Researchers, do yourself a favor and attend Slush: Postdocs compete for a €100 000 grant for research

Slush 2017 promotes research and science like never before. It offers special passes for students and researchers, curated programme and a science pitching competition, where postdoc researchers step into the spotlight.

What attracts more interest than pop phenomenon Antti Tuisku at last year’s Slush afterparty? Research. People love it.

In 2016 science competition Skolar Award’s pitching final attracted roughly a thousand audience members at Slush, half a million views on social media and dozens of media hits.

So if you’re a researcher or you know a researcher, gather your friends and attend this year’s Slush. Here’s why:

1) There’s a chance you’ll receive money for your research.

Skolar Award is a competition for postdocs who come up with novel research proposals. That’s a rare opportunity for a young researcher. Come December the Skolar Award finalists pitch their ideas on stage in front of an esteemed and hand-picked jury in order to win a 100 000 euro prize. The ideas don’t have to be commercially applicable and the light application process doesn’t drive you to the verge of a mental breakdown.

2) You might not receive funding, but you will certainly learn something.

The Skolar Award pitching final is a chance to hear several groundbreaking research ideas in one sitting, delivered by courageous researchers from all around the world. We’re talking increasing empathy, curing diseases or improving social understanding – ideas that have societal relevance and an element of surprise. Since the competition is open for researchers in all possible fields there’s going to be something for everyone.

Being a researcher can be a tough career choice. The race for funding is constant and time-consuming, resources are scarce and it’s often difficult to carry out ambitious research ideas. Skolar Award, however, welcomes bold researchers who want to explain their ideas to audiences outside academia and embrace the excitement of the journey.

“This is without a doubt my most worthwhile and successful funding rejection,” expresses last year’s finalist Craig Richmond.

3) With your help people can love science even more.

Skolar Award aims to spread the gospel and value of research. The seeds to solving massive wicked problems often lie in ideas like those presented by the competition’s finalists. The more people hear them, the more they make an impact.

“It’s important to make others who are not scientists know what we’re doing because that’s how people pick up our ideas and inventions and use them to help others,” says last year’s Skolar Award semifinalist, chemist Cristina Mottillo from McGill University.

In the months leading to Slush the Skolar Award finalists receive professional communications training. That means you’re in for some seriously jargon-free, fun and easily understandable pitching on the Slush stage.

So, see you there?

The application period for Skolar Award begins on August 25th and ends on October 1st. Skolar Award is organized by science communications agency Kaskas Media and funded jointly by several foundations.


Text: Kristiina Markkanen