3MT Competition requires laser focus on research


The competition called 3MT -3 minute thesis- began in Australia, at the University of Queensland, more than a decade ago. It’s now spread to universities around the globe and tonight, the oration contest was held for students at The Graduate School of Augusta University.

Five outstanding PhD candidates had just 180 seconds to give a compelling speech about their thesis and its importance. 3 minutes!!

Mohamed Meghil’s presentation of his research into gum disease took 1st Place honors.

“It’s not an overnight job. It requires- I’m not scaring everybody- but it requires time to build it up and train on how to present it in 3 minutes.”

The competition challenges students to present their work to an audience of… well, not science folks… clearly and concisely without electronic media or props. Nothing but their cleverly-crafted oral compositions!

Dr. Darren Browning is co-director of the 3MT program.

“Their research that they’re doing is actually paid for by the tax-paying public and allocated by the political leaders and so it’s an obligation for them to be able to explain what they’re doing and the importance of it to that audience.”

According to Dr. Pamela Hayward, co-director of the 3MT program, the practice pays off.

“We’ve had a number of contetants tell us that actually having the proof that they can present their work to an everyday auidience has given them an edge on the job market.”

You try to explain neurotoxins, uterine cancer treatment, or solving the mystery of gum disease in 3 minutes max…. now THAT’s a challenge!

Meghil was awarded a $1,000 prize. Second place and $500 went to Lynn Tran’s uterinc cancer research. The People’s Choice winner was Sean Naughton, who got bragging rights and $250 for explaining what your -lunch- has in common with chemical warfare!

Here’s a list of the contestants and their research:

  • Mohamed Meghil, An initial Step for Solving the Mystery of Gum Disease
  • Lynn Tran, Personalizing Uterine Cancer Treatment
  • Sean Naughton, Treating the Hidden Danger: Neurotoxins
  • Candace Poole, Treating the Untreatable
  • Patricia Martinez Quinones, Defeating the Evil Within Us

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