Student researchers are trained to communicate with experts in their field, but to get ahead they’ll have to be able to talk to nonexperts about why their research is important.
The School of Undergraduate Studies created the Texas Student Research Showdown to prepare undergraduates for success in their careers with better research communication. The pitch competition challenges top students to move beyond PowerPoints and spreadsheets.
The Showdown is open to all UT undergraduates from the sciences, humanities, fine arts, business and every other discipline. Anyone with a show-stopping research presentation is encouraged to apply.
In the first round, students create two-minute videos about their research. Those videos are published online to be voted on by the UT community.
This year there are 15 contestants. Voting is open now and ends Oct. 19. The submissions highlight impactful student research across campus – from a device that prevents oil spills in the ocean to how audio can make modern art more accessible.
The three videos that receive the most community votes plus three videos chosen by a panel of judges will move to the next round. The six finalists will give research presentations to a live audience and judging panel.
The first-round winner will receive an iPad, and the top three second-round winners will receive $1,500, $750 and $250 in scholarships to recognize their excellence in research communication. A series of workshops offers support at every step of the process, with the final round taking place at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in Avaya Auditorium (POB 2.302).