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Academic Challenge Share your research!


Leiden University's Academic Challenge: deadline for presentations

Friday 26 March 2021

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.

(* This year the Academic Challenge will be 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 26 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/giftcards. The other presenting teams will receive 200 euro’s worth of book tokens/gift cards. The book tokens/gift cards 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 26 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 26 March. The extended essays can be submitted by email, preferably as a pdf. 
  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 26 March 2021.


The selection will take place from 1-12 April 2021. Shortly after 12 April you will receive a notification explaining whether you have been selected to present your research. If you are selected, you'll be asked to send a video of your research presentation of about 10 minutes. The deadline for this will be 7 May 2021. 


If you sign up for the competition, you must be available to attend the online Academic Challenge on 8 June 2021 (at least between 11.40 and 12.30).

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