Five Minute Research Pitch, Heats

Published: Monday 7th September 2015

The Five Minute Research Pitch is an opportunity for researchers to showcase their research to a national audience and to be in the running to win a total of $7,000 towards their research. Researchers will be required to deliver a short five minute presentation of their recent research with the aid of three PowerPoint slides. The competition is similar to the three minute thesis competition run nationally for PhD students.


Melbourne, Monday 12 October, 2:30pm to 4:00pm, Room TBA

North Sydney, Wednesday 14 October, 9:30am to 11:30am, Room TBA

Brisbane, Thursday 29 October, 10:30am to 12:30pm, Room TBA·     

1. Eligibility

The 5 Minute Research Pitch is open to active proven researchers (at Level A, B and C) who are employed by the following Australian Higher Education Institutions:

  • Australian Catholic University
  • Edith Cowan University
  • Federation University
  • Southern Cross University
  • Victoria University
  • University of Southern Queensland
  • Additional new 2015 participating universities.

The research presented must be current; either in the process of being completed or published from 1st January 2014.

Research students are not eligible to compete. However, if you are employed as an academic staff member at one of the above institutions and concurrently undertaking a PhD, you are eligible as a staff member. It is also appropriate to present work conducted as a PhD student within the above timeframe, if currently employed as an academic staff member.

2. Competition/Rules

Presentations are limited to five minutes. Any presenter exceeding five minutes will be disqualified.  Three PowerPoint slides are permitted. These may include photos, diagrams or other graphic material to extrapolate the research. Non-static media (videos, sound-clips) are permitted to a maximum of 30 seconds but must be a part of a slide (not in addition to) and will be included in the five minute presentation time. The judging panel’s recommendations are final and negotiations will not be entered in to once the winners are announced.

3. Internal Heat and Nomination Process

To participate in the national finals it is a requirement that each university first runs an internal heat. The winner from each of the discipline groupings listed below from each institution will then participate in the national finals, to be held in North Sydney in November 2015.

The winner of the individual groupings from each institution will receive $1,000 from their own university, to be credited to their university research account.

4. Discipline Groupings

The first place winner of each of the groupings in the institutional heats will proceed to the national finals. The groupings are as follows:

Group One – Science & Health

  • Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
  • Health and Medical Sciences
  • Engineering, Mathematics and Informatics
  • Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences.

Group Two – Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

  • Humanities and Creative Arts
  • Education, Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • Law
  • Business, Commerce and Economics.

5. Judging Panel

Internal heats:  Each institution will be responsible for forming the judging panel for their internal heats. Judges should include an expert from each of the above groupings and have a minimum of 3 judges.

National final:  Each institution will nominate one of their internal judges to sit on the judging panel at the national finals. Australian Catholic University will select from the nominations and will construct a panel accordingly.

6. Judging Criteria

Participants will be judged on:

  • description and importance of research problem
  • description of the research process
  • the ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience
  • clear overall conclusion and final summary
  • creativity of presentation and engagement with the audience.
7. The National Finals

The national finals will be held in Sydney 16th November 2015 from 2pm onwards, with the location and time to be determined by the host institution - ACU. Details and written proposals of all institutional finalists will be forwarded to the host institution prior to the final event.

Each discipline grouping will be awarded a first, second and third place winner based on the judging panel’s choice. One overall winner will be selected from the winners of the two discipline groupings. The total prize money received by the overall winner at the national final will be $7,000 ($2,000 discipline prize money plus overall winner prize). Discipline Winner: $2,000, Second place: $1,000, Third place: $500 and Overall winner: $5,000.

The prizes are awarded for research purposes. Prizes will be paid by the place-getter’s own institution and will be awarded to the winners’ research account – the prizes will not be available as a cash prize.

8. ACU Contact

If you have any questions regarding the 5 Minute Research Pitch, please contact:

Ms Sandra Johnson

Manager, Researcher Support

ACU Research, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research

Australian Catholic University

(02) 9839 2168