Science in Video (SciVid)

Materials science and engineering is not a new field of study. Yet it is still among the least known majors among the general public. 

One way to engage the public is through short videos. These can be hosted on YouTube and viewed through social media to highlight the influence materials science has on our society. 

SciVid is seeking scientists to develop high-impact videos to generate a broader interest in materials science while competing for recognition and prizes. We are seeking videos that can teach, explain, amaze, amuse or fascinate! The only thing the video shouldn’t do is sell or promote a commercial product, facility or service.

Eligibility and Prizes

This competition is open to anyone who is passionate about materials science and engineering. MRS membership or Meeting attendance is not required.

Compete for cash prizes (USD):

  • 1st Place—$1,000
  • 2nd Place—$500
  • 3rd Place—$300
  • People’s Choice—$700

The 10 finalists' videos will be featured at the Meeting in a display at the Public Outreach Center and at several locations throughout the Hynes Convention Center and the Sheraton Boston Hotel. 

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, November 29, at 4:00 pm on The Hub Stage (Hynes, Level 2).

Contest Requirements

  1. Make a two-minute video covering only one materials science-related topic. This can be a cutting-edge research topic or a fundamental concept.
  2. Explain the effect of the topic on our society.
  3. End the video with a verbal statement that ends with “… and materials science and engineering makes it possible.”
  4. Maximum length: two minutes
  5. Maximum size: 500 MB
  6. Use an English-speaking narrator.
  7. Include inspiring background music.
  8. Use animation, graphics, and demonstration in the video, in general a creative method of conveying the message.
  9. Voice over (first person narration) or journalist/reporter style (following the experiment-in-progress and talking “live” into the camera) is accepted. However, interview style video is NOT accepted
  10. Only one entry per individual or group of people. However, multiple entries from one institute are accepted.
  11. The purpose of this competition is to promote materials science and no advertisement of any kind is accepted. Names of companies cannot be mentioned; however, mentioning the name of educational institutions is allowed.
  12. Professional films that are developed with the aid of a film production company are accepted.

Suggestions from the Judges

  1. Use video editing software. 
  2. Consider using a tripod to avoid shaky hand videos.
  3. Collaborate with communications, art or media design departments or a similar department at your university to create a good quality video.
  4. Use a professional camera, drones or any creative way of capturing the video.
  5. Use a good microphone and record in a quiet environment since extraneous noise can be challenging to edit or mix out.
  6. The best videos are those that viewers cannot stop thinking about! 

How to Submit

Fill out the Official Entry Form for applicants and email it to You will need to include a downloadable link to your video (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.). This link should remain active until December 1, 2017.


Videos will be judged by a panel of leading science video production, communication and art professionals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes. Entries will be judged based on creativity, inspiration of videos and adherence to criteria explained above for this competition.

The People’s Choice Award will be determined by digital voting through the MRS YouTube Channel.


Can’t attend the Meeting? You can still vote for the People’s Choice Award!

In November, submissions will be judged by a panel of leading video production and communications specialists to determine the top finalists that will be posted on the MRS YouTube Channel.

Finalists will be announced and notified via email of their selection on Tuesday, November 20. Public viewing on the MRS YouTube Channel and voting will begin the same day.

The video with the highest number of YouTube “likes” on the MRS YouTube Channel will win the People’s Choice Award of $700 USD. YouTube likes on any other version of the videos posted on different YouTube channels, Facebook or other social media will not be considered.


October 30

Deadline at 11:59 pm EST. The link to your video should stay active until December 1, 2017.

November 20

Top finalists will be announced for public voting. Finalists will also be notified via email and information on public voting will be provided to them.

November 20—
November 28

Public voting on the MRS YouTube Channel

November 29

Winners will be announced at the 2017 MRS Fall Meeting in Boston.


Contact Babak Anasori of Drexel University, competition chair, with questions.


Stop by the Public Outreach Center to learn more about the competition and how you can vote. View videos and vote  through Wednesday at 4:00 pm. All awards will be announced on Wednesday on The Hub Stage, 4:00 pm.

Sponsored by

Material Research Society Foundation


Drexel University NI logo