The Battle of the Scientists

  • The battlefield: The International School Ghent (Belgium), Friday March 9th 2018
  • The warriors: Five researchers, presenting their research in English to a room filled with children ages 6 through 12, each researcher attempting to claim the trophy for best presentation.
  • The heroes: The kids, for being the actual hosts of this battle!

The Battle of the Scientists is an ideal way of learning how to present your research in a clear and fun way. It teaches you so much, and is just an amazing adventure! The kids give you heaps of positive energy in return. The Battle of the Scientists is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! I would highly recommend it to anyone!  Evy Beckers (Ghent University, winner of de Wetenschapsbattle 2017)


What is the Battle of the Scientists?

The Battle of the Scientists is the only science-related competition aimed at elementary schools, where the children themselves are fully in charge.

Five scientists each get 15 minutes to present their research at the school, to children ranging from 1st through 6th grade. The children’s jury provides feedback and the young audience asks questions. At the end, the children vote for their favorite presentation. Each of the researchers that are selected to participate in the battle get to attend a presentation training beforehand.

On March 9th, 2018 we are hosting our very first battle in English. The battle concept has been around since 2015, with ‘de Wetenschapsbattle’, that takes place across Belgium’s 5 Dutch-speaking provinces, involving annually 1400 children and 25 researchers.


Who are the 5 selected scientists?

  • Aída Araceli Patiño Álvarez, PhD student at the University of Antwerp. Topic: human rights protection.
  • Francesco Contino, professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Topic: fuels from renewable sources.
  • Alexandros Frydas, PhD student at the University of Antwerp / VIB. Topic: dementia.
  • Vinoy Vijavan, postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven / VIB. Topic: studying human brains using fruit flies.
  • Yixing Sui, PhD student at the University of Antwerp. Topic: protein nutrition.


Who can participate?

The Battle of the Scientists is open to all non-Dutch-speaking scientists and researchers that are affiliated with a university, college, company or research institute located in Flanders or Brussels. Participants can range from any field of research: we welcome engineers, physics, anthropologists, …

If you are a Dutch-speaking reseacher, then you can register for ‘de Wetenschapsbattle’.

Why would you participate?

As a scientist, you know how important it is to be able to communicate your research in a clear and convincing manner. Not only to experts, but also to a broad audience. This brings more support, useful feedback, new connections, but could also establish increased financial support. But where can you learn how to do this? At the Battle of the Scientists, of course!

Presenting to an audience of kids is your ultimate training school. Let us prepare you for this in our free Masterclass Presentation Techniques.


Should you be a natural performer to participate?

Not at all. But it is important, when signing up, that you are able to put down in words what makes your research so interesting. The kids will be selecting the top five of these submissions beforehand. In our Masterclass we will help you to transform your story into a powerful presentation.


What can you expect from the Masterclass Presentation Techniques?

Presentation coaches Hans Van de Water and Toon Verlinden from The Floor is Yours will help you tell a compelling story that will have this young audience hanging from your lips. You will learn how to handle your nerves, receive body language advice from us and learn how to create appealing slides. The Masterclass is very interactive and will focus on your research.

The next Masterclass for the five selected scientists is scheduled to take place on Friday February 23 2018 in Leuven or Ghent.


The Masterclass will provide you with countless tips & tricks, challenge you to explain your research in a clear manner, to be complete yet concise, and to keep things simple but also correct and informative. Mieke Vandewaetere (Howest)


What can you win?

The winner of the Battle of the Scientists will go home with a trophy from the jury and hero status for life. The trophies are designed by the children themselves.


tweet Martijn Peters


The timeline

  • November 20, 2017: Final day to sign up for the Battle of the Scientists.
  • December 20, 2017: Candidates, selected or not, will be notified.
  • Friday February 23, 2018: Masterclasses Presentation Techniques for the selected scientists.
  • Friday March 9, 2018: The Battle of the Scientists at the International School Ghent.


You cannot sign up anymore for edition 2018, but if you are interested in participating in edition 2019, please contact us.