In a climate of knowledge exchange and community engagement, communicating to an audience outside the Academy is becoming increasingly important for research professionals.
Digital channels offer researchers new opportunities for communicating the complexities of their research to broad audiences. The 2019 Visualise Your Thesis Competition for universities worldwide helps graduate researchers* hone and showcase their research communication skills, and promote their research. It takes the amazing research of the world’s brightest and best graduate researchers and catapults it into the digital age.
Visualise Your Thesis is an exciting new competition that challenges graduate researchers* to present their research in a 60 second, eye-catching digital display. Using a pre-supplied template, entrants are tasked with developing a striking looped presentation to encapsulate their research projects in short, engaging, digital narratives. Competition submissions are judged on their visual impact, and how well the content presents the research. The digital format allows for different levels of creativity, multi-media, interactivity and interpretation and is suitable for all disciplines.
Deakin University A/Prof. John Lamp once said: "It's no longer a case of publish or perish - be visible, or vanish". As a way to be visible, this competition is an excellent opportunity. I say: get to it, people! A/Prof. Inger Mewburn, founder of Thesis Whisperer blog and Director of Research Training at the Australian National University, after judging the 2017 competition.
Visualise Your Thesis provides an opportunity for universities to showcase their graduate research and for the Visualise Your Thesis competitors, currently-enrolled PhD, MPhil, and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates, to build essential digital communication skills to effectively communicate complex research to a general audience.
We invite institutions to participate by running a local Visualise Your Thesis Competition using our guidelines and competition kit. Each participating institution will provide a finalist for the online 2019 International Visualise Your Thesis Competition.
Visualise Your Thesis is a successful, road-tested competition format developed by The University of Melbourne.
University of Melbourne graduate researchers should visit the UM Visualise Your Thesis site.
* Graduate researchers are defined broadly as currently-enrolled PhD, MPhil, and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates.
2019 sees our first full International Visualise Your Thesis Competition, where the winners of local competitions – organized by national and international universities – will compete against each other in an online International Competition final.
2019 Competition for currently-enrolled PhD, MPhil, and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates
- MARCH - AUGUST 2019
Visualise Your Thesis heats held at individual universities worldwide. Winners of local Visualise Your Thesis heats entered into the International Visualise Your Thesis Competition (online)
- SEPTEMBER - DECEMBER 2019
Inaugural International Visualise Your Thesis Competition (online)
Prizes for the 2019 VYT International Competition:
- First prize: AUD $5,000
- Second prize: AUD $2,000
- Third prize: AUD $1,000
- Viewers' Choice: TBA
Judges for the 2019 VYT International Competition to be announced.
The 2019 International Visualise Your Thesis competition showcase is powered by figshare.
Sponsorship enquiries are welcome at any time. Businesses interested in finding out more about sponsorship opportunities associated with the competition should email email@example.com for further information and a sponsorship prospectus.
The 2019 International Visualise Your Thesis Competition.
Registrations are now open.
We invite universities to participate by running a local Visualise Your Thesis competition using our guidelines and competition kit. Each participating institution will provide a finalist for the online 2019 International Visualise Your Thesis Competition. The competition is for currently-enrolled PhD, MPhil, and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates.
You will be asked to agree to the Competition Terms and Conditions and to read our Privacy statement.
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2019 VYT Registered Institutions
- Australian National University (ANU)
- Central Queensland University (CQU)
- Charles Darwin University (CDU) Visualise Your Thesis page
- Curtin University
- James Cook University
- La Trobe University
- Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
- Riddet Institute, New Zealand
- The University of Adelaide Visualise Your Thesis site
- The University of Hong Kong
- The University of Johannesburg
- The University of Melbourne
- The University of New South Wales, Sydney
- The University of Sydney Visualise Your Thesis site
- The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Visualise Your Thesis news item
- Victoria University (VU)
It was a great privilege to be involved in the competition, to take part in the workshops and much needed tech sessions leading up to the event… It was a terrific opportunity to observe the breadth of research underway across the university and glean ideas for future poster presentations. Rachel Pollitt, PhD Candidate University of Melbourne. 1st prize winner of the University of Melbourne 2017 ePoster Competition.
Check out the resources below to support you in the competition.
Copyright videos for Visualise Your ThesisTM Competition
An Introduction to Copyright for Visualise Your ThesisTM Competition.
Using copyright materials for Visualise Your ThesisTM Competition.
Using public domain works for Visualise Your ThesisTM Competition.
Using Creative Commons for Visualise Your ThesisTM Competition.
Using your own materials for Visualise Your ThesisTM Competition
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s in the competition kit?
- Competition rules
- Poster template (ppt)
- Judging criteria and judging rubric
- Technical instructions
- How to run the competition
- Competitor resources
- Competitor submission checklist
- How to use the ePoster template
- Tips for creating your ePoster
- Tips for adding audio and video to your ePoster
- Guidelines for the use of the Visualise Your Thesis identity and concept
What training is suggested for participants?
It is up to individual participating institutions to devise and offer training sessions for competition entrants.
