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Tell It Straight Finalists 2018

Tell It Straight 2019

Communication Competition for DCU Postgraduate Research Students


The Tell It Straight communications competition challenges research students to communicate their research, and its potential impact, to a non-specialist audience in a concise, dynamic and innovative way. Communicating your research in a manner that is free from jargon and to engage a general audience is a crucial skill for research students. This competition is also a means to hear about research that is taking place across the university, not just in your own discipline. This will be the seventh time we have run this competition, so it is a landmark date on our calendar. 


Call for Abstracts

The call for abstracts is now open and the deadline is 16.00 on Monday 10th December 2018. To enter you need to submit a 250-word plain-language abstract. Students can compete in one of three categories

Category 1: Oral Presentation (research students in year 1 only)

1st prize €400, runner-up €150

Category 2: Oral Presentation (research students in year 2 or later)

1st prize €400, runner-up €150


Category 3: YouTube Video (open to research students in all years)

1st prize €400, runner-up €150


In the oral categories students will give a 5-minute presentation, using visual aids, describing their research to a nin-specialist audience. In the video category dtidents will create a 2-minute video, uploaded to YouTube, describing their research topic.

Judging of abstracts and training

A panel of judges will assess the abstracts and decide on who to shortlist for the final of the competition. I hope that this will be done before we break for Christmas. Those shortlisted in the oral categories will receive training in the new year on how best to communicate effectively. Those shortlisted in the video category will be given one face-to-face session and one remote session with an expert on digital storytelling. We've been working with both trainers for a number of years, so finalists will have an opportunity to hone their skills. 

Abstracts will be judged on the following criteria:

Clear and meaningful message (10 marks)

There is a clear articulation of the value of the research (10 marks)

Quality of writing style and suitable for a non-specialist audience (10 marks)

How to enter

Complete this entry form and email it to with 'Tell It Straight' in the title of your email. The deadline is 16.00 on Monday 10th December 2018. You are permitted to enter your abstract for both an oral and the video category, if you wish. You can indicate this on the form.


1. You must be a registered DCU research student to enter the competition.

2. Finalists from 2018 are excluded from entering the competition in 2019. Those who were not shortlisted from the 2018 competition are entitled to enter.

3. All oral presentations must be delivered in person on Wednesday 27th March 2019.

4. Students entering Category 1 (research students in year 1) must have first registered after 2nd March 2018 to be eligible.

The Final

We hope to hold the final from 14.00-16.00 on Wednesday 27th March 2019. 

Details on the competition from previous years

To read our blog entry about the competition from previous years go to the DCU Graduate Studies blog.

To see the video entries for previous years and some recordings of the oral categories, go to our YouTube page.