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Pitch for Funds Competition

Pitch for Funds (P4F) is a University of Canberra competition that is designed for all researchers, including Higher Degree by Research (HDR) and Honours students, to pitch their research topic and processes in a way that attracts interest and potential funding from a 'lay audience'.

P4F follows rules inspired by the international 3MT and FameLab competitions, but has an increased focus on the researcher appealing for investment (prize money) and the purposes for which it will be used.

The competition is based on the premise that the capacity to present a clear, concise, persuasive and engaging description of their research project is an essential skill that all researchers should develop.

The 2019 UC P4F final will be held on Thursday 24 October at the University of Canberra. Book your seat in the audience!

Watch the videos of the 2017 finalists.

Watch the videos of the 2016 finalists.

Talking about P4F on Twitter? Use #UCP4F

The following rules apply to the 2019 P4F competition. These rules may be subject to amendment by the University and P4F organisers prior to the commencement of the 2019 competition.

  • The University will stage heats depending on the number of entries, with a short list of finalists (number to be set prior to any heats) eventually competing in the 2019 P4F final.
    • The judging panel for the heats will be determined by the organisers and may draw on University staff and alumni to adjudicate.
    • The heats will be listed as Research Events on the University Events page online and a University based audience will be encouraged to attend.
  • During the event participants are called on to present a 90-second pitch, which may include highlighting the problem, their research, the real-world benefits of their work and what a funding investment would allow them to do toward reaching an outcome.
  • To further enhance the content of their pitch, participants are allowed one pre-prepared, static slide to accompany their presentation, and/or props which they are able to personally carry to the stage (time will not be allocated for set up).
    • The use of PowerPoint or props is optional.
    • No video or animations, audio recording or hand-outs are permitted.
  • The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation (DVCR&I), Professor Leigh Sullivan, will provide a combined prize pool of $7,000, to be used toward research costs.
  • Judging for the 2019 P4F will take a 'Shark Tank' approach, with $6,000 in prize money to be divided among the four judges, each having $1,500 to award as a single prize or split among finalists whose presentations are judged as the best. Members of the audience will each have a token worth $5 to award to their favourite pitcher (a total people's choice prize pool of $1,000).
  • There is a limited prize pool of $7,000. Entrants, however, are encouraged to pitch for the full amount of 'real-world' funding which they require to support their research, primarily as this will provide a more realistic experience, and there may be potential opportunities for further funding via industry representatives in the audience.
    • The amount of 'real-world' funding pitched for will not influence the judging panel.
  • The competitors are marked by the panel of judges who take the perspective of an 'intelligent layperson' NOT as a specialist in any particular field.
  • Judges will be asked to use the following criteria to judge each pitch. After hearing the pitch, do you understand:
    • what the research project/idea is
    • why it's important
    • why money is needed, how much and what difference this will make, plus,
    • did the pitcher convince you to invest?
  • The judges are asked to rank participants based on the presentation as a whole, rather than on each criterion.
  • The content of the presentation or the perceived value of a particular piece of research (or field of study) to the audience will not influence the outcome.
  • Presenters will take one question from a judge each. Their responses may be used to determine how prize money is awarded.
  • The judges decision on the awarding of their $1,500 prize money is entirely at their discretion.
    • The prize money may be divided or pooled by each judge as they see fit and awarded based on the quality of each pitch.
    • Unanimity is not required from the judging panel.