Dance Your Ph.D Contest Accepting Entries

It's summertime, which means the call has gone out for submissions to the annual "Dance Your Ph.D." Contest. Eagle-eyed readers of Science may have noticed an oddly titled article in this weeks edition: Calling All Dancing Scientists (Bohannon J. Science (2010) 328(5983):1226). Not a treatise on scientists with lucrative alternative careers as breakdancers, this article was rather a call for submissions to the 2010 "Dance Your Ph.D" Contest.

This contest promotes the use of the human body in motion as a medium for communicating science, asking graduate students to compose interpretive dances that capture the spirit (and content) of their Ph.D research.

Researchers may submit their dances in categories defined by scientific field: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Social Sciences. Finalists will be chosen by an independent panel of judges, and screened at the Imagine Science Film Festival (NYC, Oct 15-24), when winners will be chosen. Winners of each category will be awarded a $500 cash prize; winning dances in each category will compete for the title of Best Ph.D Dance of All (and an additional $500).

To enter the contest, you need to:

1) Choreograph and film an interpretive dance depicting your Ph.D research

2) Post the video on

3) Follow the directions for entering the contest at

The submission deadline is September 1st.

Contestants and winners from 2009 can be viewed by searching Youtube.

Of special interest to Stanford students will be recent grad Jennifer Shieh's entry, entitled Adhesion and Endocytosis in Neuronal Migration.


Astra Bryant

Astra Bryant is a graduate of the Stanford Neuroscience PhD program in the labs of Drs. Eric Knudsen and John Huguenard. She used in vitro slice electrophysiology to study the cellular and synaptic mechanisms linking cholinergic signaling and gamma oscillations – two processes critical for the control of gaze and attention, which are disrupted in many psychiatric disorders. She is a senior editor and the webmaster of the NeuWrite West Neuroblog