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Laurier grad students to present their research elevator pitch at the Three Minute Thesis

It can take a PhD student years of hard work to complete a dissertation. Depending on the discipline, that dissertation could be 75,000 words. That’s approximately 300 pages! Now, imagine trying to explain it all to a room of people who know little to nothing about the research topic in just three minutes with only the aid of a single slide. On March 24, Laurier will ask PhD and master’s students to do exactly that at our Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition.

Laurier has held this internationally recognized research communication competition annually since 2012. The 3MT® began at the University of Queensland, Australia in 2008 and quickly grew in popularity. Last year, 3MT® competitions were held in over 350 universities across more than 18 countries worldwide.

“I’m excited to see our talented young scholars present their cutting edge research to the Laurier community,” says Jeffery Jones, acting associate dean: Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. “By participating, a student can develop their ability to explain complex ideas succinctly, effectively and in simple terms; a skill set that is becoming more valuable in today’s job market.”

Participants present to a panel of judges who rate their ability to effectively engage the audience. The winning student receives a $1,000 grand prize, and the chance to represent Laurier at the provincial competition on April 12.

This year, there are 15 graduate student presenters speaking on a range of topics, including:

  • Infants, Toddlers and Mobile Technology.
  • Sedentary Behaviour, Physical Activity, and Mobile Apps.
  • Beyond Contemporary Xenophobia and Parochialism.
  • Accountability, Conservation and Community: a Case for Geographic Approaches to Measuring the Impacts of Protected Areas.

“Where else can you learn about such a diverse range of research topics in only two hours?” says Jones.

“I am very passionate about my research and I think the 3MT® is an amazing opportunity to be able to share that research with others,” said Karin Archer, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology. “The biggest challenge so far is condensing the years of research into just three minutes. This competition really challenges me to create a concise version of my findings, making it easy to share with others.”

To celebrate its sixth competition, Laurier is trying something new by challenging professors to take part in the 3MT® challenge. During the event, three Laurier professors will take the stage and speak – in three minutes – about how graduate students contribute to the success of the research enterprise at Laurier.

The 3MT® Laurier begins March 24 at 9 a.m. in the Senate and Board Chamber on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Judges include:

  • Jean Becker, senior advisor: Aboriginal Initiatives, Laurier.
  • Andrew Clark, president and CEO, ALIGNED Insurance.
  • Deborah Dubenofsky, vice-president, Finance and Operations, Laurier.
  • Gary Edwards, owner, Golfdale Consulting.
  • Michael Melling, regional news director, CTV Ontario.