Success for Research Students at 3MT Competition

By Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas and Ashleigh Lyons 

On the 9th and 12th of December, UCLan hosted open rounds for the internationally known research competition, 3 Minute Thesis (3MT). Research students had just three minutes to summarise their research, with a couple of quick-fire audience questions for good measure. Those who made it through the open rounds will be whittled down in a number of heats between now and Summer 2016, before one researcher goes forward to regionals, then nationals to fight for the grand prize: a £3,000 research grant. With around 40 research students from all schools taking part, it was shaping up to be an interesting competition.

Historically, 3MT started in the University of Queensland in 2008, and it has taken the academic world by storm. And with good reason: 3MT is about more than presenting. It’s about engaging with your audience with limited resources (how much could YOU fit on one slide?). It’s about effectively communicating under pressure: speak past the three-minute buzzer, and you’re disqualified. Lose your cool, and you’ll waste valuable time trying to recover from the ‘erms’ and ‘ums’. It’s about clear, direct, effective communication. And for the audience, it’s a great opportunity to find out what world-leading research their peers are undertaking.

Let’s take a look at what some of UCLan’s researchers presenting have been up to:

  • April Melia is designing a nutrition education programme for cardiac rehabilitation patients.
  • Ashleigh Lyons is investigating the burning behaviour and combustion toxicity of novel polymer composites.
  • Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas is designing interactive media for pet dogs, and investigating the way dogs use interact with bespoke TV devices.
  • Suzanne Day is investigating the factors hindering the involvement of parents from financially disadvantaged backgrounds in their children’s secondary education.
  • Lais Baptista is researching DNA profiles from degraded samples.
  • Clare Johnston is investigating the evolution and co-development of civil law reform and personal injury.
  • Andra Balta is designing an interactive device that will allow teenagers to communicate their mood using colours.
  • Neil Cook is researching the ways that cancer awareness messages are represented in the UK print media, and the influence this has on the public’s perception of cancer.
  • Masha N S Menhat aims to develop performance measurement frameworks for use in the oil and gas supply chain.
  • Rawdha Alshamsi is investigating a novel dissection technique to identify neck injury patterns in hanging suicides in Dubai.
  • Frank Harrington is exploring the Roman Catholic Canon Law of Marriage and pastoral solutions that may or may not be of benefit to divorced, remarried catholics.

Last Tuesday the results were announced, and we would like to congratulate all of those who participated.

The 19 researchers who are through to the next round are, in the order that they presented:

Bhayu Rhama

Deborah Slater
Neil Cook
Frank Harrington
Lauren Howarth
Ebojie Obhei
Rawdha Alshamsi
Ali Al-Janabi
Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas

Chris Beaumont
Abdul Shah
Nur Haliza Hassan
Temba Mudariki
Ashleigh Lyons
Lydia Harkin
April Melia
Lesley Davidson
Suzanne Day
Clare Johnston
Masha Menhat


We will see you at the next round!

About Emili Peake - Head of Radio Programming 50 Articles
Emili Peake is a veteran to the students' union and an old face in Pluto. Emili is local to Preston and specialises in UCLan SU Societies.

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