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BEN Talks

What’s been your most intriguing research discovery at Penn?

It might be:

  • The key finding of your senior thesis
  • An unforeseen twist to your independent study
  • The work you completed with a summer grant

Submission deadline: April 1, 2018

Whatever that discovery is, we want you to share it as a BEN Talk. For Spring 2018, we will be holding our 4th annual BEN Talks contest with our showcase on the evening of  Thursday, April 26, 2018, as part of the BFS Commencement dinner. All BFS students are eligible to enter. 

The BEN Talks are an opportunity for you to share the most compelling findings from research you’ve conducted at Penn in a 6-8 minute video. The successful BEN Talk will explain, to a broad audience of educated non-specialists, what the finding is and why it is important. There are no format requirements besides the time limit. It could be just you talking to the camera; it could be your voice over still shots, PowerPoint slides, or illustrative video clips; or it could be something entirely different. You can take advantage of video recording equipment at Weigle Information Commons in Van Pelt -- or just use your phone. Be as creative as you like, but when it comes to judging, the content of what you have discovered will be more important than bells and whistles.

After you’ve made your clip, just upload it to YouTube and email the URL to CURF's BFS Fellow.

The creator of each year’s best BEN Talk – as selected by a faculty committee chaired by BFS Director and Professor Peter Struck  – will receive a $500 award. Whether or not you take home the prize, you will be translating your work into a format anyone can learn from by simply clicking a link.  And you will join a video archive of BFS students’ memorable research that will keep growing for years to come. BFS hopes this project will be a valuable way for you to share and reflect on your research and what has been meaningful to you in your academic career thus far.

The 2018 BEN Talks

Andrew Park, "The Art of Nothing"


The 2017 BEN Talks - select submissions below 

BFS in Nursing cohort (Eva Chau, Kirsten Garza, Sam Noblejas, and Elizabeth Sieber), "Nursing Specialty and Primary Ambulatory Care Education (N-SPACE) – WINNER 2017


Aaron Wolff, "John Stuart Mill and Moral Progress"



Nadia Govotsos, "Gender Diverstiy on Corporate Boards in France: An Analysis"


Mara Zafiu, "Health Access for Vulnerable Populations: a Study on the Narikuravar Community in Tamil Nadu, India"


The 2015 and 2016 BEN Talks - select submissions below 

Maya Afilalo, "Worry in Daily Life" (Winner 2015)


Audrey Harnagel, "A Method to Identify Bet-Hedging Escherichia coli" (Winner 2016)


Wing So, "Art About Elsewhere: The Cultural Politics of Representing Israel and Palestine"


Eileen Wang "Choice, Control and Childbirth: Cesarean Deliveries on Maternal Request in Shanghai, China"


Jane Wu, "The Effect of Metal Cations on Ptaquiloside Hydrolysis"