3MT: Three Minute Thesis held at University of New England

RESEARCH REVELATIONS: Dr Philip Thomas with the top three students in the thesis competition, Gary Marriner, Julian Klepp and winner Lachlan Hart.
RESEARCH REVELATIONS: Dr Philip Thomas with the top three students in the thesis competition, Gary Marriner, Julian Klepp and winner Lachlan Hart.

UNE research students joined in a competition last week, which saw 11 students make a three minute presentation about their thesis.

It is part of a nationwide competition, and the winner, Lachlan Hart will now progress to the next stage.

His presentation revealed how his research found a crocodile species had been mistakenly identified.

Other research presentations included diverse topics such as examining how much water was needed in the Murray-Darling Basin system for environmental needs, and the hidden costs in international trade.

Philip Thomas, the university’s higher research co-ordinator who organises the competition at UNE, said it was a challenge to present a thesis in just three minutes.

“First of all they need to be able to filter a large amount of information down into a crucial message that they need to deliver, and they need to deliver that succinctly, and with accuracy,” Dr Thomas said.

“It is a very, very difficult task. You’re basically taking 80,000 words, particularly if they towards the end of their thesis writing, down into a three-minute presentation. It’s a huge task and it requires a number of skills.

“So it’s a good professional development opportunity,” he said.

Competitors are allowed one slide, but no other props.

The competition was started by the University of Queensland and is now run at several universities in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Winners progress to a final, where there is $16,000 in prizes.