Calling all PhD researchers: Show us your sci-comm talent!


26 Feb 20191.67k Views

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Dr Arlene Gallagher hosts Researchfest 2018. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

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Researchfest 2019 calls for entries from smart PhD researchers to share their work at Inspirefest.

Could you pack your PhD research into three minutes of accessible, engaging chat? If so, you could find yourself on the Inspirefest main stage this year.

Researchfest is back and looking for PhD candidates who can present their research succinctly and in plain English. This year’s winner will win one-to-one communication coaching, the starring role in a feature on Siliconrepublic.com and the chance to present on the main stage at Inspirefest on 17 May 2019.

“Clear and accessible communication of one’s research is a crucial skill that should never be underestimated or undervalued,” said Researchfest coordinator Dr Arlene Gallagher. “Researchfest provides another opportunity for researchers from across disciplines to further develop this skill and promote the incredible work they are doing. The calibre of applicants every year is truly amazing, and I’ve no doubt this year will prove to be every bit as impressive.”

Who can enter Researchfest?

Researchfest welcomes entries from PhD researchers of all stripes across the STEM, humanities and social science fields, who will not have completed their viva by 16 May 2019. You must be available to present your research at the Researchfest final at Inspirefest in Dublin on 16 May, and (should you be the outright winner) again on the main stage on 17 May. International entries are welcome but successful finalists must be in a position to arrange their own travel and accommodation.

How to enter

To enter Researchfest 2019, you will need a three-minute video submission, communicating the value of your research in plain English. This short presentation should capture the researcher’s passion and explain the potential impact their work can have on society. If you need some inspiration, check out our 2018 finalists.

Entrants are encouraged to be creative in their delivery but not to worry too much about production quality. This video will only be seen by the screening panel and the competition organisers, so – whether it’s shot with assistants and a studio or handheld using a smartphone – all that matters is that you communicate with clarity for a non-technical audience.

Send your three-minute video – or a link to the video – to researchfest@inspirefest.com with ‘Researchfest 2019’ in the subject line. This email must also include:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Name of the college you are attending
  • Your area of study
  • An abstract outlining your research (100 words max)

The closing date for entries is Friday, 5 April 2019 at 12pm (IST), with the selected finalists to be announced on 18 April.

What happens next?

A screening board led by Gallagher will review the entries and select eight finalists to compete at the main event. Each of these finalists will receive expert communication training from SNP Communications to ready themselves for a perfect performance.

Researchfest takes place at Inspirefest 2019 in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin. The finalists will take to the second stage on Thursday, 16 May, giving the international Inspirefest audience – and an esteemed panel of judges, both academic and non-academic – a taste of the science communication battle of the year for lunch.

Each finalist will receive a ticket to the two-day event, and the winner will be invited to present once again on the Inspirefest main stage on Friday, 17 May.

The winner will also walk away with a very special prize, as well as further one-to-one coaching with SNP Communications.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event celebrating the point where science, technology and the arts collide. Early Bird tickets for Inspirefest 2019 are available now.

Updated, 11.36am, 29 March 2019: This article has been updated to reflect the extended application deadline.