Three-Minute Thesis receiving the TV treatment

By Costa Maragos Posted: March 27, 2017 6:00 a.m.

Four of the eight finalists for the Three Minute Competition to be shown on Access 7. (l-r) Luba Kozak, Katherine Mazenc, Elisabeth Fortier and Harrison Otis. Also competing are Claire Freeman, Megan St. Hilaire, Phil Rose and Nichole Faller.
Four of the eight finalists for the Three Minute Competition to be shown on Access 7. (l-r) Luba Kozak, Katherine Mazenc, Elisabeth Fortier and Harrison Otis. Also competing are Claire Freeman, Megan St. Hilaire, Phil Rose and Nichole Faller. Photo - External Relations

The pressure-packed arena, known as the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT), will now come to you before a studio audience.  

Eight doctoral and master’s students will compete before an audience at the ShuBox Theatre at the U of R, March 29 at 7 p.m.

The show will be broadcast Access7 community channels in Regina and across Saskatchewan. The broadcast dates will be announced shortly.

“We’re inviting the public to come to the ShuBox and show support for our grad students who have put a lot of work into their presentations,” says Natasha Gallant, president of the U of R Graduate Students Association. “The Three Minute Thesis is a wonderful opportunity for the public to discover the amazing research being done by our students. They will present their work in ways the non-specialist audience can understand.”
The eight finalists qualified after competing in a preliminary round.  

The 3MT is a competition for graduate students. It was developed in Australia in 2008 by the University of Queensland. The 3MT challenges students to explain their research in language that is easy to understand by a non-academic audience and have a maximum of three minutes to do it.

“I’m definitely nervous. Public speaking is not one of my favourite things. But scientific communication is something I’m pretty passionate about so I’m looking forward to it,” says Claire Freeman, a master’s student in biology.  

“I’m excited for the opportunity to share my research and reach a much broader audience,” says Phil Rose, a master’s student in biology.

3MT logo

The 3MT was first developed in Australia. It has become a popular
a popular event at universities around the world. Please visit here for
more information on the U of R competition.

A panel of three judges will grade the students.  
  • Creeson Agecoutay, a reporter/host with CTV Regina and a graduate of the School of Journalism.
  • Jeph Maystruck from the marketing company Strategy Lab and a graduate of the Faculty of Business Administration.
  • Ashley Robinson, a reporter with the Leader-Post and a graduate of the School of Journalism;
The judges are required to mark the presentations on comprehension, engagement, and communication.

Some things the judges will consider are:
  • Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Did the presenters capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon?

“The Three Minute Thesis is a great idea,” says Maystruck. “This is a great way to bring down those academic barriers and share with the public the incredible research being done by grad students at the U of R. I’m looking forward to being a part of this.”
The show host is Alex Johnson, a student in the School of Journalism.

The winning student will be awarded a $1,500 scholarship and a spot in the western regional final held at the University of Saskatchewan. There are secondary prizes and a peoples’ choice award as voted by the audience.

This will be the first time the U of R competition will be televised.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of this,” says Wade Pederson, community programming manager with Access Communications and a U of R alumnus. “It’s great to see young academics share their incredibly interesting research with the public. I’m looking forward to the competition and to sharing this with our audience across Saskatchewan on Access7.”

The Three Minute Thesis show is free and open to the public.

Date:    Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Time:    7:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
Venue:  ShuBox Theatre, Riddell Centre, U of R
The event will be followed by a reception. 
The final eight students are:

  • Nichole Faller (Psychology) – Qualitative examination of mental health disclosure in the workplace
  • Elisabeth Fortier (Kinesiology) – Healthcare culture through moral agency and moral distress
  • Claire Freeman (Biology) – Human contributions to antibiotic resistance in the environment
  • Luba Kozak (Interdisciplinary in Fine Arts) – Representing the non-human in England’s early modern arts
  • Katherine Mazenc (Psychology) – Internet-delivered exposure therapy training for parents of children with anxiety.
  • Harrison Otis (English) – The nature of love in fiction of Evelyn Waugh and Iris Murdoch
  • Phil Rose (Biology) – Developing management targets for grassland songbirds in the mixed-grass prairie
  • Megan St. Hilaire (Social Work) – Wellness blankets: effects of participation in textile based art of those with (dis) abilities