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SJWRI Three Minute Thesis competition showcases our postgraduate research

Wednesday 28 June 2017 2:20pm

The 2017 edition of SJWRI 3MT, our three-minute thesis competition for postgraduate research students, was held on Wednesday 28 June in the Hunter Centre. SJWRI 3MT challenges our students to present their research in an engaging manner, able to be understood by a general audience with no background in the research area. This competition develops our postgraduate students' research communication skills, as well as giving them the chance to tell us a little more about their project.

As in previous years, SJWRI 3MT entrants were required to present for no longer than three minutes on the topic of their thesis, describing the research, and communicating the significance of the work. Presentations were judged on the following criteria:
1. Communication style
Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
2. Comprehension
Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
3. Engagement
Did the oration make the audience want to know more?

This year's competition saw a broad range of presentations from PhD, DClinDent and Masters students on topics ranging right across the spectrum of SJWRI research, from public health to molecular microbiology. All presentations were of an excellent standard and communicated their subject matter well. This year's winner of first prize was first-year PhD student Sabarinath Prasad, of the Craniofacial Biology and Clinical Oral Physiology research programme, for his presentation 'The S.M.A.R.T. Study'. Sabarinath's project involves developing wireless devices to measure muscle activity in real time via surface electromyography. The runner up was Yasmeen Ruma, who just began her PhD in the Molecular Microbiology research programme, with her presentation 'Structure-directed antifungal drug discovery'.

Sabarinath VP Richard Cannon
SJWRI Director Prof Richard Cannon with 2017 SJWRI 3MT winner Sabarinath Prasad.

Congratulations to our winners, and to all who entered. Our thanks to 3MT judges Claire Gallop, Dr Diana Rothstein (R&E Office) and Prof Richard Cannon. We encourage all SJWRI 3MT entrants to enter the upcoming University of Otago 3MT, a competition in which the SJWRI has a very strong history; in 2015, SJWRI PhD graduate Jenny McDowell won the Otago 3MT overall, and went on to perform strongly in the Trans-Tasman final. The Division of Health Sciences heat is to be held on 20 July.

Yasmeen Ruma Claire Gallop
SJWRI 3MT judge Claire Gallop providing feedback to 2017 SJWRI 3MT runner-up Yasmeen Ruma.