The University of Melbourne, for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 competitions, offered the following supporting workshops:
- working with PowerPoint
- principles of graphic design and visual presentation
- writing succinctly for a non-specialist audience
We also recommend incorporating information on how to source and cite copyright-compliant visual or audio-visual material into any training sessions you decide to run.
How do I get the competition kit?
Please register your institution for the competition to receive the competition kit
Are there any costs involved?
There are no costs involved in participating in the competition; however, all local prizes are to be supplied by the individual participating institutions. The University of Melbourne does not provide prizes for local competitions.
The 2019 International Competition final prize pool is:
- 1st prize - AUD$ 5,000
- 2nd prize - AUD$2,000
- 3rd prize - AUD$1,000
- Viewers' Choice - TBA
Where can I get further information?
Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
How does this competition differ from the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)?
This competition does not have a verbal presentation component and relies purely on each submission's visual presentation. Students who are in earlier stages of research (have not reached confirmation/ before writing up) are also welcome to enter the competition.
VISUALISE YOUR THESIS 2018 SHOWCASE
Participating institutions held their own local competitions in 2018 and have shared their winning entries. The competition submissions were judged on visual impact: how well the entrants presented their research projects as short, engaging, digital narratives.
The competition was a great initiative. We received positive feedback from our participants that they found the experience meaningful and valuable as they could learn about using various resources and techniques to develop an engaging e-poster in order to convey research to the general public. The skills and knowledge they learned throughout the process of preparing for the e-poster would also be useful for their future academic careers. Competition Organiser, University of Hong Kong
Australian National University: Manganese based green nanoparticles for energy applications by Ankita Gagrani
CQUniversity: Copper pesticide resistance in bacterial speck (Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato) in Queensland Australia by Karina Griffin
Curtin University: Recovery and Enhancement of Fingermarks and other Physical Evidence: Towards Improved Protocols for Crime Scene Investigation by Rhiannon Boseley
James Cook University: The impact of ocean acidification on ecological processes that structure coral communities by Tessa Hill
La Trobe University: Treating malaria by targeting… our own cells?! by Coralie Boulet
Queensland University of Technology: Emotion in Motion: Bodily Expressions of Emotion by Kossinna Wasala
The University of Hong Kong: Too many P-s spoil the protein by Mei Li Khong
University of Johannesburg: Fifty shades of ash by Charlotte Badenhorst
The University of Melbourne: Antipsychotic Medication and Longitudinal Brain Imaging in First Episode Psychosis by Marianne Mueller
University of South Australia: Visualise Your Thesis Winner: Using Social Media to Predict Future Protest Events by Jeffrey Ansah
University of Sydney: Fluorescent Arrays for Phosphate Sensing by Genevieve Sergeant
Victoria University: The effect of concurrent exercise order on training adaptations in healthy active males by Matt Lee
2015 saw the precursor to the Visualise Your Thesis competition, the Researcher @Library Week Poster competition. Part of the University of Melbourne’s inaugural Researcher @Library Week, the competition was won by Matthew Wood, a PhD Candidate researching Tectonic Geomorphology with second prize going to Marcella Purnama, a Publishing and Communications Master’s student, and third prize to Vincent Bachtiar, who was undertaking a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. The competition was successful and extremely popular, but there was clearly a demand for the poster to do more – to be more engaging, and even dramatic. An ePoster competition was almost inevitable.
In August 2016 the competition put down its digital roots and became an ePoster competition called Visualise My Thesis. Still Melbourne-only in these early days, the competition challenged PhDs to effectively communicate complex research to a general audience. First prize was awarded to "Imagination of adventure in today's art" by Emilie Walsh, second prize went to "Development of the Rowley Shoals Reefs" by Jackson McCaffrey and third prize to "Weak feet and walking, it’s in the shoes" by Rachel Kennedy. That year also saw a new prize, the Viewers' Choice prize, which also went to Emilie Walsh. The 2016 competition was judged by Simon Clews (Director of the Melbourne Engagement Lab).
In August 2017, the last year before the competition went national, it became Pitch Your Thesis and, as an indication of how far the competition had come in its short history, judge Simon Clews was joined by academic celebrity, Associate Professor Inger Mewburn (known to all as the Thesis Whisperer). First prize that year was awarded to "Mathematics and assessment in early childhood education" by Rachel Pollitt, second prize to "A seasonal thermal energy storage system for space heating" by Sheikh Khaleduzzaman Shah, and third prize to "Designing animal-computer interaction to shape zoo visitors' perceptions of animals" by Sarah Webber. The popular Viewer's Choice prize went to "Saving life with new artificial blood vessels" by Fatemeh Karimi.
After a relatively short history, in 2018 the competition decided to go national, but almost immediately was forced to go international such was the demand from universities around the world. And this trend looks to continue into 2019. So, if you’re reading this, we hope you’re one of the many universities worldwide who will be taking part this year and we welcome you to what is a hugely exciting event and wish you good luck with your local competition.
Visualise Your Thesis is being hailed as one of the most exciting developments in graduate research communication that has been seen for a long time. It takes the amazing research of the world’s brightest and best graduate researchers and catapults it into the digital age. Whether as competitor or audience member, we hope you enjoy the incredible results.