Three Minute Thesis Competition 2018
This month saw the Three Minute Thesis Competition- AKA the friendliest academic competition for PGRs- return to UofG for the fifth year. Originally developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, the competition is now held in over 350 universities worldwide. For the uninitiated, 3MT challenges researchers to present their research to an audience of non-specialists in just three minutes, using nothing but a single static PowerPoint slide. This is quite an achievement, particularly when you consider that the average thesis is around 80,000 words and would take over nine hours to read. Participants took part in the College Heats, competing against PGRs in their respective colleges for a place in the Grand Final, where they would compete against PGRs from other disciplines and very different research topics.
The UofG Three Minute Thesis 2018 Grand Final took place on Friday 16th March to a packed out audience in the Hugh Fraser seminar room, and was judged by Dean of Public Engagement, Professor Kevin O’Dell, SRC president 2017-18 Kate Powell, and PGR Blogger 2016-17, Dr Jade Scott. The judges certainly had a hard task selecting this year’s winners, and noted that the standard of presentations was extremely high. The finalists spoke confidently as they shared their research, with topics ranging from venereal diseases in 18th century medical museums, to pulmonary hypertension, and what belongs in an Old English Dictionary.
After much deliberation, held over a reception of wine and the customary 3MT cupcakes, the judges were eventually able to announce their decision. College of Social Sciences’ Kirsty Deacon was selected as competition runner-up and received a £500 travel grant for her presentation, “Young people’s experiences of a family member’s imprisonment”. The judges enjoyed Kirsty’s “understated and passionate” delivery of her research, and noted that Kirsty left them keen to learn more.
The competition’s overall winner, and recipient of a £1000 travel grant, was Alex Riddell from College of MVLS with her “clear and passionate” presentation, ‘Of Mice and Men’. The judges praised Alex’s enthusiasm for her research, noting that she easily explained complex terminology and methodology to an audience of non-specialists, and grabbed their attention from the very start.
Whilst the judges deliberated, the audience were able to vote for the winner of this year’s People’s Choice Award, and selected Jane Bugler from College of MVLS for her presentation, “Targeting stem cells in Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia”. Both the judges and members of the audience noted that Jane adopted a “clear and direct approach” which enabled them to understand her research.
Although the competition is now over for another year, the videos of every competitor and their presentations are available on YouTube, where you can also find playlists featuring previous UofG 3MT competitions.
Do you think you can explain your research in three minutes to a non-specialist audience, just like this year’s winners? Start your timers- Three Minute Thesis will be back at UofG in 2019.
Images (c) Claire Copping and Cia Jackson