Presentation Competition

The Postgraduate Research Exhibition is a fantastic way to share your research and exchange ideas...

PGRs are invited to give 90 second elevator pitch style presentations. Each presentation will be judged by 1 member of staff and 1 PGR from outside of the presenters immediate discipline. The presentation must therefore be understandable and relateable to a lay audience.

By signing up to take part in the presentation competition you are agreeing to present your research and also act as judge for one of your peers (online forms and judging criteria will be provided).

What is an Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in what your research is about. It helps create interest in your research – and in you. Your pitch should be: Interesting; Memorable; Succinct and; In non-academic language.

Participants will want to cover the following questions in the pitch:

  • What is the topic of your research?
  • What is the problem, issue, or question that you are asking and addressing in your research?
  • Why is that problem interesting and important? (i.e. So what?)
  • How does your work connect with a broader disciplinary conversation about this topic/problem in your field, and what does it add to that conversation?

As part of the presentation participants can also display an academic poster, an image that represents their research or they may wish to share a short piece of music or video! Each presenter will have a poster board of size 2100mm tall and 1250mm wide. A0 and A1 posters will fit in both landscape or portrait orientations. Velcro and adhesive will be provided.

Designing Your Elevator Pitch:

Identify Your Goal - Start by thinking about the objective of your pitch, i.e. what would you like this pitch to achieve from the perspective of your research. What can the person you are delivering the pitch help you with, or how might they benefit from engaging with your research?

Explain What You Do - Start your pitch by describing who you are and what you are researching. Focus on the problems that you solve and how you help people. If you can, add information or a statistic that shows the value in what you do and the scale of the challenge/issue you are researching.

Communicate Your Unique Selling Point (USP) - Identify what makes you or your research unique. What do you want the individual or audience to remember you for?

Use non-academic language – communicate with your audience in every-day language. Do not underestimate the intelligence of your audience, but equally do not overestimate the capacity for nonacademics to engage with academic language.

Register for the Competition

To register for the 2024 competition please complete the online form before Friday 17th May.


The showcase is all about displaying the breadth and variety of postgraduate research conducted at the University of Manchester. As such, we welcome entrants from all stages of a PhD research project.

Help with Printing

PGRs who need us to print a poster or image for them will be required to submit their file electronically (PDF format) by 24th May 2024. Please email your PDF to before the deadline. If you are re-using a poster please bring these with you to be displayed on the day.

Further Resources

Preparing an Elevator Pitch

The Elevator Pitch: Presenting Your Research in Conversation

Colin Purrington's extensive blog on poster presentations

How to create a research poster by NYU Libraries

Effective Research Presentation

Getting Started with Public and Patient Involvement (PPI)

Getting Started with Public Engagement

How to Communicate your Research

How to give an Engaging Visual Presentation

Present with Confidence