Explain Your Research to Everyone:
Magnetic Moments

Submission Deadline EXTENDED: 11 May 2018 at 23:59 EDT
Note: Video submission form is at the bottom of this page.

Our science is great, but can anyone outside the field understand it?

This year, we are hosting a competition to identify the best public-facing description of a piece of work being presented in an abstract at the ISMRM-ESMRMB joint meeting. The competition winner will receive a free conference registration to the 2019 ISMRM annual meeting in Montreal.

There are two ways to participate. First authors of conference abstracts can enter the competition by submitting a presentation describing their research that is intended for the general public.  Alternatively, you can participate by engaging with local secondary schools to participate in online voting. If you are interested in helping engage secondary schools, as a submitter of a video for consideration, or as an attendee of the meeting or member of the society, please click here to fill out the volunteer form.

Let’s take our science to the people!

Example video 1

Example video 2


Being able to present your work to people outside your field is an important skill for every scientist. Communicating directly with the public provides scientists with an opportunity to accurately present their work, increasing public interest and generating enthusiasm in the next generation of scientists. Funding bodies and academic institutions increasingly expect researchers to participate in outreach and engagement with the public.

With this competition we not only want to provide an opportunity for young scientists to gain confidence presenting their research to the public, but also to promote the ISMRM’s mission.

Competitors will present a 3.5-minute explanation of their accepted conference abstract to a panel of judges from the public.

Submission Criteria

Submissions should consist of a 3.5-minute video presentation of your research abstract in terms a general audience would understand. Maximum video resolution is 720p (1280px x 720px). The submission form is at the bottom of the page, and submissions are due by 11 May 2018 at 23:59 EDT.

Guidelines for submissions are as follows:

  1. You are allowed to give the presentation in any form (see above for some example presentations). However, note that all finalists will give a live version of their presentation at the meeting.
  2. Props and visuals are encouraged, as is the use of audio-visual presentations to help facilitate explanations. However, make sure to keep things simple! Presentations with more than three slides (or equivalent) will not be considered.
  3. Place your research in a wider context: What is the goal of your research? How will the public benefit from your work? What is exciting about it?
  4. Your submission should clearly refer to the specific research described in an abstract at this year’s meeting. However, it is fine for most of the presentation to talk about a broader project or general area of research.
  5. Don’t use technical jargon (e.g. k-space, B0 inhomogeneities, etc.), acronyms (e.g. BOLD), or medical terminology (e.g. myocardial infarction).
  6. Submissions are required to be in English.
  7. MP4 is the preferred video file format, but other major formats are acceptable. If we have any problems with your video, we will contact you via email. For any additional questions, please contact sally@ismrm.org.

Judging and Award Categories

Submissions will undergo an initial stage of review by the competition organizers to reach the semi-finalist stage. Semi-finalists will be uploaded to a website for online voting by the public. A few weeks before the annual meeting, the top-rated videos will be selected as finalists for presentation at the annual meeting.

Finalists will be asked to give a live presentation at the ISMRM-ESMRB joint annual meeting. The judges will be members of the public, who will evaluate the finalists’ presentations based on the following criteria:

  1. Is it understandable to a general audience?
  2. Is the presentation interesting? Does it capture what is exciting about the research?
  3. Does the presenter explain clearly why the research is important to society?

The top prize will be a free registration to the ISMRM Annual Conference in Montreal in 2019. Presentations for all semi-finalists will also be hosted on the ISMRM YouTube channel. Semi-finalists will be encouraged to submit a transcript for closed captioning to make videos more accessible to the public.

Additionally, we will have several prizes for:

  1. People’s Choice: The highest-rated online video at the time of the competition.
  2. Outreach Guru: Best explanation of a complex topic
  3. Master of Simplicity: The best presentation that is done without the assistance of PowerPoint or other electronic aid. However, physical props are not only allowed, but encouraged.

