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Dance Your Dissertation Science

Announcing the 2017 ‘Dance Your Ph.D.’ contest!

By John Bohannon

Do you wish that more people understood your Ph.D. project? It doesn’t matter if you’re doing that research right now, or you did it years ago: It doesn’t get any easier to explain—unless you dance it out.

That’s right. It’s the annual Dance Your Ph.D. contest, sponsored by Science and AAAS. And this year marks our 10th anniversary of challenging scientists around the world to turn their esoteric Ph.D. research into dance videos that delight and inform the public.

Any style of dance is welcome as long as you, the Ph.D. researcher, are part of the dance. The final product should be not only fun to watch, but helpful for others to gain an understanding of your scientific research. If you can pull that off, you can win a portion of the $2500 cash prize.

The deadline for submissions is 29 September. To enter the contest, and to see examples of past winners for inspiration, visit the contest homepage.


More from News

Announcing the 10th annual Dance Your Ph.D. Contest!

*Update, 1 November: The 2017 winners have been announced! Click here to see the overall winner, as well as the category winners and your pick for the Audience Favorite award.

The dreaded question. “So, what’s your Ph.D. research about?” You take a deep breath and launch into the explanation. People’s eyes begin to glaze over…

At times like these, don’t you wish you could just turn to the nearest computer and show people an online video of your Ph.D. thesis interpreted in dance form?

Now you can. And while you’re at it, you can win $1000, achieve immortal geek fame on the Internet, and be recognized by Science for your effort.

Prizes: The cash prizes are $500 for the best dance in each category, and an additional $500 for the overall winner. The grand prize winner will also be a guest at the 2018 AAAS annual meeting in Austin, Texas, for a screening of your dance and a talk about how you pulled it off.

How to enter

  1. Turn your Ph.D. thesis into a dance.
  2. Post the video on YouTube.
  3. Send us the link by 29 September 2017 at 11:59 PM EST.

The prizes

A cash prize goes to the best Ph.D. dance in each category:

PHYSICS – $500


BIOLOGY – $500


The rules

  1. You must have a Ph.D., or be working on one as a Ph.D. student.
  2. Your Ph.D. must be in a science-related field (see FAQ).
  3. You must be part of the dance (see FAQ).

Submission deadline: 29 September 2017 at 11:59 PM EST

Those are the basics. Here’s the fine print.