Three Minute Thesis Finalists Announced

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Imagine trying to condense years of complex research and fieldwork into one-slide and a three-minute presentation. That’s the challenge (and opportunity) presented to graduate students in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition, an exciting academic competition that assists current graduate students with fostering effective presentation and communication skills.

This year, uLethbridge is hosting its third Annual (3MT®) competition.  The competition was originally developed by The University of Queensland which challenges research higher degree students to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance in just three minutes using language appropriate for a non-specialist audience.​

uLethbridge launched their (3MT®) competition as part of the THRIVE Professional Skills development program, in partnership with the Graduate Students’ Association, as a way to provide career building opportunities for graduate students.  Additionally, Dr. Helen Kelley, Associate Dean in the School of Graduate Studies notes “the competition helps to promote the diverse and thought provoking research that is being conducted on campus by our graduate students.  The spirit of the competition allows our students to showcase their research to the broader university community, as well as to the local community”.

The uLethbridge competition is open to all University of Lethbridge graduate students in good standing and who satisfy the eligibility requirements. Each student has three minutes to clearly explain his or her thesis work and its significance to audience members.  One static slide may be included as an illustration to provide context for the presentation.

In the 2016 competition the School of Graduate studies received 20 entries, 18 of which participated in two Qualifying Heats. From the Qualifying Heats the top 10 were chosen to move on as finalists. The top ten competitors are (in no particular order): 

Juliana Araujo, Neuroscience: Hormones and Social Behavior in Richardson's ground squirrel

Rui Pais, Neuroscience: Memory consolidation: The influence of the Hippocampus in Cortical activity

Steven Firth, Philosophy: The Picture Theory of Disability

Serena Jenkins, Neuroscience: Chronic maternal stress prior to conception alters development of offspring rats

Luc Roberts, Biochemistry: Viruses: Molecular Pirates

Candace Burke, Neuroscience: What are they saying? Analyzing Rodent Vocalizations

Eric Paxman, Neuroscience: Worried Sick: Stress and Metabonomics of Bio-Fluids

Douglas Kiss, Neuroscience: Metabolic Repercussion of Concussion

Rachel Dombowsky, Neuroscience: Paternal ethanol exposure changes the natural development of ultrasonic vocalizations in offspring: A model for FASD

Jarret McKinnon, Neuroscience: How the hippocampus contributes to learning and memory

Dr. Kelley commends all participants for their informative and engaging presentations.  She states “It was clear that the students had put a significant amount of time and effort into their preparation for the qualifying heats, as it was reflected in the high quality of presentations we saw across the two heats. To all competitors I’d like to say well done!”

The Final competition will be held on March 11th, 2016 in the Markin Hall Atrium beginning at 5:30 PM, with awards to be presented at approximately 7:00 PM.  The judges panel will consist of five esteemed judges, including Dr. Lisa Dolittle, Teaching Chair and member of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Sarolta Saskiw, Videographer for Global News, Dr. Judith Lapadat, Associate Vice-President (Students), Paul Sparrow-Clarke, Academic Initiatives Manager , and Randy Kobbert, Senior Vice-President at MNP Lethbridge and President of the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association. 

The top three winners from the final will receive prizes, as well as a prize for People’s Choice.  Each member of the audience will cast a vote for his/her favourite presentation, and the competitor with the greatest number of votes will be awarded the People’s Choice award. Prize values are:

First place: $1,250.00 cash prize

Second place: $750.00 cash prize

Third place: $500.00 cash prize

People's Choice: $500.00 cash prize

Additionally, the winner of the uLethbridge 3MT® final competition qualifies to represent the University of Lethbridge at the Western Regional 3MT® Competition, to be hosted at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna, BC on April 29, 2016. The top three competitors from the Western Regional competition will advance to the national competition which is hosted virtually by the Canadian Association for Graduate Students (CAGS).

The uLethbridge Final on March 11th is open to both members of the University community and community members alike. Everyone is welcome and we encourage you to come out and cheer for your favourite competitor!