Skip to main content

HDR grants and opportunities

Visualise Your Thesis

Visualise Your Thesis is an international competition that challenges graduate researchers to summarise their research in an engaging, 60-second visual multimedia presentation. It gives the researcher the opportunity to build essential digital communication skills so they can effectively communicate complex research to a general audience.

HDR students should contact for further information.

What's involved

You are required to develop a 60-second presentation, using a supplied template, that encapsulates your research project. Competition submissions are judged on their visual impact, and how well the content presents the research. The competition allows for multi-media, interactivity and interpretation and is suitable for all disciplines.

The University supports competitors with a competition pack that includes training materials and guidance to help put together a winning entry. We will also have online drop-in sessions to answer questions and provide advice closer to the close of submissions.

Check out the entries from previous years of the University of Sydney’s Visualise Your Thesis competition.


You are eligible to enter if you are a currently enrolled Higher Degree by Research candidate, at any stage of your candidature.

You are not eligible to enter the competition if:

  • you are an honours student
  • you are a masters by coursework student
  • you are a graduate researcher on a leave of absence
  • your candidature has lapsed.

If you're affiliated with a research institute that is also running a Visualise Your Thesis competition, you will have to decide whether you would like to represent the University or your research institute, as you can only enter once local competition per year.

Your entry should be original. The resubmission of previous entries is only permitted where the content has been substantially revised.

If you’re also employed by the University of Sydney, you are not prohibited from entering unless you have, or are perceived to have, influence over the competition outcome, research funding or related resourcing, then you would not be eligible to participate.

How to apply

If you missed an information session on 7 May 2024 you can request a recording by emailing

From 1 June you will be able to submit Visualise Your Thesis registration form and receive a competition pack with further details and training links to help with your entry.

When ready, you will be able to submit your Visualise Your Thesis entry between 0.01 am 1 June and 11.59 pm 7 July.

If you have any questions, please email

Winners and prizes

Judges will determine a winner and a runner-up from the submitted entries using the following judging criteria: 

Category Criteria

Topic Understanding

Does the video leave you with a better understanding of the topic?
Communication and Language  Is the research communicated / presented in language appropriate for a non-specialist audience?
Creativity and Engagement  Is the video creative and engaging (e.g. visually striking and memorable)?
Topic Significance In the significance of the research clearly explained?

The winner will be announced at a joint event with 3MT on Friday 16 August 2024. A viewer’s choice winner will be determined based on votes from University students and staff. Prizes are as follows:

  • First prize: AUD $3,000
  • Second prize: AUD $1,000
  • Third prize/Viewer's choice: AUD $500

The winning entry will represent the University of Sydney as a finalist at the International Visualise Your Thesis Competition run by the University of Melbourne.

2023 results

  • Winner and Viewers’ Choice Winner: Balsam Alkouz, Faculty of Engineering: ‘Swarm-Based Drone-as-a-Service (SDaaS) for Delivery.’
  • Runner-up: Erica Bell, Faculty of Medicine and Health: ‘Understanding Irritability: Definition, Measurement and Modelling.’

2022 results

  • Winner: Daniel Surkalim, Faculty of Medicine and Health: 'Being Lonely Together: A Profile of Loneliness Across the Lifespan.'
  • Runner-up: Yuxiao Chen, Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning: 'The perfect concert hall: is it all about sound?'
  • Runner-up: Johnny Wong, Faculty of Science: 'How can we grow human stem cells more effectively?'

2021 results

  • Winner: Anastasia Suraev, School of Psychology, Faculty of Science: ‘From prohibition to prescription: Cannabinoids as novel sleep aids.’
  • Runner-up: Ana Rita Barreiros, Westmead Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health: ‘A comprehensive study of the effects of real-time functional MRI neurofeedback on treatment-resistant depression.’
  • Viewer’s Choice: Rachel Visontay, the Matilda Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health: ‘To drink or not to drink: Does a little bit of alcohol cause good health?
Last updated: 10 May 2024

Website feedback

Tell us if you’ve spotted a typo or something else wrong with this page.

Thank you

Your feedback has been sent.

Sorry there was a problem sending your feedback. Please try again

You should only use this form to send feedback about the content on this webpage – we will not respond to other enquiries made through this form. If you have an enquiry or need help with something else such as your enrolment, course etc you can contact the Student Centre.