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Three-minute pressure cooker tests graduate students

March 4, 2013 — 

It’s part game show, and part final exam and Leah (Wong) Guenther won it all on March 4, 2013 at the University of Manitoba’s inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition.

3MT® is a research communication competition originally developed by The University of Queensland. It challenges graduate students to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience.

Today’s graduate students at the University of Manitoba are the source of tomorrow’s innovation. They are explorers and trailblazers who bring ideas to life and propel our economy. The physics of how data storage devices retain information was likely first conceived by a graduate student in a college or university laboratory. The breakthrough that can potentially cure a ravaging disease might have first been presented at a graduate research seminar in a medical school.

“The work of graduate students is fundamental to how knowledge is conveyed and put into practice, and the ability to convey complex and advanced ideas to a thesis review committee is an essential tool of post-secondary education,” says Jay Doering, vice-provost (graduate education) and dean of graduate studies. “Furthermore, the ability to communicate is an essential life skill, with uses in and implications for both one’s career and personal life.”

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is open to all University of Manitoba graduate students. Each competitor will have three minutes, using only a single slide as an illustration, to clearly explain to a panel of judges the nature, goals and significance of his or her research.

The University of Manitoba is looking to include 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.

For this first Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition at the University of Manitoba, 137 students applied and 30 were selected to compete in one of three heats. Only nine participants made it through the winnowing process to the final competition. The prizes for the Final Competition are $5,000 for First Place, $2,000 for Second Place and $1,000 for People’s Choice.

Second Place: Anthony Signore

People’s Choice: Christopher White

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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