Further information

Before preparing your submission, we strongly recommend you review our Frequently Asked Questions below, which provides further details and recommendations. Any further questions can be directed to the event organisers: Alex Smith (alex.smith@ndcn.ox.ac.uk), Carinne Piekema (carinne.piekema@ndcn.ox.ac.uk), and Stuart Clare (stuart.clare@ndcn.ox.ac.uk).

You can also read more about Magnetic Moments in Program Chair Karla Miller’s blog post.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wait, isn’t that just a Power Pitch?

While the format of the Magnetic Moments and the Power Pitch are somewhat similar, their purposes are completely different. The Power Pitch relies on an informed audience to understand the complexities of the research being pitched. Magnetic Moments are targeted for the general public.

When are submissions due?

All submissions will be due by 11 May 2018 at 23:59 EDT.

Is there a particular format for Submissions?

There is no set format for submissions! You are welcome to make a presentation using PowerPoint, a video with props, or even just you talking about your research abstract! The only requirements are that these videos are limited to 3.5 minutes and 720p (1280×720) resolution. We prefer the videos be uploaded in MP4 format, but other major formats are acceptable.

The example videos look professionally done. Is this expected of me (and will I be penalised for not doing this)?

No. We will be judging your videos solely on the content of the videos themselves. You are welcome to record yourself using the camera on your phone, or even just performing a screen capture of your PowerPoint presentation as you give your presentation.

What do you mean “props”?

We mean using physical objects to describe your research. These can be anything from a box to represent a data matrix, ink and a glass of water to demonstrate diffusion, or an actual RF coil. Be creative!

Is there a limit to the number of slides for Submissions?

Yes, all presentations will be limited to three slides (or equivalent).

You say a general audience, what exactly does that mean?

By general audience, we mean that all talks must be understandable by the average person on the street. Think of your aunt, grandparent, child, or the person seated next to you at a sports match. In general, it works well to aim for a 10-12-year-old. This person would ideally be interested in your research; however, they would definitely not be an expert.

Who will review submissions, and when will this take place?

Initial submission review will occur by the competition organisers to select semi-finalists, and the semi-final round will be open for online viewing and voting.

When will finalists be chosen?

Finalists will be chosen in late May/early June so they have time to prepare their presentations for the conference. However, online voting will not close until the day of the competition. This means the People’s Choice award could be someone not included in the finalists on the day of the competition.

What if I cannot attend the final competition?

Unfortunately, we will require the finalists to present their research live. However, if you cannot attend and wish to limit your participation to the semi-finalist level, you would still be eligible for the People’s Choice award. In this case, please contact the event organisers.

Can I submit something other than my ISMRM abstract?

The focus of this competition is on presenting your research to the public. The presentation should therefore include the research you have submitted to the ISMRM-ESMRB joint annual meeting. However, it is fine (and often helpful) if the majority of the presentation focuses on the broader picture of your project or research area.

Can I submit more than one video?

Yes! Feel free to submit as many videos as you have accepted abstracts as first author. However, you will only be allowed to present your top submission if you are selected for the final competition.

When and where will the final competition occur?

The final competition will occur in the Resonarium. In the event of a conflict with another presentation you are giving (poster or oral), we will do our best to schedule around this conflict.

Can I post my submission on my local institution’s website?

Yes, but only after the annual meeting. While these videos will be used to showcase the breadth of research the ISMRM community undertakes, these are presentations of your research, and so you should feel free to use them to advertise your research after the meeting is over.

I don’t have any research I would like to present in the competition. Is there any other way I can participate?

Absolutely! All ISMRM and ESMRMB members are encouraged to engage secondary schools in online voting. Once online voting starts, we will give you some electronic resources that you can forward to local secondary schools. Even better – why not go to a local school and field questions after they’ve watched the videos? The goal of this competition is to encourage public outreach and engagement, which is almost always better live and in person.

Magnetic Moments Video Uploader

Please upload your video below. Remember, videos that are too long or too large may be disqualified.

  • Maximum length: 3.5 minutes
  • Maximum resolution: 1280 x 720 (720p)
  • Please name your video file like this: “Magnetic Moments – [Title] – [(First & Last Name)].mp4”