Researchfest 2018: Can you impress us with your research in just three minutes?

21 Mar 2018

Researchfest coordinator Arlene Gallagher hosts the 2017 event at Inspirefest. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

Researchfest 2018 has issued a call for clever researchers to share their work with the Inspirefest audience in just three minutes.

Updated, 17 May 2018 at 12.55pm: Researchfest 2018 is now closed for applications. Best of luck to all those who have entered! The selected finalists will be announced on 25 May 2018.

Updated, 2 May 2018 at 9.23am: The deadline has been extended to Friday 11 May. Get your entries in!

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

Researchfest is back and looking for PhD candidates who can present their research in plain language. This year’s winner will score themselves one-to-one communication training, the starring role in a feature on and the chance to present on the main stage at Inspirefest this summer.

“Clear and accessible communication of one’s research is a crucial skill that should never be underestimated or undervalued. Researchfest provides another opportunity for researchers from across disciplines to further develop this skill and promote the incredible work they are doing,” said Researchfest coordinator Arlene Gallagher.

“The calibre of applicants in 2017 was truly amazing, and I’ve no doubt this year will prove to be equally as impressive.”

Who can enter?

Researchfest welcomes entries from researchers of all stripes across STEM, humanities and social science fields. The competition is open to PhD candidates who will not have completed their viva by 21 June 2018.

International entries are welcome but selected finalists must be in a position to arrange their own transportation to the event.

How to enter

What you need to enter Researchfest 2018 is 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 2017 finalists:

Entrants are encouraged to be creative in their delivery but not to worry too much about video quality. This video will not be seen by anyone but 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 with ‘Researchfest’ 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 11 May 2018 at 12pm (IST), with the selected finalists to be announced on 25 May.

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 2018 in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin. The finalists will take to the second stage on Thursday 21 June, 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 secure a ticket to the two-day event and accommodation for Thursday night, and the winner will be invited to present once again and entertain a few questions on the Inspirefest main stage on Friday 22 June.

The winner will also walk away with a Researchfest trophy and further one-to-one training with SNP.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Get your Early Bird tickets now to join us in Dublin on 21 and 22 June 2018.

Updated, 11.02am, 23 March 2018: This article has been updated to include a comment from Researchfest coordinator Arlene Gallagher.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.