phd students presenting posters

PhD Summer Showcase 2022 | Thursday 14 July 2022 | 11:00-16:00 | Queens Tower Rooms - South Kensington

This annual event is organised by the Graduate School to celebrate the research being carried out by our PhD students.
The challenge for this year's competition is for students to communicate their research to a lay audience via a three minute presentation. This will be assessed across two stages – firstly a video presentation to be submitted in advance, and then at our face-to-face presentation showcase event.
Our team of official judges will be assessing each video presentation for its visual impact and content as well as the ability of the presenter to explain their research in a way that can be shared with the general public. Then at the face-to-face showcase event, competitors will be given the chance to top up their public engagement score as the judges assess their presentation pitches in person.

Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place based on the judges scores. There will also be a People's Choice Prize which will be voted for by the College community in the week leading up to the event and on the day.

This event is open to all so come and meet our brilliant community of PhD students and find out more about the range of research taking place across the College. And don't forget to cast your vote for the highly coveted People's Choice prize!

Prize Winners 2022

We are delighted to announce the results of the PhD Summer Showcase 2022 are as follows:

1st Prize Rowan Hedgecock Materials Heat Shield Materials for Re-Usable Spacecraft
2nd Prize Melanie Herpels Bioengineering Bioengineered interleukin 12 for a safer and more effective pancreatic cancer immunotherapy (video not available)
3rd Prize Billy Baxter National Heart and Lung Institute The Role of Environmental Pollution in Respiratory Symptoms

People's Choice Prize

Thuy Nguyen Centre for Environmental Policy  Reducing the Social Inequities in Greenspace Use and Access: A Co-Design Approach

We would like to extend our thanks to all of the contestants, the judges and to everyone who voted for their favourite entry via the People's Choice award.

Competition info

Eligibility & Competition Rules

  • The competition is open to all current Imperial College PhD students. 
  • There are two mandatory stages to the competition – a three minute video presentation to be submitted in advance and then a face-to-face presentation event on Thursday 14 July 2022.

Stage 1 - Video Presentation

Entrants are required to communicate their research to a lay audience via a three minute video presentation with voice-over narration. 

  • Entrants are encouraged to use images, animations and other visual effects in their video presentation; however, no music is allowed. 
  • All entries will be uploaded to the Graduate School's YouTube Channel and will be available for public viewing for the duration of the People's Choice vote. 
  • All video presentation entries will be assessed by our judging team against the following categories: 'Visual Impact', 'Content' and 'Public Engagement' (see below for more detailed criteria)

Stage 2 - Face-to-Face Presentation Event

Entrants are also required to present their research at our face-to-face exhibition event on Thursday 14 July 2022 in the Queens Tower Rooms, Sherfield Building.

  • All entrants will be allocated a 100cm wide x 100cm high poster board. 
  • Entrants can use their poster board to display anything that will assist them in communicating their research. This could be a research poster, a selection of images/artwork or any other visual aids; feel free to be creative! 
  • Entrants will be responsible for displaying their visual aids on their poster boards (the boards are material covered so Velcro tabs will be provided). 
  • All entrants will be assessed by a selection of judges which will include Imperial staff and students (full details to be confirmed). 
  • Entrants will be asked to present their research individually to each judge; the pitch must not exceed three minutes and must be aimed at a layperson. 
  • Entrants will be judged solely on how well they communicate their research and in particular their ability to explain it in a way that can be shared with the general public (see the 'public engagement' category in the below judging criteria)
  • Entrants will be allocated to one of two judging slots: Morning: 11:00-12:00 or Afternoon: 13:30-14:30. 

All competitors should also be available to attend the prize giving ceremony in the Queen’s Tower Rooms between 15:30-16:00. 

Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place based on the judges scoresThere will also be a People's Choice Prize which will be voted for by the College community in the week leading up to the showcase event and on the day. 

Judging Criteria

Video Presentations will be judged on the three categories below. The face-to-face presentations will only be judged against the Public Engagement category.

CategoryConsiderationsMaximum Score


(Video presentation only) 

  • Clarity - presentation of content is clear, organised and has an appropriate amount of information that highlights key points.
  • Use of images, graphics & text - did this enhance or detract from the presentation?
  • Visual appeal – was the presentation eye catching?  Was it enjoyable to watch?
  • Originality - Did the presentation stand out? Was it creative with its use of visual aids?
 5 pts


(Video presentation only)

  • Organisation did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence? e.g. introduction, aims & conclusion
  • Narrative – did the presentation have a coherent narrative to help the audience understand the research?
 5 pts


(Video presentation & face-to-face presentation)

  • Pitched appropriately - Was the research communicated in a language appropriate to a lay audience?
  • Ability to explain clearly & concisely – Was the presentation easy to follow and understand? Did the presenter explain any jargon? e.g. technical/non-technical terms?
  • Important points coveredDid you understand what the important parts of the research are? Did the presentation emphasise the main points?
  • Engaging – Did the presenter convey enthusiasm/passion for their research? Did the presentation hold your attention for the duration? Were you curious to find out more?
 10 pts

Prize Information

The following prizes will be awarded:

  • 1st Prize - £500
  • 2nd Prize - £250
  • 3rd Prize - £150
  • People's Choice - £100

The winners will be announced at the prize giving ceremony on Thursday 14 July 2022.