Virginia Tech graduate students interested in competing in the Nutshell Games, a 90-second research presentation competition, can now register.

Hosted by Virginia Tech’s Center for Communicating Science and held in conjunction with the Virginia Tech Science Festival, the fifth annual Nutshell Games will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 7, at the conclusion of the daylong Science Festival.

This year, in response to the pandemic, the Nutshell Games will adopt an online format. Instead of presenting live and onstage, researchers will submit 90-second video recordings of their presentations. The submission deadline is October 28, and the competition is limited to 30 participants. All videos will be presented to the public on November 7.

The first 30 graduate students to register will each have 90 seconds to present their research — research in a nutshell — to an online audience for this friendly science communication competition. Three winners, determined by a panel of judges to have been the most engaging and to have communicated their research the most clearly, will each receive a $500 prize. All of the contestants will have their individual video recordings posted on the Center for Communicating Science YouTube channel so that the research presentations can be shared widely.

With an emphasis on communicating to non-scientists, the Nutshell Games will be judged by a panel of people from both on and off campus. Contestants will be provided with a list of judging criteria, which include connection with the audience, communicating the importance of the research, making the research accessible to a broad audience, and more.

The deadline for applying to participate is September 28. Only 30 videos will be shown, so don’t delay! Contestants and those on the “waitlist” will be invited to participate in a preparatory Zoom workshop from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, October 1.

Visit the Nutshell Games blog post for more information.