Thinkable Guide

You can create a competition in less than 30 seconds. It could be a grant, award, challenge or contest.

You can add as many organisers as you need to make sure everything runs smoothly. They will all have editorial privileges over the competition.

If you are a member of a research lab, institute or organisation you can link all of your competitions via your organisation’s Thinkable page. If you can’t find your organisation please contact us

It is easy to set the terms and conditions of your competition and provide all users with the information they need to make a successful submission. Our blog is a great place to find tips and tricks for creating a great entry

You can easily set the dates and times for Submissions and Voting as well as creating your own custom events and timeframes.

If you would like your competition to be judged you can add or invite as many people as you want to join your expert panel.

You can showcase your competition’s sponsors on the page.

You can list multiple award categories each with its own description and eligibilities.

You can list multiple prizes within each category and have complete flexibility over how each is awarded. They can be judged by your own invited panel, by open peer vote or by public vote.

It is easy to contact anyone involved in your competition whether they are organisers, judges, applicants, followers or voters.

All competitions are private by default. If you wish to run a private competition it is up to you to invite users to take part. If you want to make your competition open for all to see you can list it publicly on All ‘published’ competitions will be verified by us within 48 hours.

Applying as an individual

If you are applying as an Individual all you need is a Thinkable account and access to the competition page

If you want to apply as a team of researchers you will first need to create a group.

Once you have are a member of a group it is easy to enter your team in a competition.

Registering as a competition judge

When a competition organiser invites you to be a part of their judging team you will receive an email from us. Simply follow the prompts to accept the invitation and register as a judge.

Accessing the judging page

Once you are a judge you will be able to access the private judging page where you can review and score submissions.

Finding submissions

You can easily search for and sort entries using the judging page features.

Judging a submission

It is easy to review and score submissions. Scores are given from 1 to 10.

Changing a score

If for any reason you need to change or remove a score you can easily do so using the judging page features. Scores and comments can be changed right up until the winners are announced and the competition is closed.

Basic format for short video

1. Why? A problem statement or context of why your idea or field is relevant to the audience lives and the problems needing solved

2. How? How did you approach or solve the problem?

3. So what? What are your research findings & wider implications?

Screencasting is the easiest, quickest and least intimidating way to share your science to the world via video. You don’t need a script or to purchase any fancy equipment.

Whether it’s a recent presentation/lecture or an animation of some methods/results, screencasting allows you to record video & audio directly from your computer screen.

Simply load a keynote or powerpoint presentation or some other animation about science and screencasting software captures everything including your audio and mouse movements. Then save it as a 3-5minute movie file and upload it into your Thinkable profile. Done.

Here’s an example of a Thinkable research screencast for a recent manuscript.

There’s hundreds of different screencast software options, but there are a few we recommend that are both free and easy to use.

1. Quicktime (for MAC)

Click ‘File’, then ‘New Screen Recording’, then follow the prompts to set the screen area and hit record.

2. Screen-cast-o-matic (For PC/MAC)

Vastly better than Quicktime, as it gives the viewer clear, engaging click-over animations and many editorial features/options when creating your final. It’s also free for 15minute videos.

3. Jing (For PC/MAC)

Makes creating a screencast to share instant from your desktop. Similar to Screen-cast-o-matic and is free for 5minute videos.

Here’s a detailed tutorial from Karen creating a screencast from a recent powerpoint presentation:

A research pitch is when you give a short 3-minute summary of your broad research or a piece of research either completed (paper, poster) or a new project you’ve just started (project). It’s a simple but powerful form of science communication. Check out this great example of a research pitch.

You can use a basic camera, iPad or iPhone with tripod to record this type of pitch, but you definitely need a lapel microphone to make the clear. Please see ‘Sound’ and ‘Lighting’ tutorial tips before you shoot it.

This style of video is powerful and personalizes you as a researcher, but requires practice to make sure you clearly get your key message across.

If you don’t want to create a video with real images or shooting, then whiteboard animations can be really effective and powerful.

Here’s our launch video using this style:

We used a professional animator and voice-over who we highly recommend.

But there are also easy software tools to create simpler whiteboard animations like this one from Rosie, a PhD student sharing her research on Thinkable.

The three different sites where you can create your own research whiteboard animation are Powtoon, Goanimate and VideoScribe. Each have free trials, so you can test them out to see what’s best for you.

Here’s a VideoScribe that we did to give you a feel for it.

For narration, you can try yourself, or you can hire professional voiceovers for $5 at

A short video story involves a mixture of video content and interviews with some animations to create an engaging video about your research. Here’s an example of an engaging video story or song.

Shooting is not really the most time-consuming part of creating a research this type of video, it’s the editing and the production quality. If you want to create a compelling video story, then it’s best to contact either your organizations press office or you can easily source freelance professionals for $5-10 at and other marketplaces. We have done this for our videos, so contact us if you want some recommendations.