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3MT 2017 Competition

David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor (top, left), and Todd Mondor, Vice-Provost (Graduate Education) and Dean of Graduate Studies (top, right), with the finalists from the 2017 competition.

16 Reasons Why… you should enter the 3MT Competition

Past finalists explain why they entered the competition… and you should too.

January 17, 2018 — 

Three Minute Thesis is a research communication competition that gives graduate students the opportunity to present their research to a non-specialist audience. The competition is open to master’s and PhD students and is a challenging, exciting and valuable experience.

The idea is pretty simple: you have three minutes to explain your research and its importance or relevance, with only a single static image or slide to illustrate what you’re talking about. A panel of judges drawn from the community at large (and often including people with no scientific background), will evaluate your presentation on criteria including confidence, ease in understanding, significance of the research, and quality of the presentation itself.
Student competitors are selected by the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the basis of short, simple videos submitted as part of the application process. They are then grouped into sets of challengers who compete in heats before a live audience and preliminary judges. The top three winners from each heat will receive prizes, and the winners of the heats go on to the finals that will be held on March 21, 2018.

The application deadline is January 29. Details on how to apply can be found here:

Past finalists explain why they entered the competition… and you should too.

“I had friends asking about my research and I realized just how hard it can be to clearly explain the purpose of my thesis to those not in the area in a succinct and interesting way.”
Kevin Boreskie, kinesiology and recreation management, 2017 finalist

“I wanted to get better at presenting my work to an audience outside of my field. When I look back at what I’ve done, I feel happy that I ignored my fear of public speaking and submitted an abstract!”
Elizabeth Wall-Wieler, community health sciences, 2017 finalist

“I wanted to hone my ability to communicate complex research in a way that a normal person can relate to it. This is an essential skill to me. It also adds ‘real world’ value to my work.”
Anjali Bhagirath, oral biology, 2016 second place winner

“Research should never be hidden away in some journal that only a handful of people have ever heard of. I’ve always believed that an equal amount of effort should be put into passing on knowledge to others.”
Scott Smith, school psychology, 2016 finalist

“I wanted a chance to practice showcasing my research before my thesis defense. 3MT is a great ‘trial by fire’ way to experience presenting ideas to an audience, and represents a worst-case scenario since there are no notes or teleprompters.”
Paul White, biomedical engineering, 2016 people’s choice winner

“I thought it would be interesting to see if I could successfully communicate my research to a general audience and because I wanted people to see how mathematics can be used to solve real-world problems.”
Jane Breen, mathematics, 2017 finalist

“I think what I am researching is very important, and I want others to share in my enthusiasm. It’s also great practice for explaining my research to family, friends and the broader community of non-scientists.”
Colin Graydon, medical microbiology and infectious diseases, 2017 third place winner

“I wanted to improve my skills as a public speaker, recognizing that being able to convey the rationale for my research and the significance of my findings to non-technical audiences is itself a very valuable ability to have.”
Matthew Stargardter, economics, 2017 finalist

“I love doing research but recently I didn’t have many opportunities to present the findings. I think this event is the best opportunity to make my voice heard. When I look back at what I’ve done, I feel more confident… the 3MT competition helped me to overcome the fear of speaking in a second language at a major occasion.”
Yue (Yvette) Shang, animal science, 2017 finalist

“My supervisor suggested it would be an interesting experience. When I look back at what I’ve done, I feel happy that I’ve been able to communicate my research to a new audience.”
Rachel Nickel, physics and astronomy, 2017 competition winner

“I wanted to challenge myself and get experience to improve my presentation skills. The thing I learned about myself doing 3MT has been I’m more capable and confident at public speaking than I had thought.”
Lisa Liang, biochemistry and medical genetics, 2016 finalist

“I wanted the opportunity to educate people about the research that we do at Asper. When I look back at what I’ve done, I feel happy that I had the opportunity to participate.”
Daniel Turenne, Asper School of Business, 2017 finalist

“We present our work to our professors and peers within the faculty and to professionals in the field of architecture and design, but very rarely outside, so this was a great opportunity to share my work to a very different audience, and also see what other graduate students are working on!”
Sakshi Misra, architecture, 2016 finalist

“I believe it is a great chance to develop my public speaking skills and share all of the work I’ve done during my graduate studies.”
Karlee Dyck, human nutritional sciences, 2016 competition winner

“I wanted to raise the profile of my research on the social problem of sex trafficking and exploitation, and have the stakeholders in my research as well as the University community and my fellow scholars teachers and students take pride in it.”
Bob Chrismas, Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, 2016 finalist

“I entered the 3MT competition because I feel comfortable speaking in public and the short introductory video seemed like a reasonable request to apply. When I look back at what I’ve done, I feel proud that I reached a comfort level on the stage and got most of the words out that I wanted to say!”
Elise Couillard, biological sciences, 2016 competitor


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