Communication skills are widely acknowledged as cornerstones for a successful research career, both within and beyond academia. Whether you're aiming for a research grant, your dream job or simply to impress family and friends, being able to clearly communicate what you do and why is crucial.
The Melbourne Medical School (MMS) and Melbourne Dental School (MDS) are collaborating to deliver Clear as a Bell; a series of hybrid-format workshops to help you as a graduate researcher develop and refine your communication skills. Each workshop is centred on a specific communication skillset, allowing attendees to focus on their area of interest. Graduate researchers will develop and build on skills in audience communication, creating engaging research pitches and communicating their research story in an engaging and compelling way for a variety of purposes.
The series is designed as stand-alone modules to cater to all interests, with online and onsite options at the Parkville campus and selected hospital sites available.
Topics and skills covered will help prepare you for the 'No-Bell' Prize competition in May. Pitch your research to our panel and you could be in the running for some great prizes.
We can't wait to talk research with you!
Your workshop team
Amy Coe, Karla Fallon, Associate Professor Cathy Quinlan (Melbourne Medical School)
Dr Rita Hardiman, Bree Jones, Bridget Nelthropp, Dr Mihiri Silva (Melbourne Dental School)
MMS and MDS acknowledge the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS) for supporting these events via a 2022 Graduate Research Development Grant.
Key dates for upcoming events
- Monday 20 February 2023
- Science Communication
- Tuesday 7 March 2023
- Storytelling for researchers
- Tuesday 28 March 2023
- Making engaging video content
- Wednesday 3 May 2023
- Pitching for philanthropic funding
- Wednesday 17 May 2023
- Pitching for industry collaborations
- Friday 12 May 2023
- No Bell Prize applications to present open
- Monday 12 June 2023
- No Bell Prize applications to present close
- Tuesday 11 July 2023
No Bell Prize event takes place
1:00pm - 3.30pm
Clear as a Bell Workshop Series
With a focus on clear communication for a variety of audiences, join us for some targeted advice and opportunities to put your new skills into practice in a small group setting. Each workshop focuses on a stand-alone topic featuring a variety of expert presenters. You can attend as many as you like.
Workshops will be held in 'watch party' style', with the workshop facilitators presenting on Zoom and participants either joining from a shared room in one of our health precincts or a shared Zoom breakout room. Registrants will be asked to nominate the preferred mode and location at the time of registration. A recording of the presentations will be made available to registered participants following the session.
For more information on the individual workshops, see below.
Members of the Melbourne Dental School (MDS) and Melbourne Medical School (MMS) are invited to attend the No-Bell Prize, a fun and interactive opportunity for graduate researchers to practice the pitching skills we've developed through the workshop series.
Hosted by Professor Alastair Sloan (Head, Melbourne Dental School) and Associate Professor Cathy Quinlan (Academic Lead - Graduate Research, Melbourne Medical School), up to ten graduate researchers will pitch their research to our audience and panel of judges using clear and accessible language to compete for the 2023 MDS/MMS No-Bell Prize.
The winner will receive a $1000 cash prize with the runner up receiving a $500 cash prize. A People's Choice award of $200 will also be awarded on the day by a vote from the live audience.
When: Tuesday 11 July 2023
Time: 1:00pm - 3.00pm
Where: Forum Theatre (Room 153) Arts West, University of Melbourne Parkville campus
Hosts: Professor Alastair Sloan (MDS) and Associate Professor Cathy Quinlan (MMS)
Judging panel: Amy Coe (MMS Phd Candidate, Department of General Practice and Primary Care), Dr Nadia Kaunein (Melbourne Dental School) and Jackson Newberry-Dupé (PhD Candidate, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health)
Presenting at the Event
Graduate researchers submit a short video to apply to speak at the event with up to ten researchers being selected to present. Selected researchers will present for 1 minute, followed by 3 minutes of questions from the host and 1 minute of questions from the audience to make up a total of 5 minutes.
During the 5 minute presentation, our panel will make a note each time they hear jargon such as language which is too technical or acronyms that are not widely understood. An official will keep the time and count the number of notes per speaker.
The researcher with the least notes during their presentation will be the winner. There will also be a People's Choice Award voted by the audience on the night.
How to apply
No-Bell Prize applications are now closed. You can still register to attend the event.
For any additional information, please contact organising committee.
We acknowledge the Monash University's Central Clinical School 'No-Bell Prize' website and Melbourne Neuroscience Institute (University of Melbourne) 2013 Festival of Ideas event as the basis of this event.
Frequently Asked Questions
On this page you will find the answers to all you questions about the workshops and the No-Bell Prize competition.
Attending the Workshops
Who can attend?
