LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 24, 2021) — Applications are being accepted for the University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research’s fourth annual 5-Minute Fast Track Research Competition. The goal of this competition is to improve students’ abilities to communicate their undergraduate research and creative work effectively to a general, non-specialist audience while creating a compelling story about their scholarship.
Competitors will present their research in five minutes in front of a panel of judges and a live audience using a single, static slide. This challenges students to develop their academic, presentation and research communication skills while also allowing them to showcase their research in a captivating way.
To be eligible to compete, participants must have sophomore, junior or senior enrollment status and have completed two full terms of faculty-mentored research or creative work in any major. Participants must also be available to participate in the preliminary rounds and the final round.
“Typically, when we engage in research and creative work, we become incredibly focused on the fine details. The 5-Minute Fast Track Competition is a fantastic opportunity for undergraduates to step outside of the comfort zone that they develop in these details and challenge themselves by participating in this oral competition where they turn their focus on telling the impact of their scholarship to a general audience,” said Chad Risko, faculty director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.
“Throughout this competition, I was able to share the unique problems we discovered, the approach we took to investigate them, and the potential solutions to addressing these issues,” said Courtney Martin, last year’s second place winner of the competition.
Martin also credits the competition with exposing her to new areas of research: “I was able to explore research fields outside of my own, become more informed in the world of research, and learn how others were contributing to making improvements in their respective fields.”
The competition has two preliminary rounds — the first on Oct. 19 and the second on Oct. 20. Students will be judged on communication, comprehension, content and engagement. The top 10 finalists from the preliminary rounds will advance to the final round Oct. 28. The preliminary rounds will take place in the William T. Young Library Auditorium, with the final round taking place in the Gatton Student Center Worsham Cinema. All three rounds of the competition are free and open to the public.
Students will compete for cash prizes: $750 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place.
Registration for the competition will close Oct. 5. There are only 40 student spots available and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.