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Researchers reveal all at Bristol 3MT finals

This year's 3MT finalists

4 June 2015

Ever wondered what kind of research postgraduate students are working on at Bristol? Find out when eight take to the stage next Wednesday (10 June) to present their 80,000-word theses in just three minutes.

Doctoral researchers across 35 UK institutions are taking part in Three Minute Thesis (3MT), an academic competition designed to improve participants' presentation and communication skills and raise awareness of their research area.

Using just one slide, contestants are challenged to bring their research to life in an engaging way, using language understandable to a non-specialist audience, before the three-minute bell chimes.

Fifteen researchers took part in 'Bristol's answer to the TED talks' at the semi-finals on Wednesday, 3 June, and the best eight participants have been selected to compete in the Bristol finals on 10 June, from 2pm to 3pm in the Winston Theatre at Bristol SU.

The competition has become hugely successful since it was created by the University of Queensland, Australia in 2007, and has extended to higher education institutions around the globe.

The Bristol winner will go through to a national semi-final on 13 July, where six candidates will be chosen to compete in the UK final to be held at the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference on 8 September.

At the UK national final, a judges' choice winner and a people's choice winner will be chosen. The judges' choice winner will receive a £3,000 grant to spend on public engagement activity, sponsored by Research Councils UK and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE).

The Bristol finalists are:

  • Emma Liu (School of Earth Sciences) - 'When fire meets ice'
  • Catherine Gilmore (School of Clinical Sciences) - 'The role the placenta plays in fetal health'
  • Robin Neville (Department of Aerospace Engineering) - 'Folding the future'
  • Audrey Reeves (School of Sociology, Politics, and International Studies) - 'Pleasurable war? Wartime heritage as tourist attraction'
  • Charlotte Chamberlain (School of Social and Community Medicine) - 'What is fair when it comes to cancer?'
  • Hannah-Marie Chidwick (Department of Classics and Ancient History) - 'United we fall: Multiplicity in Lucan's Civil War'
  • Thomas Farrugia (School of Chemistry) - 'Protein Power - Using Nature's Nanoscale Assembly Lines'
  • Jocelyn Cherry (School of Social and Community Medicine) - 'Children's Senses and Injury'

More information about the finalists is available on the Bristol Doctoral College website. Follow #Bris3MT on Twitter for updates.

The final on Wednesday 10 June is free and open to all. Attendees are requested to register in advance.

The Bristol 3MT is organised by the Bristol Doctoral College in collaboration with the Bristol SU Postgraduate Network.

Further information

Dominika Bijos won the judges’ votes last year after successfully summarising her research into the muscle motions which cause an overactive bladder.

Speaking of the experience, Dominika said: "I gained friends among fellow 3MT finalists and it was super exciting to hear about research from all corners of the University.

"Practically, I gained my research pitch - I can now talk about my research without any preparation to anybody. It proved very useful in all sorts of occasions from parties to job interviews.

"Something I didn't expect from winning was the recognition. People recognised me from watching my 3MT video, and suddenly I heard congratulations in the school corridor. I was invited to give a talk at a Clinical Sciences school meeting and then at Science Quarter NHS North Bristol Clinical Trials Day.

"It built my confidence and I took part in Bristol Bright Night and FameLab. There I made even more friends and was invited to take part in Bath Science StandUp. So a year later, my talk has over 3000 views on youtube, I have given 10 more talks and get more and more involved with research dissemination and science communication."

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