Visualise Your Thesis

Visualise your thesis

The Visualise Your Thesis competition celebrates research conducted by graduate research students around the world.

Developed by The University of Melbourne, graduate researchers are challenged to present their research in a 60 second, eye-catching digital display.

Submissions are judged on their visual impact and how well the content presents the research. Presenting in a digital format allows for different levels of creativity, multi-media, interactivity and interpretation, and is suitable for all disciplines.

The winner of the University of Adelaide Visualise Your Thesis competition receives a prize of $1000 and is given the opportunity to compete in the International online showcase hosted by The University of Melbourne in the later part of the year. All successful submissions qualify for 5 CaRST points.

  • Key dates

    Registrations of interest open: 11 April 2022 

    Open for submissions: 2 May 2022 

    Submissions close: 8 July 2022 

    Announcement of winners: 26 August 2022 

  • Prizes

    1st prize: $1000

    2nd prize: $500

    3rd prize: $250

    People's choice: $250

    All successful submissions will also be eligible to receive 5 CaRST points.

    The winner must agree to their entry being displayed on the University of Melbourne’s Visualise Your Thesis website and in the University of Adelaide's online media. The winner is also eligible to enter the International Visualise Your Thesis competition and have a chance at prizes up to $5000 (1st place).

  • Eligibility

    The Visualise Your Thesis competition is open to currently-enrolled graduate researchers (i.e. students enrolled in M.Phil., Masters by Research, Ph.D. or Professional Doctorate programmes) at any stage of their candidature who are active and attending.

    Not eligible to enter the competition are

    • Honours students
    • Masters by coursework students (even if their program has a research/thesis component)
    • Graduate researchers on a leave of absence (= inactive and not attending)
    • Lapsed candidates
    • Graduate researchers who are employed by your university who may have, or may be perceived to have, influence over the competition outcome, research funding or related resourcing, or an otherwise unfair advantage over the other entrants from your university

    Research institutes affiliated with multiple universities may run their own VYT competition. However, graduate researchers may only enter one local Competition per year.

    Can I re-submit an entry from a previous year?

    Entries should be unique and original. The resubmission of previous entries is only permitted where substantial revision has occurred. And no doubt your research has progressed significantly, and you’d like your entry to reflect this! Please contact us if in doubt to discuss.

  • Training and support

    Let us help you! Don’t worry if you’re not digitally savvy, and certainly don’t let it put you off entering. The University is committed to building your digital communication skills (very handy when trying to communicate complex research), and we will provide you with all the assistance you need to create your submission. 

    Online training course

    This course is now available online! You can self-enrol below:

    Online training 2022 

    Develop your digital capability and learn how to:  

    • Translate your abstract – describing your research to a non-specialist audience, adapting the idea into a story 

    • Storyboard your idea – breaking down the story, using supporting materials and media, choosing the technology, review 

    • Bring your idea to life – refining the tools and methods, reviewing your final product 

    • Refine and submit – adding title screens and attribution, checking technical requirements 

    • Copyright advice – ensuring your submission meets all of the copyright requirements. 

    The Library's Copyright Co-ordinator will also be available to help with your copyright queries.

  • Participant kit and information

    Once we have received your registration of interest, we will email you the Entry Pack and  PowerPoint template. 

  • Judging criteria

    Entries will be judged based on impact, content and scholarly citizenship categories.  

    A panel of judges will assign scores for the impact and content category. The library will be responsible for scoring the scholarly citizenship category. Where an entrant was required to resubmit their entry to remedy a minor technical and/or copyright issue the scholarly citizenship category will be scored based on the entrant’s initial submission.

    Entries will be judged against the following criteria:

    Content

    • Does the entry provide an understanding of the research question being addressed, its significance, and potential impact?
    • Is the research communicated in a format and uses language appropriate for non-specialist audiences?
    • Is the entry free from jargon, unexplained acronyms and incomprehensible technical terms?
    • Is the entry accessible to and respectful of diverse audiences?
    • Does the entry leave you inspired and curious?

    Impact

    • Is the entry well designed, creative, innovative and engaging?
    • Is it visually striking and memorable?
    • Does it make best use of screen space available?
    • Does it make a good first impression and then offer rich content on further examination?
    • Were the timings, transitions and effects aligned to fit the 60 second timeframe?

    Sound (note that sound is optional; the following criteria may not apply to every entry)

    • If sound was used to convey information, was accessibility considered, e.g. by providing captions for voiceovers?
    • Did the music/sound contribute to the impact of the presentation?  
    • Was the sound/music in keeping with the mood/style of the presentation?
  • Submission of entries and T&Cs

    All entrants must agree to comply with the competition Terms and Conditions, and complete the checklist detailed on the online submission form.

