Visualise Your Thesis competition

Provider business unit: Research Training »

Visualise Your Thesis is an exciting new competition created by the University of Melbourne 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.

Research pitching skills have become increasingly important for PhD students. You will be called on to pitch your research at conferences, in seminars and for various competitions - but what is pitching and how can you get good at it? The word ‘pitching’ can have bad connotations. Some see it as a commodification of research and researchers.

This competition is open to candidates at all stages of candidature, including those yet to complete their Thesis Proposal Review (TPR) or confirmation. The winner of the ANU Visualise Your Thesis competition 2018 will go on to compete in the National online showcase hosted by The University of Melbourne in October 2018.


First Place $1,000
Runner up $500
PARSA's People's Choice pack

Key Dates and training calendar 2018

1 May               Visualise your Thesis template available, here.

30 May             Visualise your Thesis workshops with the Thesis Whisperer

5 June              Learn how to use PowerPoint to Visualise Your Thesis with the Library

6 June              Visualise your Thesis clinic with the Thesis Whisperer

12 June            Designing a better slide deck to Visualise Your Thesis with the School of Design

2 July               Visualise your Thesis submission due at 9am

9 July               Visualise your Thesis applications will be judged with all applicants updated 

20 July             Visualise Your Thesis competition Final, all welcome

21 July             ANU Visualise Your Thesis winner shared with The University of Melbourne

20 October      Visualise Your Thesis National Showcase 2018


Technical instructions for competitors

How to use the Visualise Your Thesis template
Download the Visualise Your Thesis PowerPoint template to your computer, delete the text, images and video in the template and add your own content.

You may add additional slides to the template, however:
• Your presentation (excl. bookend slides) will be displayed for at most 60 seconds, and
• The maximum file size allowed is 100 MB. Your entry will be displayed using ANU property.
Please test your entry before completing it. To test your entry, view your PowerPoint slideshow on a computer at the university that has standard software installed, such as on any student computer in a that you need to log in to. Once you have completed your Visualise Your Thesis:

1. Save a copy of the PowerPoint file. Only .pptx files will be accepted
2. Email your entry to: with the subject line: ‘Visualise Your Thesis Competition Entry’ to by 9am 2 July. Late submissions will not be accepted.
3. If the .pptx file is less than , you can attach your PowerPoint file to the email
4. If the file larger than, include a link in the email to your poster on Dropbox, Google Drive or CloudStor.

Tips for creating your Visualise Your Thesis entry
Replace the text in the template by typing or pasting in your own text. Remove the images in the template and add your own images to support your descriptions such as data visualisations, graphs, an infographic, tables, or photos.

Be creative and change the layout, text boxes, colours and fonts, just make sure you:

• Do not change the layout, design, or colours of the bookend slides, being the title slide and the references slide (i.e. the first and last slides)
• Do not use a body text font size smaller than 14 pt
• Do not change the Page Setup in PowerPoint (your ePoster will be displayed on a screen in widescreen format)
• Include the required information on the poster as specified in the template: Introduction, Research Significance, Method, Results, Conclusion, however note that:
-You may include this information in the form of text, images, video and/or audio
- If you use text, you can modify the headings in the template to suit your project, for example: ‘Background’ instead of ‘Introduction’, ‘Approach’ instead of ‘Method’, or ‘Implications’ instead of ‘Conclusion' 
- Depending on the stage of your project, you may not have results or a conclusion yet, however you can state this and include any information or ideas you have at this stage
- Consider copyright, particularly when adding images, audio or video to your poster, see the advice on the ANU copyright rules.
• Include a valid Twitter handle or Instagram handle: people will be encouraged to tweet to poster authors with questions and comments, and to post photos of the awards event

Set your slides to advance automatically in PowerPoint:
1. Select the Transitions tab.
2. Tick the After checkbox.
3. Enter the number of seconds you wish to display the slide for. For further instructions, see: Set the speed and timing of transitions.
Note: your PowerPoint presentation (excl. bookend slides) should display for a maximum total time of 60 seconds.

Submission checklist for competitors
1. Poster in PowerPoint file .pptx format?
2. Presentation (excl. bookend slides) displays for no more than 60 seconds?
3. Slides set to advance automatically in PowerPoint?
4. PowerPoint file size no more than 100 MB?
5. No embedded online videos, such as YouTube or Vimeo videos or similar?
6. No separate media files: i.e. all media embedded in the PowerPoint file?
7. All video and audio starts automatically and loops continuously?
8. All video and audio is optimised and compressed?
9. First slide and last slide from template included, i.e. the title slide and references slide?
10. References included for any resources used to create your entry?
11. Acknowledgements included for people, or groups, who helped with your project or entry?
12. Citations included for any media used or created, including images, audio and video files? Know your rights, find out more here.
13. Does the use of media, including images, audio and video files, comply with copyright legislation and regulations?
14. Text font size no smaller than 14 pt?
15. Page setup in PowerPoint the same as for the template? (i.e. page setup not changed?)
16. Required information included on the poster as specified in the template: Introduction, Research Significance, Method, Results, Conclusion?
17. Text on the entry proof-read?
18. Valid Twitter/Instagram handle and ORCiD included on title slide? More information about ORCiD, can be found here.

For more information please contact Research Training.

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