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IAS Showreel Project 2021

Film submissions for the IAS Showreel Project 2021 are now open. All films must be uploaded to the Accolade channel on the IAS Postdoctoral Community Team space by Friday 01 October 2021.

You must be a member of the IAS postdoc community to take part. Postdocs at Warwick can join us as an Associate Fellow here. We welcome applications at any time.

To support submissions, we invited Stewart O’Reilly from HomeRunFilms to facilitate an Accolade session on ‘DIY Filmaking and Content Creation’ in June 2021. All Fellows can access the Accolade resources pack from that event on the IAS Postdoc Team Space to support their filmmaking.

Please email any questions to


As researchers we are practiced at communicating at an expert level with colleagues in our own and nearby disciplines. There is a growing need to develop skills for wider research engagement: 

  • Potential collaborators in other areas are a route to interdisciplinarity and to the discovery of new approaches to your chosen problem.
  • Potential users of your research will help you realise the value of your ideas outside academia and may also influence the direction of your work.
  • The public may watch research video content through social media channels, but there is often more interest in the researchers themselves and what they do.
  • Increasingly, potential employers request video pitches or video abstracts as part of job and grant applications (postdoc positions, lectureships, fellowships, senior academic roles, industry/commercial positions, funding applications).

Also, this is an opportunity for researchers to take themselves out of the rigorous academic context and to look at their research from the perspective of different audiences.

Training will be provided for fellows on filmmaking and content creation within the Accolade Programme on Thursday 24th June 2021 , see for details.


This very much depends on the intended audience, which might be a diverse academic group like IAS, specialists, a recruitment panel, children, or the general public.

  • If you are presenting research content, then limit yourself to one idea or concept if possible; you can always make more than one video. Keep to a maximum (not a target) of 3 min.
  • Tell a story. Make them care right from the start. How does it relate to the lives of the audience members? What is the purpose, for the audience, of watching your video? Who benefits from your work? Perhaps fix a misconception. Some audiences have great interest in stories that describe your journey and lived experience as a researcher, rather than any great interest in the research content. Include things about you.
  • Remember that you’re not explaining how smart you are, but persuading someone to give you their interest or thoughts, their time, their resources, or perhaps even a job.
  • Take care with jargon: avoid abbreviations and specialist technical terms, or words that are not in common use or have different meanings in other communities e.g. accurate, discourse, problematize, drug, exploit etc.
  • Leave them wanting more detail, and don’t feel you need to include all your thinking. If in feedback people suggest ideas that you already had or things you already worked on, be happy that you inspired this.
  • Be natural, and passionate if that is a natural state for you. Consider being suitably provocative so as to surprise and engage your audience.


  • Do not worry about high quality of video or sound, unless you want to. Content and style are more important. By participating you will get the chance to develop and get feedback on your technical skills so don’t be put off if creating video content is completely new to you.  
  • Record in landscape and make sure your film is playable in a standard web browser.  
  • A talking head format is easy to do with a mobile phone or PC. Consider acquiring video editing software so that you can trim, cut to still images or other video etc., but this is not a requirement.  
  • In a PowerPoint presentation with voiceover you could use a series of images that encapsulates an area of your research and to which you can refer.  
  • Feel free to use any other techniques, such as animation. 

Sharing, Feedback and Competition

  • To take part, add your 3-minute film and the title of your film onto the Accolade channel of the IAS Postdoc Team space by no later than Friday 01 October 2021. You can submit your film in 1 of 2 ways. You can either  
    • Upload the video file directly onto the Accolade channel. Click ‘new conversation’ followed by ‘upload file’
    • Share a link to your video in a post on the Accolade channel if your video is hosted elsewhere e,g Vimeo(with a password, if your video is password-protected)
  • We invite fellows to view the films on Teams and provide feedback and comment throughout the Autumn 21/22 term.
  • Stewart O’Reilly from HomeRunfilms, will review every film and will provide individuals with feedback on their work.
  • Prizes will be presented at late 21/early 22 (details tbc) with the winners chosen on the basis of feedback from Stewart and the IAS Community.
  • IAS will work with the winners to further develop their films to support with their research dissemination and professional profile building. IAS will support winners in sharing their films more widely through IAS’s social media channels and website. Information about your film may also be included with your profile in the IAS Annual Report.

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