3MT applications open now!
Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an international research communication competition developed in 2008 by The University of Queensland (UQ). Students have three minutes to present a compelling oration of their thesis and its significance. 3MT is not an exercise in trivializing or ‘dumbing-down’ research, but instead it is a challenge to students to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries, so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience.
Since it began, the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held at over 600 universities in more than 65 countries worldwide. This will be the 7th annual competition at the University of Manitoba.
Participating in 3MT is an excellent way to explain the depth and impact of your research, and provides you with the opportunity to enhance your communication skills. It also allows people everywhere to learn about the important work that graduate students like you do here at the U of M. Another bonus? Cash prizes.
Your advisor will support you doing 3MT because if you can explain your research in three minutes, you’re going to do well on grant applications. It’s also a fun way to share your research with people outside your department. They may even begin to understand your passion and why you sleep in your lab some nights.
Two years ago, Karlee Dyck was the winner of the U of M’s 3MT competition. Her topic was how nutrition can potentially reduce the risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). To her, 3MT offered refreshing opportunities. “First off, it’s great to present what you’ve worked on for a couple of years and to have people want to listen. That’s kind of nice. And I just like the challenge of it…. It was exhilarating.”
Three years ago, Rebecca Dielschneider-Delong presented at 3MT about finding better therapies for leukemia. She won the U of M competition and placed second at the nationals. She also loved the unique and rewarding challenge. “Preparing for the Three-Minute Thesis was definitely the hardest thing I have done as a graduate student. By far.”
Last year’s 3rd place winner Carmine Slipski’s topic was Pumping up the Fight against Antimicrobial Resistance. “Throughout post-secondary education we get encouraged to speak in a technical language specific to our field of study, but when it comes time to give a brief explanation of what we do to a general audience students often struggle. Being able to give a distilled, easy to understand “elevator pitch” of our research is a valuable skill for networking, job interviews, and grant applications,” Slipski told us.
“3MT also offers a chance to get used to speaking in front of a large audience under pressure, which is a useful skill for any successful researcher. My best advice would be to practice a lot, because practice builds the confidence required to give a compelling speech. Also just have fun with it, because we should all be proud of the hard work we put into our research, and you will be surprised how many people will find your work fascinating.”
Applications for 3MT 2019 close February 4 – apply now.