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Continuing the streak

National contest looking for best storytellers at Memorial


By Jeff Green

Memorial is looking to continue its tradition of excellence at a national research event.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) launched its 2017 Storytellers Contest on Nov. 28, challenging post-secondary students to demonstrate how social sciences and humanities research affects our world and future prosperity.

As with past contests, Memorial is hoping to be strongly represented throughout the contest.

Previous finalists and winner

Master’s student Erin Mobley, Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, was one of 25 finalists in this year’s competition, while Zak Keeping, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science, received an honourable mention.

Kirk Luther was one of the storyteller winners in 2013.
Kirk Luther was one of the storyteller winners in 2013.
Photo: Submitted

Joshua Smee, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, was a finalist in 2015 while he was completing his master’s degree.

Dr. Kirk Luther, who graduated from the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science, this fall, was one of the overall winners of the inaugural competition in 2013.

“It is inspiring to see other researchers who are passionate about their work.” — Dr. Kirk Luther

Dr. Luther encourages students to consider the contest. He says it’s a great way to challenge yourself while learning something new.

“Often with research, we are restricted in how we present it, but with the Storytellers Contest, you have to be creative and think outside the box,” he said.

“It’s an incredible way to combine art and science. The great thing about the Storytellers Contest is that, beyond the three minutes (or 300 words for text entries), the rest is up to you.”

Broad audience

Dr. Luther says knowledge mobilization is an extremely important part of research. The great thing about the SSHRC contest is that students get to present their work to diverse audiences.

The storytellers contest launched Nov. 28.

“You are challenged to make sure that you research presentation is creative, compelling and clear enough to capture the attention of a broad audience,” he told the Gazette.

“The Storytellers Contest also allows you to connect with peers the country. I learned a lot about the important work being carried out by other students across Canada. It is inspiring to see other researchers who are passionate about their work.”

Three minutes or 300 words

SSHRC is looking for students with a passion for storytelling.

The contest is open to graduate and undergraduate students at Canadian post-secondary institutions.

Their challenge is to tell a story — in a three minute video or 300 words — of a SSHRC-funded research project, either their own or a professor’s.

Top prizes

Each year, SSHRC selects 25 finalists to receive a $3,000 cash prize and specialized training in research communications. Contestants can submit entries as of Jan. 9, 2017, until the contest closes on Jan. 31.

To learn more about this year’s challenge, follow SSHRC’s Twitter feed and #SSHRCStorytellers and visit the SSHRC website.

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