Q: What if my university/institution is not a member of The Science Coalition? Am I still eligible to participate? 

A: Only those students who are enrolled at, or affiliated with, TSC member institutions during the months of September – October 2019 are eligible for the cash prizes. A list of TSC member institutions can be found here.

Q: Do I have to talk about my own research in the video or can I highlight research done by others? 

A: Participants can talk about their own or others’ scientific research in their video. TSC is most interested in hearing about student research and the positive impact it could have in the future, but students can talk about anyone’s research as long as it is in the public domain or they have permission from the researcher(s) doing the work. Do not include information in your video about research that is confidential.

Q: Do I have to be a science or engineering major to participate? 

A: No. Students from all majors and disciplines are welcome to participate. If you yourself are not doing research to share in the video, you can tell a story about research that was conducted in the past and had an impact on the world or, you can pair up with another student(s) who is doing research and tell their story. 

Q: How will the videos be used? 

A: Winning videos will be featured on TSC’s website and social media accounts. TSC will share the finalist videos with congressional staff from the states and districts of the winners. TSC may also use clips from some or all of the finalist videos to create a longer video emphasizing the importance of federal funding for research. 

Q: Are these videos intended to be pitches for grant funding?

A: No. The goals of the video are to share a story about exciting or interesting research and to advocate for federal support for research in general.

Q: What is meant by “team” for the purposes of the contest?

A: Participating as a team is optional, but not required. When registering for the contest, team leaders may list a number of team members for acknowledgment, as well as a team name or organization name. All team members must satisfy the Eligibility Criteria. There is no limit to the size of your team, but you will only be able to list the names of up to 10 individuals in the online submission form. If you wish to submit on behalf of a larger team (for example, a larger student group or club), simply cite the name of the group in the entry form. Every entry must identify a single lead contact through whom TSC will communicate. 

Q: If I submit as an individual, can I also join a team and submit another video as part of a team?

A: No. Individuals may only submit one entry whether it is individually or as part of a team.

Q: I don’t know who funded the research I’m talking about in the video. How can I find out? 

A: Including acknowledgement of the funder of the research is highly recommended, but if you can’t figure it out, you should still submit a video. The best person to ask is the professor or researcher who is overseeing the research. Common federal funding agencies include: the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and more. Research is also funded by philanthropy, universities, or other private entities. 

Q: Once I submit my video, can I revise it or replace it with another video prior to the contest deadline?

A: Yes, you may make changes to your submission up until the deadline. Any changes after the deadline will not be accepted. 

Q: Who is the audience for the videos? 

A: Members of Congress and the public are the primary audience. We will share the winning videos with members of Congress and their staffs. Tell them a story about why research is important for our future.

Q: If the research was done off-campus, can it still be included in the video? 

A: Yes, if the research was done off campus, but the video is being made by a student at a TSC member institution, it is eligible. 

Q: Can a video that placed first, second, or third, also win the People’s Choice Award?

A: Yes. 

Q: Can I get outside help on filming and editing, or does this need to be done by team members?

A: Videos should be primarily filmed and edited by team members (students), but making use of university video resources and expertise is allowed. 

Q: Can I vote for (or solicit votes for) my videos if I’m chosen as a finalist?

A: Yes! If you are a finalist, spread the word! Ask everyone you know to vote for your video. You can also vote for your own video. Please note, one vote per person. 

Q: What’s the timeline?

A: Video submissions are due by 11:59PM PST on October 21, 2019. Late submissions will not be considered. Finalists will be announced on November 12, 2019. Public choice voting takes place between November 13 and November 25, 2019. Winners will be announced on or around December 9, 2019.

Q: I’ve never made a video before, where do I start? 

A: Videos can be created on devices as simple as a smart phone and free video editing software, or with more sophisticated equipment and software that might be available from your institution. Many institutions have video resources available to students. Consult with your university’s video department staff for additional advice. (See also the links in “Tips for Making Good Videos.”)

Q: Our student team has both undergraduate and graduate students. Should I check “Undergraduate student(s)” or “Graduate student(s)” on the submission form?

A: If you are a team comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students, please select “Graduate Student(s).”