As a good salesman is to be able to push his product in a few lines, researchers are expected to present their work in a few lines as well. The hypothetical case is to be in the elevator and meet that famous professor you want to pay a visit in his lab. He asks you something like “so, what is you research about?”. In that case you could choose talking about your research in general, or a very particular project you are running.
As I am starting my second year as a PhD student, I don’t really have a very well defined research question, therefore I cannot talk about my research in general as it would play against myself. But what I can say is about the project I am working on at the moment. So, here I go with my elevator pitch:
We are working on GridOrbit, an awareness public display that visualizes activity in a community grid system for executing bioinformatics analysis in a biology laboratory. A community grid system relies on users that donate CPU cycles to the grid. The goal of GridOrbit is to provide awareness of the research taking place in the biology laboratory using the grid, promoting contribution of computing power to the grid, and thereby mediate its appropriation. GridOrbit visualizes the activity in the grid, shows information about the different active projects, and supports a messaging functionality where people comment on the projects. Our work explores the usage of interactive technologies as enablers for appropriation of infrastructure.
I will try it next time when I meet a cool professor.