Graduate students are invited to take a new challenge during this year’s Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Research Conference on Wednesday, April 10.
The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition that is growing in popularity internationally and nationally has found its way to Brock and will be added to this year’s conference lineup of oral and poster presentations.
Thesis master’s students and PhD candidates who enter the contest will have three minutes, and not a second more, to talk about their research and why it matters in a way that will inform and captivate a non-specialist audience.
That’s no easy task given the complexity and scope of thesis work under way at Brock says Prof. John McNamara, who is organizing the competition for the conference.
McNamara has viewed many online videos of past contests held in Canada and around the world since the University of Queensland in Australia held the first 3MT challenge in 2008.
“Winners from other contests demonstrate a real knack for telling their thesis stories,” he says. “They make very compelling presentations that are more casual in tone. They break down complex topics to give a clear understanding of what they are doing and how it will make a difference. They speak with enthusiasm about what they do and it’s infectious.”
The contest is open to master’s or PhD students who are at the final stages of writing their thesis, or have recently defended but not yet graduated. Along with keeping to the three-minute time frame, the contestants are limited to using only one presentation slide for the duration of their talk.
A panel of judges will score each presentation with the winner receiving $500 and runner-up receiving $250. As well, Brock’s winner will advance to the first provincewide 3MT competition that is being hosted by Queen’s University in Kingston on April 18.
“This is a fun format that offers a meaningful exercise to help students sharpen professional communications skills – the kind of skills needed in today’s world, from grant writing to job applications,” McNamara says. “The Brock community is invited to join us for the contest. It’s a chance to hear about all great work that’s under way by our graduate students.”
The conference call for proposals is open until Monday, March 4. Graduate students have the opportunity to participate in the conference in one of the following ways: give an oral presentation, display a poster or, for those eligible, compete in the 3MT.