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SciComm@UCR Student Multimedia Science Communication Competition


INTRODUCTION

SciComm@UCR is hosting a multimedia research communication challenge to give UCR students like you the opportunity to showcase their research to a broader audience.

This is a great opportunity to communicate your research to the public and the campus community. The video format lets you be creative in a way that you can't be in a written thesis, poster presentation, or formal talk. Additionally, competitions like this are gaining popularity among top scientific publishers, making multimedia communication an in-demand skill.

Submissions are due by November 12th, 2021. Prizes will be awarded at a ceremony held on December 3rd, 2021. Attendance is mandatory for prize distribution. 

This event is jointly supported by UC-Riverside, Springer Nature, Elsevier, HDR, and the Solis Group.

 

PRIZES

  • First-place winners will receive $1,000 and a year-long subscription (print and digital) to Nature.
  • Second and third place winners will also receive a monetary award.
  • Up to 4 additional monetary prizes will be awarded for categories like "people's choice," "most creative video," and "coolest research project".

First, second, and third place graduate and undergraduate submissions will be judged and awarded separately.

 

THE CHALLENGE:

Create a 3 to 5-minute video for the purposes of educating the public on your research in the STEM field.

There are no restrictions about how to make the video – talking to the camera, using props, incorporating animations, whatever you want to convey your research (and maybe the story behind it and why you did it) are all valid for submission. The goal is to be clear and creative. 

 

ELIGIBILITY:

Any UCR graduate or undergraduate student over the age of 18 who is engaged in research outside the classroom (including honors thesis research) with a UCR faculty mentor.  Students working on projects in groups may submit videos as an individual as a group (limited to 3 students).  Multiple submissions from the same laboratory will be accepted. Students submitting as a group should designate one person to be the main contact for the competition. That designated contact person should handle all communications about technical and administrative issues and, where applicable, for finalist and winner notification.

 

CONTENT GUIDELINES:

  1. Laboratory SAFETY is the #1 priority. Any footage taken within UCR facilities must follow and promote appropriate EH&S safety guidelines
  2. The Video topic should be an interesting STEM research project happening at UCR.
  3. Entries must be suitable for explaining your research to a non-specialist audience with respect to language, visual content, presentation, themes discussed, and related issues.
  4. Videos must run between 3 and 5 minutes in duration. Videos outside of this range will not be eligible for consideration.
  5. In your video, please include the following:
    • Who you are, and the institution/university at which you study/work.
    • An explanation of fundamental concepts and history that are necessary to understand your research topic. Videos should be tailored to a GENERAL AUDIENCE.
    • The applications of your research; how it benefits the world now and/or its potential future applications.
    • References cited where appropriate (may utilize the video description). 
    • A short thank-you to our sponsors, with their logos included in the video itself. Sponsor logos can be found here.
  6. All entries must be completed in English, and videos must include content that is entirely understandable to an English-speaking audience.
  7. Be respectful of any featured location(s), other people using the site, and wildlife there.
  8. Videos may include footage shot at the site, animations, computer images, drawings, data, and so on.
  9. Videos should be filmed & edited in high resolution (HD 1280×720 or higher) format.

 

SUBMISSION CHECKLIST:

  1. Videos must be previously unpublished, original content and must be the sole property of the entrants, not previously submitted to any other contest. Previously published material includes that which has been posted on the Internet.
  2. Submit your unlisted video link to our Google Form by November 12th, 2021. Alternatively, you may email the video file to scicommucr@gmail.com. Please make sure to submit the file named with Department_LastName_FirstName of the individual submitting or the main contact, as appropriate with "Video Competition 2021" in the subject line.
  3. Ensure that all submission information (e.g., names and signatures on the Official Photo/Video Release Form, location of the place that is the entry focus site) are accurate.
  4. Obtain permission to use any location that is shown in the video.
  5. Provide complete contact information by which the entrant(s) can be reached. For group submissions, designate a main contact to handle all communication with SciComm@UCR (including video submission).
  6. In the video description, please first include your Department, Research Group, and the names of all participants with the contact individual listed as "first author".
  7. Respond to notifications from SciComm@UCR in a timely manner.
  8. Provide the following materials:

