Deadlines nearing for research communication competitions

Student researchers have the chances to win cash prizes, hone their communications skills and showcase their research projects through several national competitions offered this semester.

Deadlines for submissions are quickly approaching, with many due this month.

Depending on the contest, eligible applicants include graduate students, undergraduate students and research professors.

Brock University has done exceptionally well in these national competitions, winning a Jury Prize and People’s Choice Award in the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) 2018 Science Exposed photo contest; taking third place in NSERC’s 2018 Science, Action! contest; two teams finishing in the top 25 in the 2018 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Storytellers contest; and winning a People’s Choice Award at the 2016 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) national competition.

Competition details

Science Exposed

Science Exposed is a photographic competition devoted exclusively to images of Canadian scientific research in all fields of study. Organized by NSERC, the competition is open to all individuals or groups who carry out research in the public or private sectors, including graduate students and research professors.

Submission deadline: Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 11:59 p.m.

Prizes: Three Jury Prizes of $2,000 and a People’s Choice Award of $2,000.

Past Brock finalists: In 2018, Brock Master of Sustainability student Dana Harris (BSc ’16) won Jury Prize and People’s Choice Award for her photo Exploring the jack pine tight knit family tree. In 2016, a team led by Brock biologist Glenn Tattersall placed in the top 20 finalists for their photo Burning Love.

Science, Action!

A second competition organized by NSERC, Science, Action!, challenges undergraduate and graduate students to create a short and creative 60-second video that will get Canadians excited about science and engineering research. Videos can be live action or animated and must feature a research project that is currently receiving NSERC funding.

Submission deadline: Friday, Jan. 18 at 4:59 p.m.

Prizes: Contestants are eligible to win one of 15 cash prizes worth up to $3,500. From among the 15 finalists, six entries will be selected as final winners, three in English and three in French. One special prize worth $3,000 is offered in addition to the 15 cash prizes awarded to finalists. This year’s special prize theme is ‘research in the north.’

Past Brock finalists: In 2018, Brock University had three winners in the final top 15 videos from universities across Canada, one of which placed third nationwide.

The Storytellers

Hosted by SSHRC, The Storytellers contest challenges students to show Canadians how social sciences and humanities research is affecting our lives, our world and our future for the better. In a maximum of three minutes or 300 words, students communicate about a SSHRC-funded project that is either their own or their supervisors’. Contestants are encouraged to push creative boundaries — the submission can be a video, podcast, infographic, text or other form of communication.

Submission deadline: Thursday, Jan. 31 at 5 p.m.

Prizes: The top 25 finalists will receive a $3,000 cash prize as well as registration to the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of British Columbia to attend a special communications master class and deliver a live presentation at the Storytellers Showcase. Five final winners will be selected who will receive an expense-paid trip for their presentation to be featured at the 2019 SSHRC Impact Awards event.

Past Brock finalists: In 2018, Brock University had two finalists in the top 25 videos from universities across Canada. All top 25 storytellers can be viewed on SSHRC’s YouTube channel.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Challenge

The 3MT Challenge competition is an opportunity for graduate students to talk about why their research matters in a compelling and challenging 180-second pitch format.

Abstract submission deadline: Friday, Feb. 15 at 11:59 p.m.

Brock preliminary round: Thursday, April 4 at noon in Pond Inlet.
Brock final round: Thursday, April 11 at 11:45 a.m. in Plaza Building.
Provincial final: Wednesday, April 17 at 10 a.m. at McMaster University, Hamilton.

Student support workshops

To help students prepare for these upcoming competitions, the Faculty of Graduate Studies is co-hosting two workshops with campus partners.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, representatives from BrockTV and the Makerspace will lead a Make a video workshop in Mackenzie Chown Complex C 206 from noon to 2 p.m. On Saturday, Jan. 19, Brock alumna and Shaw Festival actor Julia Course (BA ’05) will facilitate a workshop, titled Performing the Text, in Plaza Building 600F from 12:30 to 3 p.m. The workshop is organized in partnership with BioLinc in preparation for its Pitch Weekend on Jan. 19 and 20.

For more information on any of the above competitions or workshops, contact Karin Perry, Program Co-ordinator, Development and Training with the Faculty of Graduate Studies, at or x6129 or visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

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