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YorkTalks 2017 PhD Research Spotlight competition

Posted on 12 October 2016

Get your research featured at YorkTalks 2017.

YorkTalks 2016

The inspiring YorkTalks will return to the University of York on Wednesday 11 January 2017.

Styled on the highly successful ‘TED’ Talks, YorkTalks highlights some of our most innovative and challenging research in an accessible series of 15-minute talks aimed at an academic, but non-specialist audience. The event will be held in the Spring Lane Building.

In conjunction with these talks, York postgraduate research students will compete in a compelling “PhD Research Spotlight” competition, with awards presented by Vice-Chancellor Koen Lamberts.

The competition will take the format of an exhibition showcase in the atrium of the Spring Lane Building, which will run in parallel with the YorkTalks programme of talks. Each student will have an allocated space to showcase their research in their chosen format throughout the day.

The York Graduate Research School would like to invite postgraduate research students to take part in this prestigious opportunity.

Who can enter?

  • The competition is open to all PhD students.
  • Applications must outline the original nature of the research, highlight the interdisciplinary scope of the research described, and be designed in a way which will be accessible to an academic, non-specialist audience.
  • Any medium can be used (e.g., poster, film, objects/artifacts, performance piece). 

Nine finalists will be selected to showcase their research at the event on 11 January 2017. Finalists will receive a small subsidy towards the cost of producing their piece.

Find out about the winners of YorkTalks: PhD Research Spotlight Competition 2016.

Guidance for applicants

Proposals should provide meaningful information to help the reviewers to understand the context behind the showcase piece:

  • the original nature of the research and its impact
  • the interdisciplinary nature or potential scope of the work
  • the reason(s) for the choice of medium (e.g. poster, film, object/artifact, performance piece, etc)

Showcase pieces should:

  • be visually appealing, well presented, and coherent (colour/contrast/font)
  • put across a clear message regarding the original nature of the research and the interdisciplinary nature or potential scope for their work
  • be appropriate for an academic, non-specialist audience
  • avoid undue reliance on third-party copyright material (see Copyright: a practical guide for more information)

 Application process

  • Complete the online PhD Research Spotlight Proposal, which must include: a proposal title, an abstract outlining the original nature of your research and highlighting the interdisciplinary scope of the work, and a description of medium(s) that will be used in your exhibition piece.
  • The deadline for applications is Monday 31 October 2016.
  • All proposals will be reviewed by the Dean of the York Graduate Research School and the Associate Deans for Research, and nine finalists will be shortlisted (three from each faculty).
  • Applicants will be notified as to whether they have been selected for the final event by w/b Monday 7 November 2016.
  • Finalists will be invited to a review session on Monday 14 November (10.00am-12.30pm) where they can discuss their piece with their peers and receive support from the RETT in developing their public engagement skills.
  • The deadline for submissions of final pieces will be Tuesday 3 January 2017.
  • Finalists will present their piece on Wednesday 11 January at YorkTalks 2017 in the Spring Lane Building.


If you have a query relating to the PhD Research Spotlight Competition please contact