free to refer to, explain, analyze and cite, their own previous work in their essays.
8. Copyright & Essay Publication Rights
a. Authors retain all rights to their work.
b. BICS reserves the right to publish the winning and notable runner up entries on this website, in a proceedings volume and in the media.
c. Derivative publications in other media are permitted, if/as permitted by the publication rules.
9. Beyond A Reasonable Doubt
BICS encourages, and will accept, the inclusion of credible eyewitness and witness testimony as valid evidence for the Survival of Human Consciousness after Death. Eyewitness testimony is a bedrock for conviction by juries and judges in the United States and in International Court Systems. therefore BICS will accept evidence and eyewitness testimony supporting the legal requirement that establishes proof beyond a reasonable doubt.