A world of research in just three minutes

Mahmoud BassalThe research and presentation skills of eight different University of South Australia PhD students will be put to the test this Wednesday when this year’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition takes place at the Bradley Forum.

The event will see competitors present a synopsis of their research in just 180 seconds, to be communicated in intelligent but non-specialist fashion, with the best presentation resulting in the winning candidate going forward to represent UniSA in the Asia Pacific 3MT final at the end of September.

The range of projects being highlighted reflects the variety of research taking place at the University, and this year will include presentations on astro-tourism, visible light communications and a guide to selecting running shoes based on body mass.

Professor Pat Buckley, Dean of Graduate Studies, outlines the opportunities that participation in the competition creates for students.

“Being able to condense and explain the equivalent of an 80,000 word thesis in just three minutes, using terms that are readily understandable by a non-specialist audience, gives our students the opportunity to really harness their academic, research and presentation skills and also publicise their research to a wide audience,” Professor Buckley says.

Mahmoud Bassal, who was both the People’s Choice and overall first prize winner in last year’s University 3MT competition describing research into cancer biology and the energy production in cells, says he gained much from taking part in the competition.

“The 3MT forces a researcher to go past their comfort zone of their research and try to make it interesting and understandable to everyone else. So what I’ve gained from it is being able to identify the key goal of my research and the competition gave me an avenue to explain it in a creative and approachable manner,” Bassal says. 

“While being a part of the completion has been a blast and improved skills as a science communicator, it has also clarified my research focus for me and given me a direct goal/question to address to complete my PhD.” 

This year’s competitors and the topics they will be presenting are:

  • Ammar Asbi, School of Commerce, will present: Can Financial Doctors Help Bushfire Victims to Rebuild Quicker?
  • Aaron Davis, School of Art, Architecture and Design, will present: It’s time to stop consulting and start collaborating!
  • Joel Fuller, School of Health Sciences, will present: A guide to selecting running shoes based on body mass
  • Daniel Griffiths, School of Engineering, will present: Watching the shadows with High Dynamic Range imaging
  • Amanda Richardson, School of Health Sciences, will present: Success needs more than a good ATAR...
  • Abdullah Saed, School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences, will present: Visible Light Communications
  • Samaneh Soleimani, School of Marketing, will present: Astro-Tourism
  • Lih Yin Tan, School of Pharmacy and Medical Science, will present: Mission Immune Possible

 Media contact: Will Venn mobile: +61 401 366 054 email: will.venn@unisa.edu.au

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