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Official rules for Dance Your Ph.D. contest

No purchase or payment necessary to enter or win.

A purchase will not increase your chance of winning.

Promotion description

The AAAS/Science Magazine Dance Your Ph.D. Thesis Contest (the “Contest”) begins on 25 October 2020 at 12:01:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (“EDT”) and the period for entering the Contest ends on 29 January 2021 at 11:59 EST (the “Entry Period”). By participating in the Contest, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (“AAAS” or “Sponsor”) which shall be final and binding in all respects. Ph.D. Entrants will be classified into one of four categories based on the scientific field of their thesis: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Social Sciences. The designation of category will be determined solely by AAAS. For the 2020 contest, individuals may also enter a dance on research that helps us understand any aspect of the COVID-19 disease and its consequences to health and society. This COVID-19 category spans all disciplines and the danced research does not have to be the subject of a Ph.D. thesis or be entered by someone pursuing or with a Ph.D.

Following the end of the Entry Period, the judging will proceed in two phases. In the first phase, a panel of judges (comprised of judges selected by AAAS at its sole discretion) will select no more than five dances in each field or the COVID-19 submissions, based on artistic and scientific merit and the following of local COVID-19 guidelines. From this short list, a second panel of judges will choose one (1) Category Winner for each of the four scientific fields and COVID-19 based on scores awarded by the judges for : COVID-19 safety, scientific merit, artistic merit, and creative combination of the science and art. Normal category Winners will receive $750, be notified by email, and announced online by AAAS. The Category Winner receiving the highest total score awarded by the panel of judges will win the Grand Prize consisting of an additional $2000. The COVID-19 category winner will receive $500.


Only individuals over the age of eighteen (18) years as of 1 January 2020 who are residing and located in a jurisdiction where the contest is lawful are eligible to enter. The Contest is void where prohibited.

How to enter

Participants must go to https://www.sciencemag.org/projects/dance-your-phd/enter  (the “Site”), during the Entry Period and follow the onscreen instructions. Participants must produce a video of the participant dancing his/her own Ph.D., solo or as part of an ensemble, and must (1) post that video on www.youtube.com (and comply with all rules and regulations of YouTube, including permission to use any music included in the video, as well as rights to show the individuals depicted in the video); and (2) allow AAAS/Science Magazine to use the video for publicity.

By submitting an entry, you confirm that you have the right, including any required permission of individuals depicted in the video, to publicly perform or display the video. You also confirm that you have the right to include in your video, and to publicly perform or display, any music accompaniment in the video.

All entries must be received during the Entry Period to be eligible. Sponsor is not responsible for late, lost, or misdirected entries that are not received in a timely manner, or are lost due to computer or electronic malfunction or other error, or due to inaccessibility of the internet or portions thereof.

Additional rules relating to the submission of videos

By submitting any Video to the Contest, Participants hereby grant to Sponsor and its affiliates, subsidiaries, licensees, and assigns, an irrevocable, perpetual, and royalty-free right to use, reproduce, edit, display, transmit, prepare derivative works of, modify, publish, and otherwise make use of the submitted Video in any and all media, whether now known or hereinafter created, throughout the world and for any purpose. In addition to other things, the rights granted to Sponsor include but is not limited to the right to censor, compress, edit, feature, caption, affix logos to, and to otherwise alter or make use of the submitted video.

In addition, by submitting any video to the Contest, Participants hereby represent and warrant that the submitted video or information does not and shall not infringe on any copyright or other right of any third party, and Participant has the right to grant any and all rights and licenses granted to Sponsor herein, including but not limited to all necessary rights under copyright, free and clear of any claims or encumbrances. Sponsor may, but shall have no obligation to, post, display or otherwise make publicly available any content submitted by you, and may, in its sole and unfettered discretion, remove, edit, modify or delete any portion of the video or information that you submit to the Contest.


