MADISON—WiSys is taking its popular research communication competition WiSys Quick Pitch to a national stage in 2023.
WiSys Quick Pitch, which is a research-focused student pitch competition, will be featured at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research when the major conference is hosted by UW-Eau Claire in April.
The annual conference promotes undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity, offering students from all disciplines and institutions of higher education the chance to showcase their work on a national stage.
“The WiSys Quick Pitch program has proven to be a valuable tool to help University of Wisconsin System student researchers learn critical communication skills, bettering their education and future careers,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “We’re grateful to be able to share this programming with student researchers from across the nation thanks to our strong partnership with UW-Eau Claire,the campus where we launched this event.”
Students will compete in the pre-conference competition on April 12; the main conference runs April 13-15. Participants will have three minutes to impress a panel of judges with their ability to explain the value of their research to society. Prior to the competition, students will receive communication training from WiSys and UW System campus experts.
Five first and second place winners will be awarded cash prizes totaling $4,000 in various categories. Winners will also open for the three distributed keynote speakers on April 14, where they will deliver their winning pitches in front of the larger conference audience.
More than 500 students from across the country applied to participate in the WiSys Quick Pitch at the conference. The competition can accommodate up to 130 of those applicants. The rest will have multiple opportunities during the conference to participate in hands-on WiSys Quick Pitch communication training and practice sessions.
As a nonprofit organization supporting research, innovation and entrepreneurship at Wisconsin’s regional public universities, WiSys set out to develop a program to incentivize and train student researchers to share their work to a lay audience including the public, mentors and policymakers.
WiSys first piloted the program at UW-Eau Claire in 2015. Since then, the program has been expanded to 10 other UW System institutions. The winners from the institutional competitions compete at the statewide finals held at WiSys’ annual SPARK symposium. Through the program, more than 80 students receive research communication training and experience each year. Nearly 500 UW System student researchers have participated since 2015.
The program’s objective include:
- Encouraging student researchers to recognize the value of their work.
- Providing students tools for effectively communicating their research to the public without jargon.
- Highlighting the depth and breadth of student research taking place at public universities.
- Promoting information sharing to create new opportunities or collaborations.
- Celebrating student work and accomplishments.
In addition to the WiSys Quick Pitch at the national conference, there are several local pitch events taking place at UW System institutions throughout the year:
- WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Whitewater, Oct. 18
- WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-River Falls, March 1
- WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Superior, March 2
- WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Parkside, April 19
- WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Platteville, April 25
- WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW Oshkosh, April 26
- WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Stout, May 2
- WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-La Crosse, May 5
- WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Stevens Point, May 5
- WiSys Quick Pitch State Final, Summer 2023
For more information about these events and the WiSys Quick Pitch program, visit wisys.org/quickpitch.
WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.