4 minutes, 33 seconds contest

The 4 minutes, 33 seconds contest highlights UGA student research in the arts and provides an opportunity to win prizes and to share creative inquiry with peers, faculty, administrators, and alumni throughout the university community. 

LEARN MORE:  4'33" Research in the Arts Competition 2020


Frequently Asked Questions

What is research in the arts?

Research in the arts is a process by which we identify an inquiry and strive towards the production of new knowledge. This may be research conducted towards the synthesis of a thesis or research paper, or a creative project that you have executed at UGA or in the community.


Do I need scholarly citations on my poster or in my presentation for my project to count as "research"?

Not necessarily. Your presentation/poster could reflect a project surrounding an inquiry or problem that you have striven to solve based on experimentation. Your presentation/poster could also reflect research you have completed for a degree thesis or other research paper. Show that you have asked a critical question, developed a methodology, and shared your resulting knowledge in some way.


Is my project/research eligible?

If you had a research question about the arts, or that you sought to answer through the arts, your project is eligible for the 4'33" Spotlight on Arts Scholarship Competition. State your research questions clearly, the steps you have taken to investigate them, and the ways in which your project is innovative. If your project demonstrates critical thought and problem solving, it is eligible!


Why submit a proposal?

The UGA community wants to hear about the topics students feel are meaningful and urgent. Engage with other people doing research in the arts and make your voice heard on topics important to you. Prize winners will also receive a monetary award.


I am an undergraduate student with a unique project or research topic. Can I submit my proposal even though I am not in CURO?

Absolutely! We want to hear about all students' innovative research and projects.


Why is it called the 4'33'' competition?

4'33" is an homage to John Cage's landmark composition 4'33".


For more about current definitions of research in the arts visit: https://www.a2ru.org/projects/research-brief-what-is-research/

Previous Winners


Participants in the 2019 4 minutes, 33 seconds competition

Pictured are the participants in the 2019 4 minutes, 33 seconds competition. The winner of the oral presentation was Kathleen McGovern (pictured below with guest judge Kishi Bashi). McGovern is a Language and Literature Education Ph.D. candidate in the College of Education.

Participants in the 2019 4 minutes, 33 seconds competition


2018 winners of the 4 minutes, 33 seconds competition

Pictured with Graduate School Dean Suzanne Barbour (center) are (l-r) Samantha Lynn Hudson, an MFA student in dramatic media; Rhia Moreno, a doctoral student in language and literacy education; Kuo Zhang, a doctoral student in the language and literacy education program; and Bridget Dooley, a doctoral student in creative writing. Last November, Kuo won the 4'33" competition in the presentation category, and the other three received awards in the poster competition.


Ally Christmas presents her research in the 4 minutes, 33 seconds competition

Pictured is the award winner in the presentation category Ally Christmas, a master of fine arts student in the Lamar Dodd School of Art. Poster exhibition winners include: Madison A. Hogan, Undergraduate Major, Department of English; Abigail Kosberg, MA Art History, Lamar Dodd School of Art; and Marlon Burnley, MFA Acting, Department of Theatre and Film Studies. 


Participants in the 2016 4 minutes, 33 seconds competition

Pictured are the participants in the 2016 4 minutes, 33 seconds competition. The winner of the oral presentation was Meg Hankel, and recipients of the first annual poster competition included Arron Foster, Damon Postle and Kaleena Stasiak. 


2015 winners of the 4 minutes, 33 seconds competitionThe 2015 winners of the presentation competition are pictured with Georgia Museum of Art Director William Eiland, who served as emcee. Theresa Chafin (left) is a grad student in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music and Beth Fadeley (right) is an art history student in the Lamar Dodd School of Art. 


2014 winners of the 4 minutes, 33 seconds competition

Graduate students K. Scott Eggert (left) of the Hugh Hodgson School of Music and Karen Sweeney Gerow (right) of the Lamar Dodd School of Art are the winners of the inaugural 4 minutes, 33 seconds: Spotlight on Scholarship competition. They are pictured with then-Vice Provost Russ Mumper, the emcee of the event.



4'33" Research in the Arts Competition 2020

Call for Submissions

The 4'33" Research in the Arts Competition 2020 is now open for submissions. We are inviting all UGA student scholars and artists to share their research and compete for cash prizes in this exciting, virtual event. The competition will highlight scholarly research about any art form or combination of art forms, including (but not restricted to): visual art, music, theatre, dance, film, literature, media arts, or performance art. Presentations should be focused on historical, theoretical, and critical research about art, as opposed to original works of art created by the students. This is a great opportunity for students to share their research in a clear and accessible way to students, faculty, administrators, and alumni throughout the university.


This year our event is available entirely online.

  • To participate in the contest students will submit a filmed, oral presentation on their research no longer than 4 minutes and 33 seconds in length.
  • Submissions will be posted on ELC and available to for anyone with a UGA password to view and comment on.
  • A panel of five judges (faculty, administrators, and students from different disciplines) will select 10 finalists to move onto the final round.
  • The final round of judging will be live streamed at the end of the Spotlight Festival, and the top ten submissions will be announced and screened.
  • A celebrity judge (TBA) will announce the winner who will receive the $433 prize. In addition, event participants will select a "people's choice" winner who will receive a $150 prize.

For instructions on how to upload your submission please email mary.grey@uga.edu

  • Name and major degree area
  • Name of faculty advisor
  • Your UGA MyID

Video submission requirements:

  • You are encouraged to intercut your video with images and/or short video clips and use titles. (Think YouTube videoblog.) Feel free to be creative!
  • Videos be no more than four minutes and thirty-three seconds in length.
  • Videos should be explanatory of individual research (no short films).
  • The Department of Theatre and Film Studies' dramatic media studio will be providing technical assistance to any students who apply before the "early bird" deadline of Wednesday 21. This includes feedback on video editing, audio content, and other technical assistance.


The 4'33" Video Competition will be held on Wednesday, November 20.

Tech Assistance Deadline:  Wednesday, October 21, 5:00 pm

Final Submission Deadline:  Wednesday, November 4, 5:00 pm


Have Questions?

Please contact Dr. David Saltz with questions at saltz@uga.edu

For a list of FAQs and past winners, see top of page.

We look forward to your submissions!