Grad students have three minutes and one slide to sum up complex research

The final round of the 3MT competition will be held at Brock University Thursday, April 11. Competing for the opportunity to advance to the Ontario finals are, from left, Alicia Azzano (Applied Disability Studies), Jennifer Wilkinson (Applied Health Sciences) and Rachel Richmond (Applied Health Sciences). Brock University photo

Final round for annual Three Minute Thesis competition set for Thursday

Brock University press release – How the construction of a house relates to mitochondrial-mediated cell death may not be clear to most people, but that’s the analogy Jennifer Wilkinson used to explain her research in simple terms during Brock University’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) preliminary round.

Eight graduate students from five Faculties participated in the competition last week that challenges students to present their complex research to a general audience in no more than three minutes and using only one slide and no props.

Event judges Cassie Price, Venture Development Co-ordinator for the Goodman Group, Cathy Majtenyi, Research Communications Specialist for the Office of Research Services, and Brad Clarke, Director, Student Life and Community Experience, selected three master’s students to advance to the challenge finals on Thursday, April 11 at Brock.

Joining Wilkinson, a student in Applied Health Sciences, are Alicia Azzano from Applied Disability Studies and Rachel Richmond from Applied Health Sciences.

“Selecting the finalists was much more difficult than I had imagined it would be,” said Price. “There were so many factors to take into consideration — presentation style, slide design, audience engagement and comprehension of the subject. It was a wonderful experience to learn about the fascinating research students are doing on campus from such a wide variety of disciplines.”

Wilkinson said she decided to participate in 3MT to enhance her research communication skills.

“I know it’s an important skill and part of my graduate degree to learn how to translate my knowledge for anyone to understand,” she said.

Wilkinson and the other finalists will compete for the title of Brock 2019 3MT Champion during a midday break of the Mapping the New Knowledges (MNK) Graduate Student Conference April 11 at Brock.

The winner of the challenge will represent Brock at the Ontario 3MT Competition, hosted by McMaster University on Wednesday, April 17. Presentations will be livestreamed and a winner will be selected to represent Ontario at the national finals, where 11 finalists will be competing for the title of 2019 Canadian 3MT Champion.

Now in its 14th year, the MNK Conference is a daylong showcase of graduate student research happening at Brock, with more than 165 students presenting either oral or poster presentations.

The day will kick off with a keynote address from Tek Thongpapanl, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the Goodman School of Business, who will discuss his role as a mentor to students and his own personal journey with mentorship over his career.

The conference, being held in Brock’s Plaza Building and the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, is free and open to the public.

Mapping the New Knowledges conference highlights:

  • 8:30 a.m. — Keynote address
  • 11:45 a.m. — 3MT final round
  • 12:15 p.m. — Presentation of Marilyn Rose Graduate Leadership Award, Michael Plyley Graduate Mentorship Awards and Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Awards



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