One take, one slide, no props! The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an annual academic research communication competition, with College and Division competitions drawing together the best and brightest to compete in the JCU Final in Townsville next month.
Under regular circumstances, an 80,000-word PhD thesis would take approximately nine hours to present in full1. However, the competition challenges participants to hone their communication skills by condensing their scientific research project into an astonishing three minutes, while ensuring that it can be easily understood by a non-specialist audience.
Dean of Research for the Singapore campus of James Cook University, and Chair of the 3MT Judging Panel, Professor Dean Jerry remarked, “The 3MT event at JCU is my favourite event for the year as it is an opportunity for researchers to tell non-specialists about their exciting research. I call it the ‘BBQ pitch’, as it is like being at a barbecue and having to tell a person you just met what your research is about and what it might mean to them.”
He continued, “This year the competition was of a very high standard, with some amazing presentations, and the judges had a difficult time in separating out a winner — definitely the best BBQ ever!”
(Featuring the participants of the 3MT competition, the judging panel, Master of Ceremonies Dr Denise Dillon, and co-organiser of the event Ms Belinda Lee)
20 participants joined the competition held at James Cook University in Singapore this year — including Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates and Academic and Research Staff.
This year marked the first time we extended an invitation to some of our external partners to participate in the competition. Therefore, we were pleased to have one HDR candidate and two academic staff members from our partner institution, the University of Reading Malaysia, join us in the competition as well.
What’s more, we extended a warm welcome to Dr Rachel Pye, Head of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences and Academic Director of Teaching & Learning at the University of Reading Malaysia, as a member of our 3MT Judging Panel. Dr Pye joined the Panel Chair, Professor Dean Jerry, together with two of our professional staff members — Ms Wendy Sng, Senior Manager of Administration & Facilities, and Mr Rohan Bhatte, Manager of Academic Planning.
Dr Pye commented, “I was excited to have been invited to be a part of the 3MT Judging Panel. It was inspiring to see such diverse and thought-provoking research from both staff and students, and to work with our JCU colleagues to highlight the importance of research presentation and communications skills. I really enjoyed hearing about the varied research across both institutions, and it was a joy to see the skill and enthusiasm of the HDR candidates. I hope we'll be invited again next year — and I'm planning to put some training in place so there's a chance we could win!”
(From left to right: The winners of the competition — Mr Chang Hee (Jayden) Kim, Dr Chan Kai Qin, Mr Wai Yan Maung Oo (Wymo))
Mr Chang Hee (Jayden) Kim won the Higher Degree by Research category with his presentation on research which aims to explore circular economic business models and design options, with case studies from Singapore, China and South Korea.
Mr Kim states that, by identifying existing circular economic business models and design options, it can help us to better transition to a circular economic society and reduce waste in the world. His research was actually inspired by his wife’s startup cosmetic business, which makes use of reused containers. Commenting on his victory, he said, “I really didn’t expect to win. I think this is a signal for (more) research on the circular economic business model, in order to save the planet.”
One of the other highlights of the competition was Dr Chan Kai Qin, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at James Cook University in Singapore. His presentation — “Are you a foodie?” — which won both the Academic/Research Staff category and People’s Choice category, employed humour and personal anecdotes to ask what exactly defines a “foodie”.
“I think what's really important in my research is that we finally have a term that is accurate to identify what a foodie is. To me, that is exciting by itself,” Dr Chan shared. “In psychology, we pride ourselves for being precise with terminology. When we say someone has high self-esteem, we'd better have a robust measure for it, otherwise how would we know if we're talking about the same concept? Similarly when it comes to the term ‘foodie’, we need a robust definition and measurement, because it can have serious consequences.”
Our category winners each received a plaque, a certificate, and an Amazon Gift Card valued at SGD$500.00, while our People’s Choice winner received a plaque and certificate. Congratulations to all our winners!
- Higher Degree by Research: Mr Chang Hee (Jayden) Kim
- Sessional Staff/Alumni: Mr Wai Yan Maung Oo (Wymo)
- Academic/Research Staff: Dr Chan Kai Qin
- People’s Choice: Dr Chan Kai Qin
Find out more information about our Higher Degrees by Research courses here.
Find further information on our areas of research and research strength at James Cook University in Singapore here.
Research: Professor Dean Jerry firstname.lastname@example.org
Media: Pinky Sibal email@example.com