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Academic Challenge Share your research!


Leiden University's Academic Challenge: deadline for presentations

Friday 5 March 2021
Leiden University’s Academic Challenge will take place on 8 June 2021 within walking distance of The Hague Central Station.

The Academic Challenge is organised on 8 june 2021* for students in international and bilingual schools in preparation of the extended essay or profielwerkstuk written in English. This event will focus on doing research and features information and inspiration for setting up and conducting your own research.

Hereafter, the term ‘extended essay’ will refer to both the extended essay as written in the context of the International Baccalaureate’s  Diploma Programme, and to the profielwerkstuk written in English as written in the context of the bilingual schools.

(* Please note this date might change and/or this on campus event might change to an online event)



After months of hard work, the moment has finally arrived: your extended essay is finished. If you feel proud of your work, and would like to tell others about your findings, sign up before 5 March 2021 to give a presentation about your research during the Academic Challenge. The conference is organised to inspire students who are about to write their extended essay and as a showcase for essays that have already been completed. In a 10 minute presentation you will use your story to inspire students who are about to embark on their own research journey. The presentations will be conducted in English.


The best presentations will be rewarded with a prize. Prizes will be awarded in two categories: natural sciences and the combined category of social sciences and humanities. In each category, three teams will compete for the first prize. In your application you can identify the category in which you would like to compete. The competition focusses on research communication, which means that the quality of your presentation and not the essay itself will determine the outcome of the competition. The first prize consists of 400 euro’s worth of book tokens. The other presenting teams will receive 200 euro’s worth of book tokens. The book tokens should prove themselves quite useful as you prepare for next year’s studies.


In order to be eligible to participate in the competition and deliver a presentation, the following steps need to be completed:

  1. Please submit the online application form before the deadline of 5 March 2021. We strongly recommend that you provide detailed answers to the questions on the form. In case of a joint presentation, both presenters will need to submit separate application forms. Note that presentations can only be delivered about an extended essay that you yourself wrote.
  2. You will need to submit your extended essay to Leiden University by 13 March. The extended essays can be submitted by email, preferably as a pdf. If you have a paper version of the extended essay and are unable to send the documents by email, please send the paper version of your extended essay to: Leiden University, ICLON, PO Box 905, 2300 AX Leiden.
  3. Please submit a letter of recommendation written by your teacher, tutor or careers counsellor. The letter should comment on your suitability to deliver a presentation during the Academic Challenge, as well as an assessment of your academic abilities and presentation skills. This letter of recommendation also needs to be submitted to Leiden University by 5 March 2021. The letters can be submitted either by email or by sending a physical copy of the letter to Leiden University, ICLON, PO Box 905, 2300 AX Leiden.


The selection will take place from 8-19 March 2021. Shortly after 19 March you will receive a notification explaining whether you have been selected to present your research. If you are selected, you will also receive an invitation to the preparatory session at Leiden University. During this session, you will receive, among other things, a workshop in presenting. Your travel expenses will be reimbursed, both for the preparatory session and for the day of the Academic Challenge itself.


If you sign up for the competition, you must be available to attend the Academic Challenge on 8 June 2021 (at least between 12.25 and 15.00) and give the presentation. 

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