Information provided to enter the Contest will not be sold to third parties but may be shared as may be necessary for the purposes of conducting and judging the Contest and awarding prizes. The Sponsor, its affiliates, and companies supplying prizes (or parts thereof) in connection with this Contest may from time to time contact entrants via email concerning the Contest, and each entrant consents to receiving such communications via email.

By submitting any video to the Contest, the entrant acknowledges and agrees that any content submitted may be made available for viewing, voting, and comment on by the public, and understands that comments with which the entrant disagrees or is unhappy about may be published or otherwise become associated with any submitted video. Entrants hereby waive any privacy expectations that they may have with respect to any video submitted to the Contest.

Automated entries prohibited

No mechanically reproduced, incomplete, forged, software-generated, or automated multiple entries will be accepted.

Winner selection

Winners are selected based on the aggregate of three scores: scientific merit, artistic merit, and creative combination of the science and art. Thus, the best dances not only insightfully reveal the scientific content of the Ph.D. thesis, they not only show artistry to create a compelling spectacle, but they also creatively combine these two aspects into a successful execution. The judges are instructed to not give favor to dances based on the video quality, production value, special effects, or other aspects beyond the scope of those three parameters. The judges can penalize videos that rely heavily on elements that do not involve dance at all, such as written text and graphics.

Prize details

Grand Prize Winner: The participant receiving the highest total score awarded by the panel of judges will win the Grand Prize, consisting of a payment of $1000 sponsored by AAAS/Science Magazine.

General prize conditions

Potential Winners will be required to execute an Affidavit of Eligibility, Release of Liability, and Prize Acceptance Form (collectively, the “Prize Claim Documents”). If a Winner fails or refuses to sign and return the Prize Claim Documents within three (3) days of prize notification, the Winner may be disqualified. Prizes are not transferable and not assignable. No substitutions of prizes will be allowed, except Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prize(s) of comparable or greater value in the event a prize or any portion thereof becomes unavailable for any reason. Winners shall be solely responsible for all taxes and fees or costs associated with any prize, including but not limited to any federal or state or other income tax, ground transportation (except as expressly stated above), meals (except as expressly stated above), gratuities, personal expenses, and any other expenses not expressly specified herein.

Limitations of liability 

The Sponsor assumes no liability, and shall not be liable, for typographical or other errors in the offer or administration of the Contest including, without limitation, errors in the printing or display of the offer and official rules, selection, notification, and announcement of the Category Winners or Grand Prize Winner, or distribution of the prizes. The Sponsor is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by internet users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest and assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction, or unauthorized access to any systems associated with the Contest.


Acceptance of a prize constitutes the prize winner’s permission for Sponsor to use prize winner’s name and likeness for advertising and/or promotional purposes worldwide and in all forms of media in perpetuity without further compensation or authorization. Participants agree that Sponsor and its affiliates, and their officers, employees, agents, and representatives (collectively, the Sponsoring Entities”), shall not be responsible for any losses, damages, or injuries of any kind resulting from participation in the Contest or from Participants’ acceptance, receipt, possession, and/or use or misuse of any prize. Participants also agree that the Sponsoring entities have not made and shall not in any manner be liable for any warranty, guarantee, or representation, whether express or implied, with respect to any prize, including without limitation, the prize’s quality or fitness for a particular purpose. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who is found to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or the Site, to be acting in violation of these Official Rules, or who otherwise takes actions that do or are intended to disrupt or undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest. Sponsor also reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any entry containing any obscene, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate comments or other matter.

Governing law

All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of these Official Rules shall be governed and construed in accordance with the internal laws of the State of New York without regard to the choice of law provisions thereof.

Name of winner

For the name of winners, refer to www.sciencemag.org/projects/dance-your-phd or send, within six months from the end of the Entry Period, a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Dance Your Ph.D. (News), Science Magazine, 1200 New York Ave. NW Washington DC 20005. Washington and Vermont residents may omit return postage.