Wisconsin Biohealth Summit

Biohealth Communication Competition for Wisconsin’s undergraduate students

first annual undergraduate student Communication Competition

Strengthen Communication Skills, Network with Industry Leaders, & Win Cash Prizes

Pew Research Center has reported that public trust in science has continued to decrease in the past several years, which many have theorized is due to communication gaps between scientist and the public. As an undergraduate entering the professional scientific field it is imperative that you learn to communicate challenging topics with those who do not have scientific backgrounds in a way that is easy to understand, engaging, and meaningful.



A new generation of personalized medicine is upon us, in response, we are asking you to accurately present on a topic that connects with personalized medicine in a 3-minute video. Topics could include the history behind personalized medicine, a specific case study, genetic testing, or specific diagnostic or treatment approaches.

If you have a research project and would prefer to present that instead, we will accept those videos from undergrad as well.  Remember to describe your research as you would to the general public.  Your research may be important, but do you have what it takes to tell its story? You have a 3-minute video to make your research shine.

If there is a topic you are unsure fits this theme email [email protected] and include 2023 Student Competition in the subject line.


Video submissions for the competition are due by 5PM CST on SEPTEMBER 27. Click through the details below for more.
  1. You must be a full-time or part-time undergraduate student at any accredited University or Technical College in the state of Wisconsin.
  2. If you are in the top 5, you must be available to present in-person on October 17th between 11-11:45AM to receive your prize.

Prepare a 3-minute video describing a topic in personalized medicine.

Examples: What is personalized medicine? How will personalized medicine change healthcare? How is personalized medicine being currently used? What role does genomics play in personalized medicine? How will personalized medicine change cancer care? How can personalized medicine prevent disease? How does personalized medicine change how we treat disease/prescribe medication? Can personalized medicine increase equity in healthcare? Can personalized medicine help us fight rare diseases/common diseases?

Prepare a 3-minute video answering the following questions about your research or the research performed in the laboratory of your Mentor/PI.

  1. What is your area of research and what questions are you trying to answer?
  2. What are the novel aspects of your work?
  3. What progress have you made or do you expect to make?
  4. What is the impact/How does this benefit humankind?

The video format and style are flexible.

  • Communications Workshop
    • Communicating Science to a General Audience
      BioForward Workshop presented by:
      Madeline Fisher, PhD
      Teaching Faculty
      Dept. of Life Science Communication
  • Be creative in how you present your topic, but keep in mind you must be able to present live at the Summit if you are selected.
  • Do NOT include copyrighted materials (i.e. music or images)
  • Prepare your video for the general public. Avoid jargon and simplify complex topics; however, you do not need to make it understandable to kindergartners.


  • Your video must be posted to YouTube and be public. Not sure how? WATCH THIS
  • Your upload should have an accurate title to describe your topic.
  • Any resources you use must be included in the YouTube description or at the end of your video (website links are acceptable).
  • Be creative! But keep in mind, you will present live at the Summit if chosen in the top 5.

Other Notes

  • Professional recording equipment is not necessary, but try to minimize background noise  TIPS
  • If you are at a loss on how to record, here is a quick tutorial on how to turn a PowerPoint Presentation into a video presentation  TUTORIAL

Videos are due by 5PM CST on SEPTEMBER 27

Videos will go through 2 rounds of judging; 5 finalists will be selected by BioForward staff and will be asked to present at the Wisconsin Biohealth Summit on October 17.

Rankings will be determined by a panel of BioForward Board Members after the in-person presentations and awards will be given based on rankings.

Videos will be judged on the following criteria:

  1. Clear and concise messaging
    • Did the points you wanted to communicate come across to the viewer clearly and is the overall message conveyed in a manner both understandable and compelling?
  2. Overall organization
    • Were ideas presented in a polished, well-organized manner?
  3. Presentation style & delivery
    • Did the presenter seem prepared?  Did he/she/they speak naturally and effectively?  Were visuals used appropriately?
  4. Overall impression & impact
    • Was the viewer interested in the presentation and left curious and wanting to know more?

    Top 5 finalists will be notified in late September and will be asked to perform their presentation live on October 17, 11:00-11:45 AM at the Overture Center in Madison, WI, during the 2023 Annual Wisconsin Biohealth Summit

    Winners will be announced live during the session, prizes are as follows:

    • First – $1,000
    • Second – $750
    • Third – $500
    • Fourth & Fifth – $100 Amazon Gift Card

    Q: Does my video need to be exactly 3 minutes?

    A: No, but please keep it within 15 seconds of 3 minutes (between 2:45 & 3:15)

    Q: Are there example videos that I can watch?

    A: This is the first year we are opening this competition to undergraduate students, so there are no specific examples. However, visit our youtube page to see examples of good scientific communication from winners of last year’s graduate student competition. Here are some additional videos to help you hone in on the tone and content:

    Q: Can I do this with a group?

    A: You cannot present with a group, however, you are encouraged to get your peers to compete on their own; or, invite them to support you at the Summit if you are in the Top 5. REMEMBER: Students get free admission.

    Q: Who will see my video?

    A: You must post your video to youtube to compete, so your video will be available to the public. Your video might also be used for promotional content in the future.

    Q: What is presenting in the Top 5 like?

    A: The Wisconsin Biohealth Summit is a great place to demonstrate your communication skills and show intiative to leaders in the biohealth industry. It is a welcoming environment and there is no need to feel anxious or worried because we are all learning more about personalized medicine!

    Q: Is there a Q&A portion during the live presentations?

    A: We have never done a Q&A portion before, but the format of the live presentation has not been completely decided. Stay tuned for a better answer in our newsletter (sign up below).

    Q: What can I expect from the WI Biohealth Summit?

    A: Students are encouraged to attend as many keynotes or panels that fit with their schedule and can come & go as needed (but keep your name tag if you re-enter!). Our annual career fair and reception takes place at 4pm – we will anounce what companies will be there in a future newsletter, so make sure you’re signed up in the form below!


    If you have an unanswered questions contact Mike Harrison at [email protected] 


    Learn more about the 2023 Wisconsin Biohealth Summit.