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The Mini Lectures Competition 2013

Do you often find yourself in a situation where you need to explain something in your study or research to some people who are from completely different disciplinary backgrounds? Are you interested in interdisciplinary communications in general?

If yes, then come take part in our Mini Lectures Competition in February's Innovative Learning Week, organised by the Student SynBio Society!

Aims of the Competition

  • To promote effective interdisciplinary communicative strategies
  • To provide students of all levels a stage where they can demonstrate their skills for successful cross-discipline communications
  • To provide an opportunity for lecturers to see how their students may prefer some topics to be taught


  • Students of any academic level, undergraduate and postgraduate alike, can participate in the competition.
  • Students from same disciplinary areas must form groups to participate, minimum 2 members/group and maximum 4 members/group.
  • Participation in this competition is completely free.


  1. Each member in every group must register for this event online to become participants officially before midnight the 9th February 2013. Click here to register.
  2. The Competition will be held at 2pm on the 20th February 2013 and the venue will be announced after the online registration deadline.
  3. Each group must pick a topic (e.g., a concept, terminology, application or process) in their own discipline and work collaboratively to create a 20-minute mini lecture.
  4. A briefing session will be held at 12pm on the 12th February 2013 to give participants guidance on the basic steps for creating the mini lectures.
  5. At the competition event, everyone in the audience will have a clicker for interacting with the student lecturers and for voting.
  6. Each lecture can be delivered either by one member from a group or several/all of the members in the group.
  7. After each lecture has been delivered, it will be graded by a panel of judges formed by academic staff from different departments.
  8. After each lecture, there will be a 5-minute question time for the judges as well as the audience to ask questions.
  9. After all the lectures have been delivered, the audience will vote for the best lecture first, and then the expert judges will choose their winner for the competition.
  10. Both the audience's choice and the judges' choice will be awarded with prizes. (It is possible that the same group wins both prizes!)

Criteria of the Competition

  • Each group should aim to make their mini lecture as interesting and as clear as possible. The main criterium for the competition is whether or not you are able to make a (difficult/complicated) topic in your area easy to understand for people who are essentially 'outsiders'.
  • At the start and the end of each mini lecture, the host of the event will ask the audience to vote for their knowledge about the topic and whether their interest in this particular area has increased.

Prizes of the Competition

  • Each member in the winning group will be awarded a £25 Amazon Gift Voucher which can be used to purchase anything from Amazon. This rule applies to winners of both the audience's choice and the judges' choice.

Contact Information

Come and show your academic and communicative skills, and get rewarded! Spread the word and tell all your friends and classmates to either take up the challenge as well, or just come to the event and vote for your group!