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Can you tell it in three minutes?

Competition challenges grad students to explain their research in an easily understood manner

February 23, 2015 — 

On February 25, 2015, one student will walk away with the Grand Prize in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition. Who will it be?

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a competition open to all University of Manitoba graduate students in thesis-based programs. Each challenger will have three minutes, using only a single static slide as an illustration, to clearly explain the nature, goals and significance of his or her research.

Jay Doering, vice-provost (graduate education) and dean of graduate studies, says: “It’s important for graduate students to be able to communicate their research effectively. They work at the cutting edge of technology and the leading edge of knowledge, but without their being able to effectively communicate what they are doing, their work may go unnoticed, regardless how good it may be.”

The University of Manitoba includes 3MT® as part of an overall strategy to provide career building opportunities for graduate students, promote research at the University of Manitoba and also connect with the broader university and surrounding community.

Today’s graduate students at the University of Manitoba are the source of tomorrow’s innovation. They are visionaries and trailblazers who bring ideas to life and propel our economy. The Ebola vaccine being tested in Africa today was refined by graduate students working with senior microbiologists at the National Virology Lab downtown. Rural communities in danger of flooding may be saved by diking techniques conceived in a graduate student’s classroom.

3MT® isn’t easy; consolidating years of research into only three minutes’ worth of discourse is quite a challenge. The students’ presentations are evaluated by a panel of judges, with the audience voting for the People’s Choice winner at the Final Competition.

The emcee for the Final Competition will be Paul Samyn, editor, Winnipeg Free Press. Judges will be: Dave Angus, president and CEO, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce; Ted Bock, University of Manitoba Board of Governors and partner, Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson; and Mariette Mulaire, president and CEO, World Trade Centre, Winnipeg.

For the 2015 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition at the University of Manitoba, there were 68 applicants. Of these challengers, 29 of them were selected to compete in early heats, and only 12 made it into the final competition. Out of the dozen finalists, one will go on to the Western Regional Three Minute Thesis competition on April 30, 2015 at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia.

The Final Competition will be held on February 25, 2015, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Robert B. Schultz Lecture Theatre at St. John’s College, Fort Garry campus. The public is invited to cheer on our innovative graduate students as they compete in the Final Competition. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

The prizes for the Final Competition are: $5,000 for First Place, $2,000 for Second Place and $1,000 for People’s Choice.

Last year’s winner was Andrea Edel, whose presentation was about natural ways of reducing risk factors of heart disease and stroke. You can view her presentation here.

For more information, please jay_doering [at] umanitoba [dot] ca, graduate studies, at: 204-474-9887.

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