View the 2023 submissions here.
Videos have a strict time limit of two minutes and must be publicly accessible via YouTube. Otherwise, there are no restrictions to the format—be creative! You can talk to the camera, discuss your work in a dialog with another person, or use creative graphics, animations, and camerawork to make the video visually appealing. Remember, the goal is to make a general, non-expert audience understand what you did in your research, and why it matters. See some examples.
Our judges consider the following characteristics when rating videos:
- The hook: Does the student capture the audience’s attention and make them interested in hearing more?
- The narrative: Does the student tell a story of their methods or their trajectory as a researcher?
- Merit and quality: Do the research methods suggest rigorous scholarly or creative activity?
- Accessibility: Is the student targeting a general, rather than expert, audience?
The judges’ top two videos in two categories (arts, humanities, and social sciences; science, technology, and engineering) will receive $1500 and $500 awards, and an “audience choice” winner selected by UT students will receive $1000.
Audience award voting takes place through a Qualtrics form; votes will only be counted from currently enrolled undergraduate students who provide an EID. Submitters are encouraged to spread the word about voting to friends; they are not permitted to unduly pressure or entice students to vote for them.
The Office of Undergraduate Research provides resources and workshops to help students make a knockout video submission to the Showdown. Trent Lesikar, videographer for the School of Undergraduate Studies, has provided tips for creating and editing a short research video.
High-quality audio is key to a good video. Students can make an appointment with the Public Speaking Center in order to both practice their audio script, record it, and receive feedback from a trained consultant.
Texas Career Engagement has career education specialists who can help you reframe your research experience for different audiences, including potential employers. Use Handshake to make a resume review appointment, and you let the specialist know that you’d like to discuss how to frame your research experience.
Here are some other resources that can help you identify strategies to use in communicating your work
- UT communication professor Keri Stephens’ “Hi Y’all” series of brief videos on presenting
- Log in to LinkedIn Learning with your EID for free video tutorials on videography and related software
- Researchers condense their work into a Three Minute Thesis
- How to avoid death by PowerPoint
- How to give a great TEDx talk
- Undergraduate students unwittingly subjected to world’s worst research presentation
- 2012 UNSW Three Minute Thesis Winner – Sumaiya Ahmed
- Make a Presentation Like Steve Jobs
- Ten body language tips for your next presentation
- Five simple ways to become a more impressive public speaker