    To be accepted into the competition, submissions must meet the competition's copyright and technical requirements. Submissions will be checked to ensure that they are compliant, and entrants may be asked to remedy any minor copyright and/or technical issues and resubmit before being accepted into the competition. Resubmissions will only be allowed at the discretion of the Library and if the required changes will not give undue advantage to the entrant. For example, substantial alterations to the main body of the PowerPoint will not be allowed. 

    Submit now

  • Contact us

    If you have any questions regarding the competition, please email us at Visual Thesis for further information.

  • FAQs

    Can I change the layout and design of PowerPoint template for my entry?
    Yes and no! As long as you retain the pre-formatted bookend slides (= the title and references) you are free to add your own content – this can be in the form of images, video and/or audio, and does not have to be just text.

    How long should my entry be?
    There is a 60 second time limit for entries; however, you can include as few or as many slides as you wish, keeping in mind that:
    •    You must include the first slide and last slide, i.e. the title slide and references slides
    •    Your presentation (excl. bookend slides) should run for a maximum of 60 seconds 
    •    Your title and reference slide(s) should run for 5 seconds each
    •    The maximum file size for your entry is 100 MB

    Can I include audio in my entry?
    Yes, you can include audio in your entry but consider that the maximum file size for your entry is 100 MB. Please make sure that any audio material is copyright compliant and referenced appropriately. Considering the nature of the competition, which emphasises visualising your thesis, we recommend that audio is used to enhance, not carry an entry – your entry should able to stand on its own, without the audio elements.

    The University of Melbourne is committed to creating an accessible International Competition gallery, so if your entry progresses to the International Competition you may be required to caption your entry.

    Can I include images, music or other audio-visual items that I find on the web in my entry?
    You can, provided that the material is copyright compliant and/or you have the appropriate licences and permissions to reproduce it. Broad categories that web-sourced material you use should fall into are
    •    Creative Commons licensed material (excluding material with a Share-alike (SA) or Noncommercial (NC) licence)
    •    Public Domain works (= materials which are not protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws)
    •    Material under license or with permission

    For more information refer to the copyright resources and videos from the Visualise Your Thesis course available on MyUni.

    Make sure that all materials used in your entry are be cited, regardless of source.  

    Where can I find free images, music or other audio-visual items to use in my entry?  
    There are numerous websites which provide access to Open Access images – Pixabay, Unsplash, and Snappy Goat are a few examples. Many archives and libraries (including the British Library) make their digitised collections available via Flickr Commons – Flickr being another popular image hosting website.  

    For music, sites like Incompetech, MuseOpen and ccMixter offer Creative Commons-licenced content. CC Search links to media, image and music platforms with content you can use and remix. 

    Make sure to check the individual licence of any object you are thinking of using, and include appropriate citations in the reference slide of your entry.

    Do I have to create my entire entry in PowerPoint?
    No. You are welcome to create content outside of PowerPoint, then embed it into the template (retaining the title and reference slides). If you create content in third-party applications (such as animation tools) make sure that you have the appropriate permissions or licences, and note these on your reference slide. Many tools offer a free account, but make sure to check the Terms of Use. 

    I’m enrolled for a degree that has a thesis component – can I enter the competition?
    The Visualise Your Thesis competition is open to currently-enrolled graduate researchers (i.e. students enrolled in M.Phil., Masters by Research, Ph.D. or Professional Doctorate programmes) at any stage of their candidature who are active and attending.

    Not eligible to enter the competition are
    •    Honours students
    •    Masters by coursework students (even if their program has a research/thesis component).

    I’m a graduate researcher and also an employee at my university – can I enter the competition?
    Currently-enrolled graduate researchers who are employed by their university who may have, or may be perceived to have, influence over the competition outcome, research funding or related resourcing, or an otherwise unfair advantage over the other entrants from their university, may be deemed ineligible to participate. Entrants who are currently employed by their university are encouraged to disclose their employment status and provide information about whether their employment status may provide them with an unfair advantage over other entrants from their university.

    I’m on a leave of absence, can I still submit an entry?
    No. Only currently-enrolled graduate researchers who are active and attending are eligible to enter the competition. If you are on a leave of absence unfortunately you are not eligible to enter. If your candidature has lapsed you are also ineligible to enter the competition.

    I’m affiliated with a research institute and a university and both run a VYT competition. Can I enter twice?
    No. You can only enter once, so you will have to decide whether you’d like to represent your university or research institute.

    Can I re-submit an entry from a previous year?
    Entries should be unique and original. The resubmission of previous entries is only permitted where substantial revision has occurred. And no doubt your research has progressed significantly, and you’d like your entry to reflect this!

    Got a question that is not included here?
    Please email us