Explain Your Research to the World:
3rd Annual Magnetic Moments Competition

Video submission form is at the bottom of this page.

Submission Deadline:

2019 submission by Nataliya Buxbaum

Our science is great, but can anyone outside the field understand it?

Let’s have fun with our science! We are looking to find the best public-facing description of a piece of work being presented in an abstract at the ISMRM 2021 meeting. ISMRM members are invited to participate by submitting a presentation describing their research that is intended for the general public. Finalists’s videos will be presented “live” during the virtual session of the Member Initiated Symposium at ISMRM 2021 with global live voting by the conference attendees.

Let’s take our science to the people!


Being able to present your work to people outside your field is an important skill for every scientist. Communicating directly with the public provides scientists with an opportunity to accurately present their work, increase public interest, and generate enthusiasm in the next generation of scientists. Funding bodies and academic institutions also increasingly expect researchers to participate in outreach and engagement with the public.

2019 submission by Anina Seidemo

With this competition we not only want to provide an opportunity for scientists to gain confidence presenting their research to the public, but also to promote the ISMRM’s mission to be a more engaged society.

Competitors will present a 3-minute explanation of their accepted conference abstract to a global panel of judges.

Submission Criteria

Submissions should consist of a 3-minute video presentation of your research abstract that a general audience would understand. Additionally, we will also ask for a brief explanation (1-2 sentences) describing your intended audience, as well as how this submission will educate this audience, which will be submitted with your video submission.

Guidelines for submissions are as follows:

  1. You are allowed to give the presentation in any form (see below for some example presentations) and submit a recording of it. All finalists will have their video streamed during the virtual live session at ISMRM.
  2. You are welcome to create animations, but try to avoid the classic “PowerPoint” presentation. We particularly encourage those using props instead of slides. Importantly, keep things simple!
  3. Place your research in a wider context: What is the goal of your research? How will the public benefit from your work? What is exciting about it? It can also help to explain why you, personally, are passionate about your research, or what the research is like day-to-day.
  4. Your submission should clearly refer to the specific research described in an abstract at this year’s meeting. However, it is fine for most of the presentation to talk about a broader project or general area of research.
  5. Don’t use technical jargon (e.g. k-space, B0 inhomogeneities, etc.), acronyms (e.g. BOLD), or medical terminology (e.g. myocardial infarction).
  6. Submitted videos do not have to be in English, but if they are in a different language then English subtitles must be provided. If selected for the “live final”, the resulting presentation must be given in English.
  7. MP4 is the preferred video file format, but other major formats are acceptable. If we have any problems with your video, we will contact you via email. For any additional questions, please contact the organisers.

Judging and Award Categories

All submissions will be judged in two rounds to determine the finalists for the live competition.

  • Initial judging will be performed by the competition organizers and will consist of eliminating submissions that have not followed the submission criteria described above.
  • The semi-finalists will then be judged by four judges from the ISMRM membership. These judges will have experience in communicating science to the public and will be chosen to reflect the society’s international nature, including those for whom English is a second language.

Finalists for the live competition will be emailed by the 30th of April.

Live Competition:

Finalists' videos will be streamed during the live virtual session at the ISMRM annual meeting. The judges will be made up of members of the public and Public Engagement professionals, who will evaluate the finalists' presentations based on the following criteria:

  1. Is it understandable to a general audience?
  2. Is the presentation interesting? Does it capture what is exciting about the research?
  3. Does the presenter explain clearly why the research is important to society?

The top prize will be a free registration to the ISMRM Annual Conference in London 2022.  Presentations for all finalists will also be hosted on the ISMRM YouTube channel.

Additionally, we will have several prizes for:

  • Master of Simplicity – The best presentation that is done without the assistance of PowerPoint or other electronic aid. Physical props are not only allowed, but encouraged!

Further Information

Before preparing your submission, we strongly recommend you review our Frequently Asked Questions, which provides further details and recommendations. Any further questions can be directed to the event organisers:
Alex Smith (alex.kenneth.smith@gmail.com)
Nataliya Buxbaum (Nataliya.Buxbaum@RoswellPark.org)
Carinne Piekema (carinne.piekema@ndcn.ox.ac.uk)

Frequently Asked Questions

Wait, isn’t that just a Power Pitch?

While the format of the Magnetic Moments and the Power Pitch are somewhat similar, their purposes are completely different. The Power Pitch relies on an informed audience to understand the complexities of the research being pitched. Magnetic Moments are targeted for the general public.

When are submissions due?

All submissions will be due by April 16, 2021 at midnight Pacific Daylight Time.

Is there a particular format for Submissions?

There is no set format for submissions! You are welcome to make a presentation using PowerPoint, a video with props, or even just you talking about your research abstract! The only requirement is that these videos are limited to 3 minutes and must be uploaded in mp4 format.

The example videos look professionally done. Is this expected of me (and will I be penalised for not doing this)?

No! We will be judging your videos solely on the content of the videos themselves. You are welcome to record yourself using the camera on your phone, or even just performing a screen capture of your PowerPoint presentation as you give your presentation.

Can I see the finalists’ videos from previous years?

Yes you can! The ISMRM have uploaded them into playlists on YouTube:
2018: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbkiZxYouIu4YPvOnaevrKbAYfsCgYeCe
2019: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbkiZxYouIu4_ScO752FJwWqKNSvShD-d

What do you mean “props”?

We mean using physical objects to describe your research! These can be anything from a box to represent a data matrix, ink and a glass of water to demonstrate diffusion, or an actual RF coil. Be creative!

Is there a limit to the number of slides for Submissions?

There is no official limit to the number of slides you can have, however, remember that an overly complex set of slides will be difficult for the general public to understand. Try to keep things as simple as possible!

You say a general audience, what exactly does that mean?

By general audience, we mean that all talks must be understandable by the average person on the street. Think of your aunt, grandparent, child, or the person seated next to you at a sports match. In general, it works well to aim for a 10-12-year-old. This person would ideally be interested in your research; however, they would definitely not be an expert.

Who will review submissions, and when will this take place?

Initial submission review will occur by the competition organisers to select semi-finalists, and a panel of judges selected from the ISMRM membership (see Judging for more details) will choose the finalists for the final competition.

Can I submit something other than my ISMRM abstract?

The focus of this competition is on presenting your research to the public. The presentation should therefore include the research you have submitted to the ISMRM annual meeting. However, it is fine (and often helpful) if the majority of the presentation focuses on the broader picture of your project or research area.

Can I submit more than one video?

Yes! Feel free to submit as many videos as you have accepted abstracts as first author! However, you will only be allowed to present your top submission if you are selected for the final competition.

When and where will the final competition occur?

The final competition will occur during the ISMRM Annual Meeting during a Member-Initiated Symposium (time TBD).

Can I post my submission on my local institution’s website?

Yes! While these videos will be used to showcase the breadth of research the ISMRM community undertakes, these are presentations of your research, and so you should feel free to use them to advertise your research.

2021 Magnetic Moments Submission Form, Part 1:
Abstract & Author Information

You will upload your video on the following page.