In three minutes, you can brush your teeth, send a quick e-mail, or listen to your favourite song. But can you explain complex research to a live audience?
Graduate students should apply for this year’s 3MT because it will be one of the enriching parts of conducting research at UWinnipeg. It’s a fantastic way to sharpen your oral communication skills and get your work out there.
That’s what Faculty of Graduate Studies students will be challenged to do during The University of Winnipeg’s Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition on Friday, March 3 in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall.
This annual event has reached its milestone 10th year and registration is now open until Tuesday, January 17 at 11:59 p.m.
“The 3MT competition challenges graduate students to translate their expertise into a form that engages a general audience. Practicing on an audience at the 3MT competition will be useful for students in pitching their work to publishers, funders, policy-makers, or investors,” said Dr. Manish Pandey, Chair of UWinnipeg’s 3MT Committee. “Even if a student is not writing a thesis, they are invited to participate: the presentation can be based on the research they have done for a major paper or project. Communicating is part of what a master-level scholar does. The 3MT competition lets students develop these skills while having a lot of fun.”
Originally developed by the University of Queensland in Australia, the 3MT challenges students to deliver a compelling presentation of their research and its significance to room of non-experts in three minutes or less.
Developing communication skills
Natassia D’Sena, who is Master of Arts in Criminal Justice student, was the winner of last year’s 3MT and represented UWinnipeg at the Western Regional 3MT.
Her presentation, Virtual DriveThrus: Is OnlyFans the McDonald’s of the Sex Industry?, looked at how the evolution of technology has affected sex work.
“I learned to stop doubting myself, and that I knew a lot more about my thesis than I thought I did,” she said. “I also learned very valuable skills when it comes to making arguments or presenting things in a short amount of time, and presenting academic work to a non-academic audience.”
Not only is it a great way to improve many important professional skills, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to learn about the research happening throughout the faculty.
D’Sena says her experience was a confidence builder and that all graduate students should sign up for the competition.
“I think the 3MT is a great way to have fun with your thesis and the perfect way to practice presenting your thesis to others before your defence,” she said.
Bradley Howell won the People’s Choice Award during last year’s 3MT.
A Master of Science in Bioscience, Technology, and Public Policy student, he presented his research, Fishing for GIANTS: Response Cues for Survival, which took place in Dr. Caleb Hasler’s Fish Biology and Conservation Lab.
“Presenting in the 3MT was a lot of fun – I really enjoyed learning about research happening at the university from other departments,” he said. “Once I started talking about my work, my passion really shone through.”
Howell says participating in the 3MT competition was also an opportunity to reflect on what his research really means and a great outlet to share fisheries management science to the wider community.
It also helped him improve his communications skills.
His advice for those thinking about registering for the 3MT is simple: “Graduate students should apply for this year’s 3MT because it will be one of the most enriching parts of conducting research at UWinnipeg. It’s a fantastic way to sharpen your oral communication skills and get your work out there.”
There’s a new addition to UWinnipeg’s 3MT this year.
In addition to the $1,000 first-place prize and $500 People’s Choice Award, a new $500 second-place prize has been added to the competition.
The winner of this year’s 3MT will receive and all-expenses-paid trip to the 2023 Western Regional 3MT at the University of Saskatchewan on May 7. The competition will feature the best of Western Canada’s graduate students.
To register for the competition, students are required to prepare a title and 150-word abstract for their presentation and submit their details online here.