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Lay-Terms Talks Competition 2023

Event Details


Thursday, May 11th, 2023 6:00pm ~ 9:00pm (Pacific Time)

Location: Langara College, T-Building Gallery (170 West 49th Avenue, Vancouver)

The competition will be followed by a social where light refreshments are provided.

Attendance and participation are completely FREE, but registration is required. Please find more details below.


VanBUG is hosting a competition for post-secondary students to present their scientific research in lay terms within 3 minutes! Each presentation should be about a student's research project (e.g. directed studies, internship, thesis work, etc.) related to computer or biological sciences. Students should feel free to present regardless of their project's scope or duration — the intent of this competition is to promote science communication in a manner accessible to the general public. We welcome participants to be creative and go beyond just words with their visual aids!

Winners will receive award certificates and gift cards:

  • 1st Place: $150
  • 2nd Place: $90
  • 3rd Place: $45
  • Viewer's Choice: $45


Who can participate in this competition?

Anyone belonging to one of the following may participate:

  • A undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled in good standing at a college or university
  • A recent graduate of a diploma, Bachelor's, Master’s, or doctoral degree no earlier than January 2023

Participant Information

Submit the following details via our registration form.

  • Full name
  • Contact email
  • College affiliation(s)
  • Student classification
  • 1-3 sentences describing your presentation
  • 1-3 sentences justifying how your presentation is related to computer/biological sciences

We will confirm your registration sometime in April.



The Participant should present their scientific research project in lay terms (i.e. in a manner that a non-expert could understand). The project must be in a scientific discipline related to either computer or biological sciences (or both). The presentation must be delivered in person in English only; pre-recordings are not allowed. The content should be original and free from copyrighted, illegal, confidential, or offensive (e.g. profane, discriminatory, racist) materials, as determined by the Organizers. Any violations will result in instant disqualification.

Time Limit

A maximum of 3 minutes of presentation time is allowed.

Visual Aid

Presentation slides as one PDF or PowerPoint must be submitted to the Organizers for review one week before the competition. The number and format of slides is not restricted. Note that this will be a live event and presentations cannot be recorded in advance.


Competition placements will be determined by a panel of judges with expertise in science communication. Specifically, the following criteria are considered:

  1. Scientific Communication
  2. Delivery
  3. Visual Aid
  4. Overall Impression

The "Viewer's Choice" award will be determined by the audience.