Announcing the Energy Week Lightning Talks! Hosted by VIPER, VIEST, and the Kleinman Center

When and where?

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023 from 12PM-1:30PM

The Kleinman Energy Forum, Fisher Fine Arts Library

Applications due: February 22, 2023


What is it?

During Penn’s 2023 Energy Week, current University of Pennsylvania students and post-docs are invited to compete via Ted-style talks for the chance to win up to $1,000 USD in prizes. Finalists will give 8-minute talks to a live audience where they will be evaluated by a panel of judges. An audience choice award will also be given.   


What topics will be considered?

We are searching for talks that make a meaningful contribution to the fields of energy research or policy. Talks from all disciplines are encouraged and should center on your original academic work (research, writing, etc.) Some example topics are:

  • Scientific studies with implications for energy systems
  • The contextualization of energy in society, history, policy, or thought
  • Strategies to meet decarbonization
  • The role of society, culture and cities in the future of energy
  • Community initiatives, pilot projects, or demonstrations related to energy generation or use

Research talks should be accessible to a general audience, should provide context within the wider energy transition conversation, and should avoid all unnecessary jargon.


Why would I do this?

• Practice describing your work to general audiences
• Receive valuable feedback from our judges and public audience
• And of course there are the cash prizes…


How do you apply?

To apply to present a Lighting Talk, fill out the form here and upload a 2-3 minute video abstract of the talk you would present if selected:

• The video abstract should be a “pitch” that introduces yourself, the main question or objective of your research project, and the most exciting result you have to share.
• The video abstract should to aimed at an audience who is not an expert in your field.
• You may use one single image or static PowerPoint slide to enhance your video abstract.
• You can record yourself and a screen share of your single image in Zoom, or in the Panopto interface in Canvas.
• Your video abstract will not be judged on the quality of the video. Just make sure the audio is clear and understandable.


Final Presentation Format

Finalists will be notified of their selection in early March. If selected, finalists should prepare an 8-minute talk and use three (3) or fewer slides. Finalists will present their talks to a live audience at noon on March 23rd in the Kleinman Energy Forum. Each presentation will also have 2 minutes for Q/A.


How will finalists be selected?

A panel of scientific and policy researchers will score each application on the below merit criteria with a 1-5 scale. The abstracts with the highest scores will be selected as finalists.


Merit Criteria

  • Presentation accessibility and clarity
  • Original scholarship’s contribution to energy technology and policy
  • Slide design and professionalism (including adherence to presentation length and slide guidelines)