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Tell It Straight 2018

Communication Competition for DCU Postgraduate Research Students

Tell It Straight is DCU's annual communication competition specifically designed to encourage postgraduate research students to communicate their research to a non-specialist audience in a concise, dynamic and innovative way, utilising current technology. The competition is open to registered DCU research students in all years of study. To enter you need to submit a 250-word plain-language abstract. Competitors 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

The final will take place on the afternoon of Wednesday 7th March 2018 so you must be available on that day.

  • All entrants must submit a 250-word plain-language abstract by 16.00 on Friday 1st December 2017. Students can choose to submit their abstract for both an oral presentation category and the video category if they wish.
  • An expert panel will assess all abstracts.
  • A shortlist of no more than 6 finalists in each category will be drawn up and notified by mid-January 2018 at the latest.
  • Finalists in all categories will receive small group training in presentation/technical video skills in late January/early February 2018.
  • Category 3 finalists must submit their videos by Wednesday 21st February 2018.
  • Category 1 and 2 finalists will deliver their presentations on Wednesday 7th March 2018.


Competition Rules

The competition is open to registered research students in all years of study, however, finalists from the previous year are excluded from entering. Prizewinners from previous years are not permitted to compete in the same category again.

All abstracts will be assessed by an expert judging panel on the following criteria:

  1. Suitability for a non-specialist audience
  2. Quality of the writing style
  3. Clear and meaningful message
  4. Clear articulation of the value of the research

Presentations in category 1 and 2 should be 5 minutes in duration. The use of slides/visual aids is permitted.
Videos in category 3 should be 2 minutes in length. These will be uploaded to the Tell It Straight YouTube channel one week in advance of the final.


The deadline for the submission of abstracts has now passed.


The two-page PDF poster is available here. The single-page PDF poster is available here.


Tell It Straight 2017

The Tell It Straight 2017 competition took place in the Helix on the DCU Glasnevin Campus on the 28th of April 2017. The event saw fourteen finalists compete to a very high standard in three categories. All videos and recordings can be viewed on our YouTube channel here.


Oral Category 1 (year 1 research students) 

Winner: Simona Herbaj (Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering)
Title: Sticks and stones may break your bones - but here's an ingeneous way to fix you! 

Runner-up: Ellen Howley (English)
Title: Atlantic Islands and Their Poetry: Comparing the Caribbean and Irish Traditions

Oral Category 2 (year 2 research students and beyond)

Winner: David Gaul (Health & Human Performance)
Title: Can Obesity Make you Clumsy?

Runner-up: Claire O'Connell (Physical Sciences)
Title: Where's Wally and the search for cancer cells?

Video Category

Winner: Amanda Dillon (Theology, Philosophy, and Music)
Title: Every Picture Tells A Story: A Semiotic Approach to Analysing How Images Function as Interpretations of Biblical Texts           

Runner-up: Gearóidín McEvoy (Law & Government)
Title: Equating Justice: Using Minority Languages at Criminal Trials 

Tell It Straight Participants 2017