Student building architectural model

Festival of Doctoral Research

Showcase your research with creative flair

Craft Your Thesis Competition

You are invited to craft a 3D object using materials of your choice that conveys the story of your research. Sculpture, bricolage, lego, clay, upcycling, recycling…anything goes. Found objects can be used as long as they are developed or used in combination with other objects to represent something other than their original nature.

The dimensions of the object should not exceed 45cm width, 45cm depth, 60cm height. .


Submit by Friday 14 June 2024.

Judged by public vote on the day of the festival - Tuesday 9 July 2024.


We will showcase your craft online, and may display images of it on Tuesday 9 July 2024 in Eldon Building.

Who can apply?

All current MRes, MPhil, PhD, Professional Doctorate and PhD by Publication students who have not graduated before 1 June 2024.

Guidelines - what we need from you

  • Three photographs of your creation from different angles. Please submit your images as .jpeg or .png files.
  • A short video-clip giving a 360 degree view. Please send your video in MP4 format or as a YouTube (or other streaming service) link. Please note that you will not be judged on the quality of the video itself so you do not need to go to great lengths when filming your creation to enter the competition.
  • 150 word (max) description of your research.
  • Each student can make ONE submission.
  • Please note that images of shortlisted entries will be displayed online and possibly in Eldon Building on Tuesday 9 July 2024.
  • All successful entries will be viewable online after the competition closing date.
  • A short description of the cake for ALT text for screen readers (see example of why this is important here).
  • Completed consent form.

Judging criteria

  • How engaging and powerful is the object?
  • Does the object embody the research?
  • How clear is the abstract to a non-specialist audience?


The competition will be judged by public vote on the day of the festival.

Public voting will be restricted to the festival delegates.

Only the competition winners will be announced; other rankings will not be made available. 


  • First place £100
  • Second place £50


To apply, please complete the application form by 12.00pm on Friday 14 June. 

Successful entrants will be notified two weeks before the event.