Wisconsin Biohealth Summit

Biohealth Communication Competition for Wisconsin’s graduate & post graduate students


Gain Valuable Experience, Share Your Research, Network with Industry Leaders, & Win Cash Prizes

According to Pew Research Center, trust in science among the public has decreased over the past few years. This decline has been attributed to a lack of effective communication between scientists and the general public. As an emerging scientist, it’s crucial that you develop the ability to explain complex topics to non-scientific audiences in a simple, interesting, and relevant manner.


Your research may be important, but do you have what it takes to tell its story? Science communication is a critical skill! Use that skill to describe your research as you would to the general public. You have a three-minute video to make your research shine.

If there is a topic you are unsure fits this theme email [email protected] and include 2024 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 graduate/medical student or postdoctoral fellow at any accredited University or Technical College in Wisconsin.
  2. If you are in the top 5, you must be available to present in-person on October 29th to receive your prize.

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 public. Not sure how? WATCH THIS
  • 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 29.

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 early October and will be asked to perform their presentation live on October 29 at the Monona Terrace in Madison, WI, during the 2024 Wisconsin Biohealth Summit

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

    • First prize = $1,000
    • Second prize = $750
    • Third prize = $500
    • Fourth and Fifth = $100 Amazon gift cards

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

    A:  No, but please don’t go over the 3 minute mark by more than 15 seconds.

    Q: Are there example videos that I can watch?

    A: Visit our youtube page to see examples of good scientific communication from winners of last year’s graduate student competition. You can also watch these examples to hone in on the tone and kind of content. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgNd1N_Sgo0&t=8s

    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: To compete, you must post your video to YouTube, where it 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 initiative 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!

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

    A: In previous years, there has not been a Q&A session; however, the agenda has not been prepared for this session, so stay tuned for a better answer in the newsletter. But as a general tip, you should ALWAYS be prepared for your audience to ask any clarifying questions. Remember—questions are a good thing! They tell you that your audience stayed engaged with your talk.

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

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


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


    Are you an undergraduate, graduate student, or mentor?(Required)

    Learn more about the 2024 Wisconsin Biohealth Summit.