Announcing … The 2014 Dance Your Ph.D. Contest

John is a Science contributing correspondent.

The dreaded question. “So, what’s your Ph.D. research about?” You take a deep breath and launch into the explanation. People’s eyes begin to glaze over …

At times like these, don’t you wish you could just turn to the nearest computer and show people a video of your Ph.D. thesis interpreted in dance form?

Now you can! And while you’re at it, you can win $1000 and a free trip to California, achieve immortal geek fame on the Internet, and be recognized by Science for your effort.

This is the 7th year of the contest sponsored by AAAS and Science, which challenges you to explain your Ph.D. research without PowerPoint or jargon—in fact with no talking at all. It doesn't matter if you're just starting your Ph.D. or you completed it decades ago.

It's not as hard as it sounds. Take a look at the Ph.D. dance of Cedric Tan, who created a dance video based on his University of Oxford Ph.D. thesis about sperm competition:

As in previous years, this is a dance-off between the major branches of science (very loosely defined): physics, chemistry, biology, and social sciences. The winner of each branch gets $500. If your Ph.D. is the best overall, you get an additional $500 and a free trip to Stanford University in spring 2015 (travel and hotel covered by HighWire Press) to screen your Ph.D. dance.

The deadline for submission is 29 September 2014.

To enter the contest, follow the instructions here.

Good luck, scientists. We look forward to seeing you move!

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