Funding agencies offer students national competitions to pitch their research

As a student researcher, you do amazing work. And now it’s time to tell the world about it.

This could be the year when others across the country get to know your research and you get to get out of your comfort zone, develop new skills and possibly snag cash prizes. There are three chances to do this in the coming months.

For those whose research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), SSHRC is holding its annual Storytellers competition.

In a maximum of three minutes on video or in a 300-word document, tell Canadians about that great SSHRC-funded project you (or your supervisor, with their permission) are pursuing at Brock University.

Storytellers logo with the words Research Matters

“SSHRC’s annual Storytellers contest challenges postsecondary students to show Canadians how social sciences and humanities research is affecting our lives, our world and our future for the better,” says the SSHRC website.

“Your story should be creative, compelling and clear.”

The Top 25 finalists receive a $3,000 cash prize, complimentary registration at Congress 2016 and three nights lodging in Calgary and a communications master class (travel excluded).

The top five of these will carry out a live, TED-X presentation at SSHRC Impact Awards in Ottawa, and recieve travel costs to and from the ceremony and two nights’ lodging.

The Jan. 29 deadline is fast approaching. For more information:

The scientists also have an interesting challenge.

To enter the Science, Action! contest, students submit a maximum 60-second video and a 100-word written description of a research project or initiative at Brock funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

“NSERC’s Science, Action! video contest challenges postsecondary students to film the people, research and innovations that are transforming the way Canadians live and work,” says the website. “The contest is your chance to help Canadians discover how science and engineering contributes to our understanding of the world and universe around us.”

Science Action! logo

Contestants are eligible to win one of 15 cash prizes worth up to $5,000. The 15 most popular submissions as decided by public voting will be considered the finalists.

From among the 15 finalists, six entries will be selected as winners by a panel of judges, three winners in English and three in French.

The contest opens Jan. 20 and closes on Feb. 3. For more information:

And, don’t miss entering the national 3MT© (Three Minute Thesis) competition, which challenges students to talk about their research and why it matters in a way that will inform and captivate people outside of their disciplines.

A panel of judges chooses a contestant to represent Brock University at the Ontario competition, the winner of which goes on to the national competition.

The deadline for the Call for Proposals for the 3MT© competition is Jan. 25. For more information:

These competitions are a great way for students to “rehearse their storytelling skills with some clever devices,” says Karin Perry, graduate officer, training and development in the Faculty of Graduate Studies.


“Storytelling, is the challenge of making something relatively complex; simple and yet meaningful to the listener. It is an essential professional competency for a junior researcher or for any career,” she says.

“At universities we call it knowledge translation or mobilization, but ultimately in this information-dense world, finding the most effective communication lever is a honed skill to assure the key message arrives to the right people at the right time.”

For more information about the contest and how Brock can support you, see:

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