Celebrating research at the 2022 edition of Three Minute Thesis at James Cook University, Singapore
In a move to a hybrid format, the 2022 edition of the 3MT Competition at James Cook University, Singapore showcased diverse research from our higher degree research candidates, external partners, and academics and researchers.
On 26 August 2022, James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore held its annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition, showcasing and celebrating the rich and diverse research from the University’s higher degree research candidates, external partners, and academics and researchers.
This year’s competition took place in a hybrid format — marking the first time that the Singapore campus has been able to host the competition in person since the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the 2020 edition and the 2021 edition of 3MT competition at JCU in Singapore took place exclusively online. Meanwhile, contestants and audience members who could not participate in the 2022 edition in person could also join the event virtually via Zoom.
In the competition, contestants are challenged to effectively and succinctly explain their research in three minutes, in a way that a layman audience may understand, with only a single static PowerPoint slide as a visual aid.
A total of seven contestants across three categories (Higher Degree by Research, External Partners, and Academic/Research Staff) took part in the competition this year, presenting research ranging from aquaculture to psychology and more.
Professor Caryn West — Dean of Research for the Singapore campus of JCU, and Chair of the 3MT Judging Panel — said, “The participants all gave wonderful presentations, and the time and energy of everyone involved truly paved the way for a very interesting event.”
Joining Professor West on the judging panel were:
- Ms Venna Chai — Chief Financial Officer at JCU, Singapore
- Professor Samuel Gan — Research Professor of Wenzhou-Kean University, China, and Adjunct Associate Professor at JCU, Singapore
- Dr Thimo Ruethers — Research Fellow of Human Health & Aging at the Tropical Futures Institute in JCU, Singapore, and winner in the Academic/Research Staff category of the 2021 edition of 3MT at James Cook University, Singapore
Each of the category winners received a plaque, a certificate, and a Gift Certificate valued at SGD$500.00, while the People’s Choice winner (determined by audience vote) received a plaque and certificate. The winners as follows stood out with their clear and engaging presentations:
- Higher Degree by Research: Dr Jeffrey Ling
- External Partners: Dr Kaarunya Sampathkumar
- Academic/Research Staff: Professor Andreas Lopata
- People’s Choice: (a tie between) Dr Jeffrey Ling and Mr Chen Guo (Terry)
Dr Ling’s presentation, titled simply “The Contagion”, shared his striking experience of seeing numerous dead bodies in containers during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside the fear of the unknown experienced by people at that time. He compared this phenomenon to the Scale Drop Disease Virus experienced by fish, of which little is known, and his aim to uncover information about how the disease progresses and how it spreads so that it may be applied to future studies for treatment and vaccine trials.
On the other hand, the presentation “A storytelling heritage takes us on a cultural journey to explore the city” by Mr Chen Guo (Terry) shared his love for travel and the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on travel. His research focused on how technology and innovation may enable people to overcome certain restrictions to experience travel such as through virtual reality, along with his aim to enhance this experience so that people may also see and feel the natural environments of the destinations they visit virtually.
Professor Andreas Lopata’s presentation “Prawn Imposters in Novel Foods” identified allergens in dust mites and insects that are very similar to the dangerous allergens found in shellfish, and may affect consumers of processed foods, particularly edible insects. His research aims to improve allergy diagnostics for people, and to improve food safety for such novel foods through test kits.
The 3MT competition is held in over 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide, giving participants an opportunity to polish presentation and communication skills on their research. In a post-pandemic age where hybrid events will become more frequent, communication is more critical than ever. The high-quality presentations and in-depth research from the 3MT competition at JCU in Singapore demonstrate that the University is prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.
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