Research Spotlight competition

The Research Spotlight competition takes place as part of the London Hopper Colloquium and provides women researchers with a friendly forum for communicating the essence of their work via short (3.5-minute) presentations to other postgraduate students and postdoc's.

During the day of the London Hopper Colloquium there are fourteen such talks split between two thirty-minute sessions.

Entering the competition

Submission deadline - 5pm on Monday 8 October, 2018.
To enter the competition you must first register for the 2018 London Hopper event. Whilst registering for the event you will be asked if you would like to enter the Research Spotlight competition. Book now


The Research Spotlight competition focusses on women research masters students and PhD students. Presentation topics may be from any research area within the field of computing and / or interdisciplinary studies connected to computing. All those wishing to enter the Research Spotlight competition must also register to attend the London Hopper Colloquium.

Previous winners are not eligible. The organisers reserve the right to reject a London Hopper Research Spotlight submission if the content of the abstract or slides are deemed inappropriate.

If you have any questions about this competition or your entry, please email

Rules of submission

When you register for the Research Spotlight competition you are asked to submit an abstract describing the research topic of your proposed talk. These abstracts are evaluated and the top fourteen selected for the list of finalists. Other strong abstracts are placed on a reserve list in rank order.

2018’s entrants will receive notification of their placement by Wednesday 10 October.

All finalists are subsequently required to submit an acceptable set of four Powerpoint slides on their research topic, no later than one week before the London Hopper event. No dynamic Powerpoint slides are allowed.

When registering for the competition, applicants receive a Powerpoint presentation template and an example set of slides to guide them in the preparation of their own slides. Those selected for the reserve list are advised to do this too, in case they are invited to participate in the Research Spotlight at short notice.

During the finalists’ presentations on the day of the London Hopper Colloquium itself, their slides will be displayed from the laptop in situ at the front of the room - not from their own laptops.

Presentations will be stopped at the 3.5-minute mark and will not be allowed to over-run. Speakers are strongly recommended to practise and time their talks beforehand, more than once, preferably with an audience who can provide feedback. Props may not be used during the presentations; participants are judged on the quality of their written abstract, slides and presentation.

Prizes and judging

The following three top prizes will be given:

  • Speaker prize (chosen by the judges) - £100 (courtesy of IBM), one year’s BCS membership (courtesy of BCSWomen) and an invitation to be a speaker in the following year’s London Hopper Colloquium
  • Runner-up Prize (chosen by the judges) - £100 (courtesy of IBM)
  • People's Choice Prize (chosen by popular vote of the attendees) - £100 (courtesy of IBM)

A prize of £20 will be given to each finalist who makes a presentation but who does not win one of the three above prizes.

For the Speaker and Runner-up Prizes each participant is assessed by the judges on the quality of her written abstract, slides and presentation, with consideration to the following:

  • Communication - how successful overall was the speaker in explaining her research topic through the presentation, slides and abstract?
  • Presentation - did she present a clear story with the right amount of scientific and / or technical content?
  • Slides - were the slides well designed in terms of images, graphics and text?
  • Abstract - did this clearly describe the research topic?

For the People’s Choice Prize each attendee at London Hopper will have a voting sheet and will be invited to cast a single vote for the prize winner. In the event of a tie for the People’s Choice Prize, the judges will choose a single winner from the tied entrants.