Frequently Asked Questions

  • I want to take part but my research isn’t “Dangerous”. Can I take part?

We have a very broad definition of the word “dangerous”! Is your research controversial? Does it spark debate or elicit opinion? Is it interesting and relevant to other people? Is it something people absolutely should know more about? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then it’s probably CODI material. If you’re still not sure, contact us and we’ll be happy to talk it through and help you find your “danger”.

  • I’d like to do it but I don’t think I’m funny. Do I need to be funny?

Nope! You will be sharing a stage with one of our resident tamed comedians – it’s their job to bring the funny. If you’re a natural entertainer, great – share your humour and personality! But if that’s not you, don’t try to be someone you’re not. There are hundreds of ways to engage an audience and we’ll support you to do it your way.

  • Where does the money go?

Putting on a Fringe show is an expensive business. We register every show (£85 per show) and pay towards advertising them in the Stand brochures and billboards. We work with companies that have signed up to be Fair Fringe employers. This means that everyone behind the bar, collecting the tickets, working on the sound and lighting, producing and comparing the shows (and everything else) are paid and that there are no volunteers at the venue. We estimate that production costs for each CODI show are about £700. In addition to this, the costs of delivering the training and hiring the CODI intern are about £350 per performer.

The costs associated with the Bootcamps and the CODI intern are met by the University of Edinburgh. The production costs are covered through a combination of the performer fees, ticket sales and bar sales. Performer fees for 2021 are set at £220 for researchers based at Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot-Watt University, Queen Margaret University and the University of Edinburgh. The fees for researchers at other universities are set at £475.

  • How much material should I prepare?

Not as much as you think! We recommend that for a one hour Fringe show you need a maximum of 20 minutes of prepared material. CODI audiences are very engaged, keen to ask questions, share their perspectives and debate with you – the subject expert. For other CODI shows where you have 30 minutes on stage we recommend 10 – 15 minutes of material and for the online shows 5 minutes.

  • How do I communicate complex ideas without slides?

Even the most complicated research can be broken down and explained with analogies, stories, props and costumes! There have been successful CODI shows covering climate change, copy write law, genetics, linguistics, economics, literature, medicine, big data, artificial intelligence, quantum communications… you get the picture! Whatever your research, we can help you find a creative way to communicate your ideas.

  • Do I have to go to all the Bootcamps?

We strongly recommend that you attend as many Bootcamps as you can, particularly in your first year. The Bootcamps really are the best way to prepare yourself for the Fringe. We’ll take you through show preparation, stagecraft and marketing. You’ll also meet your fellow performers and pick up hints and tips from the people who’ve done it before.

  • Can I do it with my friend/colleague?

No. Shows with single performers work best and our default is that the format is one researcher per show. In previous years there have been “double act” CODI shows. Some of these worked very well, but it is a lot more work for performers to prepare. There is a tendency for one person to dominate the show unless you have very carefully planned and rehearsed how to balance the stage time. You won’t be alone, the CODI team will be there with you every step of the way. Please get in touch if you want to talk through your ideas or concerns.

  • I don’t work at a university – can I take part?

The primary aim of CODI is to support University researchers to share their research with a wider audience. Researchers from other institutions, in particular those who collaborate with university researchers are also welcome to apply. Please contact the team to confirm your eligibility. Previous shows have included performers from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the James Hutton Institute and the NHS.

  • I don’t work in Edinburgh – can I take part?

Yes, we welcome performers from universities and research institutes beyond Edinburgh every year. Previous performers have included researchers from universities in Southampton, Coventry, Dundee, Stirling, St Andrews, Newcastle and Aberdeen in addition to our four local universities.

  • I’ve been invited to perform my show somewhere else, can I?

Absolutely! It’s your show and you are welcome to perform it anywhere you like using your title and descriptors. If you have the budget to hire one of the comedians to come with you, please get in touch.