Showcasing rich and diverse research in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition 2021
The 2021 edition of the 3MT Competition at James Cook University, Singapore showcased the amazing research efforts of our higher degree research candidates, external partners, and academics and researchers.
This year’s annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition at the Singapore campus of James Cook University (JCU) was held on 27 August 2021. Similar to last year, our 2021 competition was hosted as an online event via a Zoom Webinar.
The competition challenges participants to explain their research in a clear and engaging three-minute talk so that it can be understood by a wide range of non-experts. Successful communication is crucial to research practice, and allows a researcher to carry out thoughtful engagement with potential research users and audiences.
This year saw 17 contestants compete across three categories: Higher Degree Research students, external partners, and academic and research staff. Their interests and expertise span a wide range of disciplines — including various facets of aquaculture, psychology, education, tourism, and more — emblematic of the rich and diverse research and community that James Cook University in Singapore has to offer.
Professor Caryn West, Dean of Research for the Singapore campus of James Cook University, and Chair of the 3MT Judging Panel, said, “It was yet again another amazing 3MT series from James Cook University in Singapore. It is not only an honour and a pleasure to be involved in this, but each year that I am involved, I am completely blown away by the quality, scope and standard of research that is being conducted at James Cook University, Singapore.”
Joining Professor West on the judging panel were:
- Mr Robin Hicks, Deputy Editor of Eco-Business
- Ms Nicola Hodgman, Associate Director of Special Projects at James Cook University in Singapore
- Dr Neil Hutchinson, Senior Lecturer of Environmental Science at James Cook University in Singapore, and winner of the 2020 edition of 3MT at James Cook University, Singapore
Each of our category winners received a plaque, a certificate, and a Gift Certificate valued at SGD$500.00, while our People’s Choice winner (determined by audience vote) received a plaque and certificate. Congratulations to all our winners!
- Higher Degree by Research: Ms Naomi Clark-Shen
- External Partners: Dr Samuel Gan
- Academic/Research Staff: Dr Thimo Ruethers
- People’s Choice: Dr Peter Chew
In her talk entitled “Forget-me-not stingrays”, Naomi addressed the lack of attention given to the conservation of blue-spotted maskrays, drawing comparisons to Forget-me-not flowers. Her victory will take her to the 3MT finals in JCU Australia, where she will represent the Singapore campus as she competes with her peers.
In a close contest, Mr Lin Xiangbin received an honourable mention in the Higher Degree by Research category for his presentation entitled “In Singapore, do we talk about God in psychotherapy?”, where, with the help of personal anecdotes, he shared about how religion and spirituality play a part in psychotherapy.
Dr Ruethers won the Academic/Research Staff category with his presentation “Tackling Allergies to Fish and other Potential Culprits”, which incorporated plenty of humour in a concise explanation about food allergies, particularly allergies to fish.
One of the other highlights of the competition was Dr Chew’s presentation, “Using Google Trends to test the predictions of Terror Management Theory”, which explored the real-world impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of Terror Management Theory (TMT). TMT proposes that people deal with the fear of death by “doing things that make us feel good about ourselves” such as higher prejudice against minorities, greater intention to donate money, and an increased preference for luxury products.
Overall, the 3MT competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by the JCU community and cultivates the participants’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills.
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