Finals set for Three Minute Thesis Challenge

Three minutes to win it.

That’s all the time five graduate students will have to explain their research to a panel of judges Thursday, March 30, in the final round of Brock’s 2017 Three Minute Thesis Challenge.

The annual competition will be held this year at Pond Inlet from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday and the Brock community is invited to attend.

The 3MT contest challenges graduate students to tell their research story in a fraction of the time typically allotted to research presentations and in a way that conveys the nature and importance of complex research to a non-specialist audience and panel of judges. They’re each given just 90 seconds and one slide to get their message across.

Judging the finals this year are Stephen Murdock, Vice President Public Relations, Enterprise Canada, Michael Chess, Marketing Supervisor, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and Allie Hughes, Digital Marketing Entrepreneur, Founder Hughes & Co. Inc.

Karin Perry, Vitae Program Co-ordinator and 3MT organizer, said she is always impressed with the passion presenters bring to the table, especially given the intense nature of the competition.

“Each presenter has distilled very specialized and complex concepts into concise phrases and perhaps a meaningful gesture,” she said.

“They have rehearsed and tested their words and gestures with friends. They’re watching their pauses, vocal tone and are aware of their own body presence. There is a lot going on.”

The overall winner of Brock’s contest will receive $500 and the runner-up wins $250. Brock’s winner also will advance to the provincial 3MT competition hosted by the University of Waterloo on Wednesday, April 12.

The top finishers in Ontario move on to the 2017 national competition that is sponsored by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies and held later in the spring.

The 3MT competition was initially developed in Australia by the University of Queensland in 2008. Since then, 3MT has spread internationally and is now a regular event held at universities across Canada.

Brock’s Three Minute Thesis Challenge finalists:

  • Caitlyn Gallant, a Master of Psychology student in the Faculty of Social Sciences, is studying the impact of concussions and how they affect reactivity to unpredictable social situations. She was also the winner of the competition’s inaugural People’s Choice Award.
  • Katie Faust, a Health and Physical Education master’s student in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, is researching through personal experience the impact the loss of a teammate can have.
  • Laura Kovac, a Social Justice and Equity Studies master’s student in the Faculty of Social Sciences, is looking at the degeneration of female sports.
  • Andréanne Hébert-Haché, a Master of Science in Biological Sciences student in the Faculty of Math and Science, is researching ways to improve cold tolerance of grapevines by clone and rootstock selection.
  • Camille Xinmei Rousseau, a Child and Youth Studies master’s student in the Faculty of Social Sciences, is studying implications for children’s reading motivation and achievement through participation in dog-assisted reading programs.
3MT Challenge finalists

Graduate students, clockwise from back left, Camille Xinmei Rousseau, Laura Kovac, Katie Faust, Caitlyn Gallant and Andréanne Hébert-Haché are finalists in Brock’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Challenge after a successful preliminary round on Feb. 16.

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