IMPORTANT: To submit an eligible entry for the contest, you must provide three things:

  1. Your unlisted YouTube video submission (completed by following these directions). Alternatively, you may email the video file to scicommucr@gmail.com. Please make sure to submit the file named with Department_LastName_FirstName of the individual submitting or the main contact, as appropriate with "Video Competition 2021" in the subject line.
  2. Signed Official Photo/Video Release Form emailed to scicommucr@gmail.com. Any people in the video who can be visibly recognized must sign an Official Photo/Video Release Form before the entry is submitted.
  3. Completed Google Form
Your video submission is considered incomplete until we receive these items.

 

Additional Rules: The copyright for the video and its content is retained by the University of California. By submitting an entry, the entrant(s) represents that the video is an original work, and the entrant(s) is the sole owner of all rights to the video. The entrant(s) also agrees to allow the University of California to use their name to post on the SciComm@UCR website, without compensation. Each entrant(s) grants to UCR a royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the video, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or later developed, for any UCR purpose, including, but not limited to, education, advertising, and promotion. UCR will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses. The University of California – Riverside, its agents and contractor, are not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, or incomplete entries. The entrant is responsible for obtaining legal permission to film on the location they have chosen. Contest void where prohibited or restricted by law. SciComm@UCR reserves the right to cancel the contest or modify these rules at its discretion. Decisions of SciComm@UCR are final and binding.

 

Please read the above specifications carefully, as failure to follow the rules and guidelines will result in automatic disqualification from prize consideration. 

 

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Nature Career Feature: "YouTube allows scientists to explain more-complex concepts. But videos should still be fast-paced and energetic, because users are easily distracted, says Dianna Cowern, who created the YouTube channel Physics Girl, now funded by PBS Digital Studios... She suggests avoiding standard classroom topics in favour of unusual phenomena — for instance, how sand behaves like a fluid when air bubbles through it." - Excerpt from Put it on camera: How to get into scientific film- and video-making by Roberta Kwok

You can also take a look at these sample videos:

 

WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MAKING A VIDEO?

The UCR Riviera Library can help!  They have a lot of information and resources, including recording space and loaner equipment.  For questions, please contact rivcirc@ucr.edu.

You can also check out these guides:

How to shoot an interview

How to create a science video (this whole blog is great!)

Editing tips and cuts

12 Simple Tips for Making Your Videos Look More Professional

 

JUDGES:

Judges will consist of scientific and communications professionals, regional community members, and employers/sponsors.

 

JUDGING CRITERIA:

Participants will be evaluated based on their content and communication, creativity, and video and editing quality. Below is a sample rubric that will be used to evaluate each submission.

 

WHAT IF I HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS?

General questions should be submitted to scicommucr@gmail.com with the subject headline “Student Video Competition


SAMPLE RUBRIC:

Please rank the video submissions based on the following criteria, evaluating how well participant(s) meet each point. Entries will be ranked from 1 (least effective) to 5 (most effective).

Content & Communication

1

2

3

4

5

Scientific explanation is thorough, clearly presented and easy to follow

1

2

3

4

5

Includes exciting motivation – its potential and how it impacts people

1

2

3

4

5

Explains key history and fundamental concepts

1

2

3

4

5

Communicates in clear language and avoids overly technical terms

1

2

3

4

5

The importance of the research is clear throughout the video

 

Creativity

1

2

3

4

5

Compelling and maintains the audience attention

1

2

3

4

5

Originality

1

2

3

4

5

Narrative coherence

 

Video & Editing Quality

1

2

3

4

5

Film: clear audio, steady video, framing, focus, lighting, etc

1

2

3

4

5

Editing: smooth transitions, synchronization of audio and video, etc

 

Total Points:      /50.

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