Visualise Your Thesis competition

Provider business unit: Researcher Development »

    ANU Visualise your Thesis 2022 Finals took place on 11 August and the results are in!

     Jonathan Ting - WINNER ($2000)
    Giselle Cruzado - HIGHLY COMMENDED - ($50 gift voucher)
    Asara Senaratne - PEOPLE’S CHOICE ($500) 

    Congratulations to all of our finalists.

    Thank you to our judges: 
    Professor Ann Evans - Dean HDR at the Australian National University
    Dr Craig Davis - GM Growth Programs at Canberra Innovation Network
    Simon Clews - Honorary (Senior Fellow) at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
    Professor Inger Mewburn - Director Researcher Development


    What is Visualise your Thesis?

    Visualise Your Thesis is a 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.

    Why participate in the VYT competition?

    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.

    ANU VYT timeline 2022:

    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 2022 will go on to compete in the National showcase hosted by The University of Melbourne in October 2022. Plus there are prizes to win!


    Winners will be decided on a by an independent judging panel, and the prizes are generously funded by the Dean Higher Degree Research:

    • $2,000 will be awarded to the VYT 2022 winner.
    • $500 will be awarded to the VYT 2022 people's choice.

    The International final will be held at the University of Melbourne in October 2022. The prize pool is as follows

    1st  prize - AUD$ 5,000
    2nd prize - AUD$2,000
    3rd prize - AUD$1,000
    Viewers' Choice - Prize pack


    Many of the skills needed to produce a good VYT are developed at the Expert Communicator Boot Camp. There are face to face and online sessions available.


    6 July | 1:00pm to 4:00pm (online) Show AND Tell: How to Win the Visualise Your Thesis Competition

    This workshop will show you how to encapsulate your research in the short, accessible, primarily visual format that is needed for the Visualize Your Thesis competition. However, given that being able to talk about and show your research to literally anyone in any format is rapidly becoming a career essential for any aspiring academic, the workshops will offer valuable information for any researcher.  

    Part one: finding the right words

    While your 60 second PowerPoint loop is very much a visual presentation, text will be an important way for you to communicate your message. And, given how few words you will be using, the pressure is really on to get that text right! This first section focuses on finding the stories in your research and choosing the right words to tell those stories. It will look at how much text to use and how much text is too much and the balance between writing and editing will be discussed. Here we will show you how to find the characters in your story (and we are not necessarily talking about people here) and how to bring them to life. And we’ll look at striking the right balance between text and visuals.

    Part two: making it look and sound good

    The visual and audio presentation of your research will be the focus of this section. Here you’ll turn into graphic designers and look at fonts, colour schemes, palettes and layout; you’ll become pictorial librarians and think about selecting the right images to tell your story; you’ll be cinematographers and think about inserting live footage and animation; and you’ll throw on your sound production hat and think about music and sound effects.

    Part three: the Allen key moment - putting it all together

    Your Visual Your Thesis presentation must be a cohesive package and tell an engaging and informative story – all within sixty seconds! This last section will look at combining all the elements discussed so far, satisfying all the rules and technical requirements, and wowing the judges. It will also look at all the other uses of your presentation that you can make outside the Visual Your Thesis competition.


    The Visualise Your Thesis competition is for currently-enrolled and attending graduate researchers at ANU. Graduate researchers are enrolled in:

    • M.Phil.,
    • Masters by Research,
    • Ph.D.

    Candidates can be at any stage of their candidature, but must be active and attending (not on leave of absence).

    Not eligible to enter the competition are: Honours students; Masters by coursework students (even if their program has a research/thesis component); or Graduate researchers on a leave of absence.

    Graduate researchers affiliated with multiple institutions may only enter one local competition per year.

    Entries should be unique and original. The re-submission of previous entries is only permitted where substantial revision has occurred.

    Technical instructions for competitors

    How to submit your Visualise Your Thesis submission

    1. Save a copy of the PowerPoint file. Only .pptx files will be accepted
    2. Submit your presentation before 5 August 2022 

    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. 

    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, or you might animate text or objects, 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, or edit the current slide timings. 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. VYT Submission 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.


    Slide presentation and infographic

    Free images

    PowerPoint and design help

    Video recording

    • One Button Studio, an easy-to-use video recording facility located on Level 4 of Chifley Library
    • Adobe Spark is a free web-based video creation tool. You can create simple videos incorporating images, text and voiceover
    • Zoom is primarily a video conferencing tool, you can use Zoom to easily record videos of yourself or your computer screen
    • Movie Maker is a video and slideshow maker app available for Windows computers
    • iMovie is a free video creation tool for Mac computers and mobiles


    For more information please contact Researcher Development on