The 2021 Visualise Your Thesis Competition helps graduate researchers to develop essential digital communication skills to effectively convey their complex research to a general audience. It takes the amazing research of the world’s brightest and best graduate researchers and catapults it into the digital age.

The competition challenges graduate researchers to present their research in a 60 second, eye-catching digital display. Using a template, entrants develop a striking looped presentation to encapsulate their research projects in short, engaging, digital narratives.

Register your interest for the 2021 competition

Questions? Contact the VYT team : VYT-local@unimelb.edu.au

Competition Details

  • Key dates

    Please note that dates are subject to change.

    • Proposed competition dates: July 1, 2021- August 13, 2021
    • Information session (online): TBC
    • Awards Event: during the Researcher Connect event, September  2021 (TBC)
  • Eligibility

    The Visualise Your Thesis competition is for currently-enrolled and attending graduate researchers at the University of Melbourne*. Graduate researchers are enrolled in:

    • M.Phil.,
    • Masters by Research,
    • Ph.D. or
    • Professional Doctorate programmes

    Students can be at any stage of their candidature, but must be active and attending (not on leave of absence).

    Not eligible to enter the competition are: Honours students; Masters by coursework students (even if their program has a research/thesis component); or Graduate researchers on a leave of absence.

    Graduate researchers affiliated with multiple institutions may only enter one local competition per year.

    Entries should be unique and original. The re-submission of previous entries is only permitted where substantial revision has occurred.

    * If you are from another university, check the International Visualise Your Thesis site to see if your institution is registered to run a local competition.

  • Prizes and awards

    University of Melbourne Visualise Your Thesis Competition (heat)

    • 1st prize: AUD$2,000 gift card
    • 2nd prize: AUD$1000 gift card
    • 3rd prize: AUD$500 gift card
    • Viewers' Choice Award: $100 gift card (sponsored by University House)

    International Visualise Your Thesis Competition (online final)

    • 1st prize: AUD$5,000 gift card
    • 2nd prize: AUD$2,000 gift card
    • 3rd prize: AUD$1,000 gift card

    Check the international competition website and official Twitter account (@VisualiseThesis) for more details and updates.

  • Judging criteria

    Competition submissions are judged on their visual impact, and how well the content presents the research. The digital format allows for different levels of creativity, multi-media, interactivity and interpretation and is suitable for all disciplines.

    Entries will be judged against the following criteria:


    • Does the entry provide an understanding of the research question being addressed, its significance, and potential impact?
    • Is the research communicated in a format and uses language appropriate for non-specialist audiences?
    • Is the entry free from jargon, unexplained acronyms and incomprehensible technical terms?
    • Is the entry accessible to and respectful of diverse audiences?
    • Does the entry leave you inspired and curious?


    • Is the entry well designed, creative, innovative and engaging?
    • Is it visually striking and memorable?
    • Does it make best use of screen space available?
    • Does it make a good first impression and then offer rich content on further examination?
    • Were the timings, transitions and effects aligned to fit the 60 second timeframe?

    Sound (optional)

    If included,

    • If sound was used to convey information, was accessibility considered, e.g. by providing captions for voiceovers?
    • Did the music/sound contribute to the impact of the presentation?
    • Was the sound/music in keeping with the mood/style of the presentation?

Congratulations to all of our 2020 competition winners!

  • 2020 1st Place
    Rose Macaulay (PhD student) 
    Mindfulness and Wellbeing in Urban Nature School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science.
  • 2020 2nd Place
    Marija Dinevska (PhD student)
    Signalling-specific mechanisms regulating brain tumour cell invasion Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences.
  • 2020 3rd Place
    Matthew Coleman (PhD student)
    Investigating the molecular basis of brain malformations in children Melbourne Medical School, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences.
  • 2020 Viewers' Choice
    Neha Singh (PhD student)
    Meaning in democratic and mainstream schools Educational Psychology, Melbourne Graduate School of Education. (2020 Viewers' Choice prize sponsored by University House)

Our 2020 1st placed winner, Rose Macaulay (PhD student) with her presentation 'Mindfulness and Wellbeing in Urban Nature' will now go on to represent the University of Melbourne in the International Visualise Your Thesis competition! Congratulations, Rose.

University of Melbourne Visualise Your Thesis 2020 Showcase

University of Melbourne Visualise Your Thesis 2019 Showcase

University of Melbourne Visualise Your Thesis 2017 Showcase

University of Melbourne Visualise Your Thesis 2016 Showcase

Read more about our judges