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Graduate Studies Office
Winners and Runner-Ups of Tell It Straight Final Competition, March 2024
Tell It Straight 2024 winners and runners-up with Professor Sharon O'Brien, Dean of Graduate Studies, DCU. Left to right: Paul Rowe, Niall Ashfield, Pepe Sánchez-Molero, Prof Sharon O’Brien, Ciarán Cooling, Melissa Lynch, Paul Cannon.

Tell It Straight

DCU's Postgraduate Research Communications Competition

Hosted annually by the Graduate Studies Office, Tell It Straight competition enables postgraduate research students to communicate their research in a dynamic and innovative way. The competition challenges participants to communicate their research suitable to a non-specialist audience. 


The Final 2024
The Final 2024


The below finalists will compete under their resepective categories on March 6, 2024. 


Category 1:  Oral Presentations (Year-1 only)
  1. Ciara Buckley - School of Psychology
  2. Ciarán Cooling - School of Physical Sciences
  3. Gaia Bezzi - School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies
  4. Penelope Coughlan - DCU Business School
  5. Pepe Sánchez-Molero - School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies


Category 2:  Oral Presentations (Year-2 onwards)
  1. Emine Ay - School of Law and Government
  2. Mairéad Jordan - School of English
  3. Niall Ashfield -  School of Biotechnology
  4. Paul Cannon - School of Physical Sciences
  5. Trish Carolan - School of Inclusive and Special Education


Category 3:  Video Presentations (All Years)
  1. Daphni Doulaptsi Teeuwen - School of Biotechnology
  2. Emma O'Hart - School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health
  3. Melissa Lynch - School of Policy and Practice
  4. Oluwabukola Adegboro - School of Electronic Engineering
  5. Paul Rowe - School of Policy and Practice


Competition Rules
Winners & Runners-Up 2024


Congratulations to the Tell It Straight 2024 Winners & Runners-Up!

Further information on the event


Category 1:  Oral Presentations (Year-1 only)

Winner: Ciarán Cooling, School of Physical Sciences

‘Nanolaminated and ultrathin transparent conducting oxides’

Supervisors: Dr Karsten Fleischer and Dr Robert O'Connor

Runner-Up: Pepe Sánchez-Molero, School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies

‘Chosen Families | Arrival Cities. A Comparative Study of Spaces created by Queer Migrant Communities’

Supervisors: Mr Jean-Philippe Imbert, Dr Olga Springer and Dr Phevos Kallitsis (UoP)


Category 2:  Oral Presentations (Year-2 onwards)

Winner: Niall Ashfield, School of Biotechnology

‘Investigating the combination of tyrosine kinase inhibitors and antibody-drug conjugates in HER2+ cancers’

Supervisors: Dr Denis Collins, Dr Amira Mahdi (UL) and Prof John Crown (SVUH)

Runner-Up: Paul Cannon, School of Physical Sciences

‘Nanoforest on a Chip - Oxide Nanostructures for DNA Analysis’

Supervisors: Dr Jennifer Gaughran, Prof Enda McGlynn and Dr Brian Freeland


Category 3:  Video Presentations (All Years)

Winner: Melissa Lynch, School of Policy and Practice

‘NOBODY REALLY KNOWS! Exploring the Impact of Social and Cultural Capital on low socioeconomic status (LSES) Students progression from DEIS school into Further and Higher Education in Ireland’

Supervisors: Dr Jane O'Kelly and Dr John Lalor

Runner-Up: Paul Rowe, School of Policy and Practice

‘How to start a transformational education movement - the early history of Educate Together 1982-1990’

Supervisors: Prof Gerard McNamara and Dr Shivaun O’Brien 





Image from Tell It Straight Final 2024
Competition Details


The Competition

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.

Finalists are assessed by an expert judging panel on the following criteria:

1. Content is suitable for a non-specialist audience. Avoidance of jargon. 

2. Good use of technology/visual aids.

3. Clear articulation of the value of the research.

4. A high standard of communication skills e.g. vocal mechanism such as pace, pitch, volume, vocal variety; and the message is effectively communicated to the audience.

5. Research methods and approach are clearly presented in an accessible manner to a non-specialist audience.


Competition Rules

The competition is open to registered research students in all years of study, however, finalists from the previous year's competition are excluded from entering.

Research students are permitted to enter abstracts for both the oral and the video category.

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

  • Suitability for a non–specialist audience.
  • Quality of the writing style.
  • Clear and meaningful message.
  • Clear articulation of the value of the research.



Linda Prosa, Graduate Skills Officer | linda.prosa@dcu.ie


Tell It Straight 2024 finalists
Tell It Straight 2024 finalists with Professor Sharon O'Brien, Dean of Graduate Studies, DCU. From Left to right: Mairéad Jordan, Trish Carolan, Emma O'Hart, Oluwabukola Adegboro, Emine Ay, Daphni Doulaptsi-Teeuwen, Melissa Lynch, Paul Rowe, Gaia Bezzi, Pepe Sánchez-Molero, Ciara Buckley, Prof Sharon O’Brien, Penelope Coughlan, Ciarán Cooling, Paul Cannon, Niall