In the Researchers’ Grand Prix, researchers compete to make the most understandable, captivating and inspiring presentation of their research in four minutes.
Local or regional competitions (heats) are arranged in conjunction with the science festival ForskarFredag where the winners will move on to the national finals in Stockholm in November. The competition is mainly held in Swedish, but entries in English are allowed.
The national finals are carried out by the civil society organisation Vetenskap & Allmänhet, VA and the research councils Formas, Forte, the Swedish Research Council, and Vinnova.
Purpose and target audience
- show how research can be conveyed in an understandable, captivating and inspiring way;
- develop researchers’ ability to communicate about their research and appreciate the value of doing so;
- provide the audience an entertaining experience while learning more about research;
- raise science awareness and the status of science communication;
- demonstrate the breadth of Swedish research.
The target audience for the competition is the general public, primarily teenagers and young adults. Each organizer determines the audience for their own competition.
- 5-9 participants are given 4 minutes to present their research on stage, in front of a jury and public audience.
- Then the three members of the jury, representing academia, media, and the performing arts, give their comments and constructive feedback in their respective areas and award points.
- The presentation is judged by the jury on the basis of performance (stage presence & design), understanding (structure, narrative, ease of understanding) and research (science & description of the scientific methods).
- After all contestants have presented, each participant is given 30 seconds in which to present a ”quick recap” of their presentation, after which the audience either gives a rating for each contestant or votes for their overall favourite.
- Then follows some form of interval while the votes of jury and the audience are counted and combined.
- A winner is then announced and awarded!
Researchers’ Grand Prix Digital (National online heat)
Vetenskap & Allmänhet arranges an ”online heat” in which researchers throughout the whole of Sweden can compete for a place in the final by submitting a video presentation of themselves or their research. The rules for the online heat are the same as those for the regional heats. The person who wins this contest gains a place in the final and receives the same coaching for the final as the other finalists. More details.
The competitors must work with research in the private or public sector in Sweden, for example:
- College lecturers, researchers or people working on applying science or technology
- PhD Students
However, the competition is not open to those who work professionally in the field of science communication, e.g. communication officers, artists working with scientific themes, science center staff, journalists, etc.
- The contestants must produce a presentation of their research with a maximum time limit of four minutes.
- No contestant is allowed to continue his/her presentation for longer than the maximum allowed time.
- The presentation can be given in Swedish or English.
- The presentation must not be designed by someone else, e.g. a communicator, colleague or similar. The competitors must own the content themselves, but may seek the support and help of experts in other areas.
- It is permitted and even encouraged to use props.
- Using presentation tools such as Powerpoint is allowed. Any images and sound clips used must be copyright-free.
- Participants will be offered guidance/coaching in presentation techniques by the local organisers prior to the competitions. Note that this step is mandatory for both organisers and participants!
Judging and Scoring
- The jury and the audience rate each contestant according to a scale where 1 is the lowest and 5 is the highest score.
- The voting can be done by means of Mentometer buttons, SMS voting, scorecards, etc. The results are not shown to the audience.
- The jury members raise cards/signs showing the number of points that they wish to award after they have provided some feedback following each presentation.
- The public’s votes and those of the jury are separately converted into an average score. The two averages are then combined for each competitor. The audience’s votes should count for 2/3 and the jury’s 1/3 of the total points. The final score is hidden from the audience.
- In November, a national final will be arranged in Stockholm following the same competition format.
- Participants in the final are those with the highest score in each regional or online heat.
- All finalists are offered personal coaching in presentation techniques approximately one month before the final and the coach meets all the finalists individually. The same coach helps the finalists to refine their presentation at the rehearsal in Stockholm immediately prior to the final.
- The finalists gather in Stockholm the day before the final for a practice run-through, dinner, individual rehearsals on the actual stage and dress rehearsal.