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Knack for storytelling

Students encouraged to tell research stories in hopes of winning big


By Jeff Green

Attention Memorial students: here is your mission, should you choose to accept it – tell a smart, original story with impact in 300 words or three minutes.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has launched its 2018 Storytellers Contest, challenging post-secondary students to get creative and show fellow Canadians how social sciences and humanities research is affecting our lives, our world and our future for the better.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has launched its 2018 Storytellers Contest.

The organizers of the contest want to learn about the impact of SSHRC-funded research.

Contestants are encouraged to use video, podcasts, infographics — or anything else — to get the attention of judges. SSHRC has assembled a list of tips for those considering entering the contest.

Strong representation

Earlier this year, a pair of graduate students were among 25 finalists in the 2017 contest.

Laura Fallon and Meagan McCardle — master’s students in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science — were selected from nearly 200 entries for the contest.

Each finalist received a $3,000 cash prize and an opportunity to compete for the top spot in the Storytellers Showcase at the 2017 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ont. There, students presented their research stories before a live audience.

In 2016, master’s student Erin Mobley, Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, was one of 25 finalists in the competition, while Zak Keeping, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science, received an honourable mention.

Big prizes

In the first phase of the competition, SSHRC says the top 25 submissions will receive a cash prize of $3,000.

In the contest’s second phase, those top 25 finalists will join other finalists and SSHRC at the 2018 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Regina, where they will attend a communications master class and deliver a live presentation at the Storytellers Showcase.

At that event, judges will select the final five winners, who will receive an expenses-paid trip for their presentations to be featured at the 2018 SSHRC Impact Awards.

Full contest details are available online.


Students must submit their entries online via the SSHRC website between Jan. 8-31, 2018.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this year’s top 25 finalists via SSHRC’s YouTube channel.

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

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