Coccus Pocus 2021: A Halloween Scary Story Competition

Competition deadline: 31/10/2021

Age groups: 12-17 and 18+

In 2019 and 2020, the Department of Biomedical and Forensic Sciences at the University of Hull ran their exciting scary story competition for Halloween, Coccus Pocus!

Coccus Pocus is back for 2021, and we’re proud to support the event as part of our #BiofilmAware campaign.

Competition Details

Antibiotic resistance by pathogenic microorganisms is currently a major health concern, leading to a big rise of serious untreatable infections, especially in hospital environments. In addition, biofilms (slimy structures that microbes form around them) further protect the microbes against antibiotics, detergents and the attacks of our immune system.

Can you think of a scary Halloween story including biofilms and/or antimicrobial resistance? Read our news article for some inspiration from last year’s winning stories! 

Please email your stories to Dr Georgios Efthimiou, or your Coccus Pocus ambassador, by 31 October 2021. The story evaluation committee, is composed of 8 academics and researchers from different universities and will be ranked according to the intrigue of their plot, use of language, character description and scientific soundness.

This year, we are delighted to have a fantastic network of 11 Coccus Pocus ambassadors who will spread the word about our competition in their institutions! They are: Giridhar Chandrasekharan from the University of Warwick, Nadia Andreani from the University of Lincoln, Morgan Feeney from the University of Strathclyde, Leena Kerr from Heriot-Watt University, Kitty Crompton from Newcastle University, Zina Alfahl from Queen’s University Belfast, Sylvia Soldatou from the University of Aberdeen, Ruth Croxton from Northumbria University, Cher-Pheng Ooi from Edge Hill University, Mel Lacey from Sheffield Hallam University and Tara Byrne from Chertsey High. 


Prize certificates will be provided to all winners.

First prize: £100 Amazon voucher

Second prize: £30 Amazon voucher

Third prize: £20 Amazon voucher

For the 12-17 group, the winners will be invited for a microbiology masterclass at the University of Hull. 

Please contact Dr Georgios Efthimiou, Lead Organiser and Lecturer in Microbiology, University of Hull with any queries.