PhD students probably tire of hearing about public engagement, and how their research ‘fits’ in. It’s too niche, how will I explain it, would the public be interested? Taking the chance to get involved in school-wide activities provides a fantastic opportunity to raise a public profile about your research, without much effort and build a personal research portfolio at the same time. Too good to be true?

The Research Competition, run as part of the LSE Festival, is an annual celebration of the variety of research that goes on at LSE. Previous entries can be seen online. This year the theme is New World (Dis)Orders, and you can submit a photograph, short film, written pitch (formerly research abstract) or a poster. PhD students have all done at least one of these forms of research, but for those that are still a little unsure, the PhD Academy hosts workshops specifically with the competition in mind.

“The Research Competition was an occasion to see the breadth of research at LSE and provided a chance for conversations about my own research. People came up to me and asked about my research at the event. And the best part was you get a beautiful picture to take home with you”.  Liisa Kohenen, PhD candidate in Anthropology, entered a photograph in 2016.

If you need any more incentive, besides public engagement with your work and building a research profile, you could win a cash prize of £250. There are nine prizes in total; category prizes (photograph, short film, poster, and written pitch), LSE LIFE prize, Festival prize (that matches the theme most closely), Popular prize (by online voting), a prize for staff and… wait for it… a PhD Academy prize!

During February, all valid entries will feature in an online gallery. The event culminates in a week-long celebration from 25 February to 2 March 2019, with the Competition hosting an exhibition of shortlisted entries and two evening events. We will be hosting a ‘Meet and Greet’ event for researchers to talk to attendees about their work, and a prize-giving wine reception once all the judging has taken place.

It’s as easy as one, two, and three;

  1. Go online to our website
  2. Check out our helpful toolkits and judging criteria for each category
  3. Submit online!

If you have any questions contact for more details.

This guest blog was written by Anishka Gheewala-Lohiya, LSE PhD student.