Unsung Heroes of Science video competition now open

Who has history forgotten? Whose story has been left out of the textbooks? Whose work gets overlooked?

Share your unsung hero with us in our 2024 video competition, organised by Oxford University’s Hertford College. We’re challenging you to make a short video celebrating an unsung hero of science who you think deserves wider recognition. The competition is open to everyone everywhere aged 16-18 and there are no restrictions on who you can choose to celebrate. We want to see who from the world of science inspires you and to learn more about them.

The deadline to submit your video is Tuesday 16th April 2024 (23:59 BST).

The challenge…

Working as an individual or in a team of two or three, we challenge you to create a pair of two-minute long videos. In the first ‘Hero’ video we want to hear about the unsung hero of science that you’ve chosen to celebrate. Tell us a story about what you find interesting, whether that’s their life, their discoveries or even their mistakes. Your target audience for this video is 12-year-olds, so you should tell the story of your hero in an engaging, accessible and clear way. In the second ‘Team’ video we want to meet you (and your team), so tell us about who you are and why you chose your unsung hero. We’d like you to answer the following questions in this video:

Who is your unsung hero of science?  Why did you choose this unsung hero?  Why do you think they are not well known?  Why do you think they should be better known?  What’s your favourite fact you learned while making this video?

How to enter

The competition is open to anyone aged 16-18 (by the end of August 2024) from any country and you may enter as an individual or in teams of two or three. As we’ll be looking for engaging content and brilliant ideas – rather than professional video editing skills – you don’t need any fancy equipment to take part and can film and edit the videos on your phone if you’d like. Download the terms and conditions below to find out how to share your videos with us and submit your entry form.

Prizes and judging

The competition will be judged by a panel led by Professor Alison Woollard – she’s a Biochemistry tutor at Hertford College and the University of Oxford’s Academic Champion for Public Engagement with Research.

The creators of all the shortlisted videos in the UK category will be invited to a celebration event and prizegiving in Oxford. All shortlisted videos will be published and promoted on the Hertford College website and social media. The most viewed video will win the Audience Award.

Ready to enter? Here are the links and documents you’ll need…

Discover more unsung heroes

Running since 2019, we now have a bank of more than 100 videos which tell stories spanning over 1,000 years of scientific history. You can watch them all, find out more about the winners from 20192020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 and – if you’re a teacher – integrate the unsung heroes into your lessons using our Teachers’ Resources. We’re delighted that Unsung Heroes of Science made the final shortlist for the Vice-Chancellor’s Diversity Awards in 2020.