Explore as a

Share our content

150 Years of Discovery: Emerging Research | 2017

Hosted by the ECR Forum, early career researchers are again invited to present their research in 180 seconds for this year's video competition.

The Early Career Researcher (ECR) Forum invites New Zealand’s ECRs and postgraduate students to celebrate and share their research, innovations, discoveries and insights through the 150 Years of Discovery: Emerging Research video competition.

The research being conducted by ECRs in New Zealand is driving the future of science, society, and culture; contributing to the growth of our economy, industry, and cultural sectors in New Zealand and globally. The 150 Years of Discovery video competition provides ECRs with an opportunity to express their passion for innovative research by showcasing their discoveries in a concise 3 minute video and sharing it with the public and their fellow researchers.

With the generous help of our sponsors, we are providing three prizes: a Future Leader Award and two People’s Choice Awards. All three winners will receive cash prizes to contribute to their future research goals, while the winner of the Future Leader Award will also present their winning video at the Royal Society Te Apārangi Gala Dinner on 10 October 2017.

Celebrate with us and be a part of this year’s video competition. Show us, New Zealand, and the whole world what you have to offer and why your work matters.

Good luck, and we look forward to seeing your video of discovery,
ECR Forum committee


Kate Riegle van West won the 2017 Future Leader Award with her video Poi: A Spin on Health.

The art of poi has been practiced by the Maori of New Zealand for hundreds of years, but there has never been any scientific research on its potential health benefits. A new research study put 80 older adults to the test, measuring their physical and cognitive function before and after learning International Poi, a style of poi practiced worldwide. After one month of lessons, participants improved their balance, grip strength, memory, and attention. These results cover some of the hallmarks of frailty, making poi a promising tool for improving quality of life in old age. It’s time to put a new spin on ageing, and for the world to follow new Zealand back to the practice of poi and forward to a healthier future.

Marian Makkar won 2017's People's Choice Award with her video Be My Guest: Commodifying Sharing with the Case of Airbnb.

My research looks at the consumer culture behind buzz word, “sharing economy”. Digitally-enabled, this economy makes it easier for people to consume collaboratively by renting and lending private resources to strangers. However, the use of the term “sharing” is problematic for society and consumers. Sharing is the ability to offer something to others for their use without expectations of reciprocity. This is not the case with businesses that claim they allow “sharing” when there is obvious economic exchange. With a multi-sited ethnographic field study using interviews and online and offline observations, my research investigates how traditional culture of ‘sharing’ has changed in context of home-sharing platform, Airbnb.


Eligibility Requirements

This competition is open to New Zealand-based researchers who are within 10 years post-PhD (or other research-based higher degree) and carrying out research in any science, social science, or humanities discipline. This competition is also open to postgraduate students currently enrolled in a New Zealand university or working at a New Zealand research institute in any science, social science, or humanities discipline. Career interruptions and periods of part-time employment will be taken into consideration when determining eligibility. The spirit of this competition is to uncover great science and research stories from the New Zealand ECR and postgraduate community. Please consider whether or not you self-identify as an ECR or postgraduate student before submitting an entry.

How to Enter

Create and upload a video of three minutes or less that tells us about your research. It could be a general overview of your current research or a specific research project you would like to pursue. It could aim to communicate some knowledge or insight that you find fascinating, or seek to correct a misconception.

The goal of the video is to engage a wide audience with your research, so make sure the content is easy for everyone to understand. The more creative and engaging the video, the wider the audience will be who are likely to vote for it.

There are no limitations on the style of video created. It may include traditional slides, animation, music, talking to the camera, or any other technique that helps convey your message.

Video and audio must be of good quality, we will not accept poor quality videos. See examples from last year’s 180 Seconds of Science research competition, run in partnership with the Australian Academy of Science Early to Mid-Career Researcher Forum (EMCR Forum). Your university or research institute might have media production expertise that you can draw on for your entry.

Once you’ve uploaded your entry, make sure you promote it on social media. On Twitter, use the handle @RSNZECR and the hashtag #150YOD to let us know all about it!

Competition Prizes

There are three prizes available: the Future Leader award, awarded by a judging panel; and two People’s Choice awards, decided by public vote. Each award offers a cash prize in support of the winner's research. All entrants are eligible for all prizes.

The competition prizes are made possible by the generous support of the Royal Society Te Apārangi and the RSNZ ECR Forum, the New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the Royal Society of New Zealand, Canterbury Branch, and the following Constituent Organisations of the Royal Society: The New Zealand Microbiological Society; The New Zealand Marine Sciences Society; The Meteorological Society of New Zealand; the Association of Women in Science; the New Zealand Institute of Physics; the New Zealand branch of the Australasian Society of Immunology; and the New Zealand Geographical Society.

Future Leader Award

The winner of the Future Leader award will be decided by an expert judging panel consisting of New Zealand judges, selected from the sponsoring organisations. The judging panel will be announced in the days before voting opens.

The Future Leader award winner will receive:

$4000 cash prize to be used for research expenses or travel associated with research or conference attendance (see terms and conditions).
Flights and accommodation to attend the Royal Society’s annual Gala Dinner, on 10 October 2017. The winning video will be screened during the dinner and the prize will be awarded.

People's Choice Awards

Two People’s Choice awards will be decided by public voting on the Thinkable.org website during the week of 9-15 September 2017.

The first place People’s Choice award winner, for the video that receives the highest number of votes during the voting period, will receive:

$3000 cash prize to be used for research expenses or travel associated with research or conference attendance (see terms and conditions).

The second place People’s Choice award winner, for the video that receives the second-highest number of votes during the voting period, will receive:

$2500 cash prize to be used for research expenses or travel associated with research or conference attendance (see terms and conditions).