Any graduate researchers from the Melbourne Dental School and the Melbourne Medical School at the University of Melbourne.
Do I need to attend the workshop at my Department/Precinct location?
You can choose any of the locations listed on the registration page. We need a minimum of 4 people to register at the location for it to be used. If less than 4 people register at that location, you will be offered another location or to join online.
I cannot attend on that date - will the sessions be recorded?
Sessions will be recorded and made available to registered participants for 12 months following delivery.
No-Bell Prize event
Who can attend the event?
This event is for members of the Melbourne Dental School and Melbourne Medical School.
How do I enter?
Applications will open in April. We will share some guidelines before applications open.
What is jargon?
Jargon is language which would not be understood by people from outside your research field. This might include acronyms, technical terms and medical terms which are not explained in an accessible way. For example, referring to the MMS EMCA rather than the Melbourne Medical School's Early and Mid Career Academics Advisory Committee.
Who will decide the winner?
Our panel will ring the bell each time they hear jargon. A support person will manage the time and count the bells as they ring. The No-Bell Prize winner will be the person with the least bells rung by the judging panel during their presentation.
There will also be a People's Choice Award voted by the audience on the night via an online poll.
For any additional information, contact the Workshop team.
Congratulations to our 2023 No-Bell Prize winners
The Melbourne Medical School and Melbourne Dental School are pleased to announce the winners of the No-Bell Prize competition held on Tuesday 11 July.
(L-R) Alice Ruiye Chen, Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, Emma Boehm and Scotia Mullin
Congratulations to Emma Boehm (Department of Clinical Pathology) for winning the 2023 No-Bell Prize competition, followed by our two exceptional runners-up, Alicia Ruiye Chen (Department of Surgery – Ophthalmology) and Scotia Mullin (Melbourne Dental School). Scotia was also awarded the People’s Choice Award, which was voted by the audience at the event.
Hosted by Professor Alastair Sloan (Head, Melbourne Dental School) and Associate Professor Catherine Quinlan (Academic Lead – Graduate Research, Melbourne Medical School), the event featured nine graduate researchers demonstrating proficiency in communicating their research in clear and accessible language as they pitched their research to our panel of judges.
Laureate Professor Peter Doherty (Nobel Prize winner) awarded the prizes and shared an inspiring message about the importance of good communication.
The audience heard some amazing presentations, and we extend our congratulations to all of our participants for the strength of their research pitches.
Find out more about the No-Bell Prize event on our website.
Back row L-R Ciara Murphy (Obstetrics and Gynaecology), Alice Ruiye Chen (Surgery – Ophthalmology), Scotia Mullin (Melbourne Dental School), Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, Emma Boehm (Clinical Pathology), Yali Deng (Surgery), Prof Alastair Sloan (Melbourne Dental School). Front row L-R Erin Crellin (Paediatrics), Matthew Coleman (Paediatrics), Victor Duong (Medicine – Northern Health), Ella Swaney (Paediatrics)
About our winners
| Dr Emma Boehm|
Department of Clinical Pathology, Rare Disease Oncogenomics Laboratory, University of Melbourne, and Endocrinologist and Nuclear Medicine Fellow, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Dr Emma Boehm is an endocrinologist and a nuclear medicine fellow at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. She is undertaking a PhD in the Rare Disease Oncogenomics Laboratory at the University of Melbourne, led by A/Prof Richard Tothill. Emma is supported by a Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH track) scholarship. Emma’s PhD is focussed on circulating tumour DNA as a biomarker of neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). Emma is passionate about the overlap between endocrinology, nuclear medicine and oncology, and improving access for patients with NET to precision diagnostics, therapies and research.
|Alice Ruiye Chen|
Centre for Eye Research Australia; And Ophthalmology, Department of Surgery
Alice Ruiye Chen is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ophthalmic Epidemiology at the Centre for Eye Research Australia. With a background in clinical medicine, she obtained her medicine degree in 2020. After nearly two years of residency, she decided to pursue a PhD with a specific focus on healthy ageing in 2022. Her PhD project explores the concept of retinal age, which involves using deep learning techniques to develop a novel biomarker of ageing and translating it for use in primary care settings. So far, she has published 4 manuscripts and has had the opportunity to present her research at two international conferences.
Melbourne Dental School
Scotia Mullin is a PhD Candidate in biological/forensic anthropology and public health at Melbourne Dental School. Scotia has a keen interest in intersectional and sensitive medical interventions, LGBTQ+ health, forensic anthropology, repatriation, and disaster victim identification. In his spare time Scotia is an avid reader of fantasy novels, hiking, and hanging out with his friends and his dogs.