University research has the power to enhance our economy, improve our societies and better the world. But how do you get the world on board with your research and the potential benefits it could deliver?

You need to Pitch it Clever!

This annual competition from Universities Australia challenges early-career researchers to communicate their research and why it matters to non-specialist audiences via video.

The brief

Create a one to two minute video that clearly unpacks research and how it can be applied.

This is a communications challenge; we want you to take expert information and communicate it clearly and in a way that captures an audience’s attention. Describe the problem or challenge, your findings and how they translate. Your video needs to capture the attention of not only university leaders, but industry, government, potential donors and the public.

A selection of university Vice-Chancellors will judge shortlisted videos that will be presented at the 2022 Universities Australia Conference. The winner of the Vice-Chancellors' Award will be presented at this conference.

Voting will also open in early June for a People's Choice award.

Rules and eligibility

Make sure you're across the fine-print before you hit submit.


Applicants must be an Australian university PhD candidate or early career researcher up to five years from conferral. UA will be guided by the ARC DECRA funding rules when considering eligibility including career interruptions.

The awards will be presented during the 2022 Universities Australia Conference, taking place in Canberra 6-7 July 2022. The Vice-Chancellor's and Universities Australia award winners will need to be available to attend this event.

Award eligibility

An entrant can only win one of the three awards, with each selected in the order of Vice-Chancellor's award, Universities Australia award and People's Choice award. If an entry met the requirements to win an award where it already received an earlier one, the runner up for the later award will then win.

Submission requirements

You must submit your video pitch and supporting materials to meet the following specifications:



At least 60 seconds and maximum 120 seconds duration. A 10% leeway may be accepted at the discretion of the judges.


Picture and sound quality should meet an acceptable presentation standard to be shortlisted for any award.

Aspect ratio

The video file should be in 16:9 format (without letterboxing), ideally at a resolution of 1920x1080p.

File size and encoding

Maximum file-size is 100mb. The video must be uploaded as an .mp4 file, ideally encoded with HEVC/h.265

Copyrighted materials

If you use any third-party copyright content in your video, including but not limited to music, images, text, quotes or artwork (even if they are incidental uses of the material such as being captured in the background of your recording) you must ensure that you seek permission from that third-party for the use of their copyright content.

You must not make a submission to Pitch it clever until any such permissions have been obtained and must be able to prove these on request.

Supporting materials

Cover image

You must also submit a cover image with your video. It should be 1920x1080, not contain any text, markup (arrows, circles, highlights) or third party logos and be uploaded as a .jpg or .png file no larger than 5mb.

Pitch title and description

You will need to provide a title (max. 100 characters including spaces) and a description (max. 280 characters including spaces). Keep it sharp and think of the description like a tweet!

Entrant information

You will need to provide your first name, last name, university, salutation (if Dr, Prof or A/Prof), contact number and uni/research email address. We should be able to contact you at both the number and email.

You can optionally provide your Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn handles which we may choose to share publicly if promoting your pitch.

Academic approval form

You will need to sign and complete a supervisor/nominated academic approval form. Download it now.

Talent agreement

Upon submitting, you will need to agree to this talent agreement:

Thank you for granting Universities Australia permission to film and/or take your photograph and/or use content and material(s) you have provided to us.

This content may be used in Universities Australia’s marketing materials and on Universities Australia owned or affiliated websites including, but is not limited to, the Universities Australia website, the Keep It Clever website and social media platforms.

All content is the property of Universities Australia and may be used in the organisation’s print, electronic and digital publications, as well as on the Universities Australia website and social media platforms.

You give permission for your image(s) and content to be used for marketing purposes by Universities Australia in print, electronic and digital publications, on the Universities Australia website and Universities Australia social media platforms.

Important dates

Submissions close: Sunday 5 June 2022