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Fast and furious: Bristol bags place at Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Final

Press release issued: 4 September 2017

University of Bristol PhD student, Alfie Wearn, has beaten off stiff competition to secure a space in the national 3MTĀ® final. The unique competition sees speed and academic clout collide as researchers battle to deliver their 80,000-word thesis in just three short minutes.

Having gone through several gruelling rounds of the competition already, Alfie is one of only six contestants to be selected from 58 semi-finalists from around the UK. 

Currently in his second year of study for a PhD in the School of Clinical Sciences, Alfie’s presentation explores predicting Alzheimer's disease; showcasing his scholarly skill alongside passion, precision and panache.  

An 80,000-word thesis would take around nine hours to wax lyrical about and with just three minutes to work with, the competition is a seemingly impossible feat. 

The concept of a 3MT® competition was developed by The University of Queensland, Australia, in 2008. Official 3MT® competitions are now held in at least 200 Universities across more than 18 countries worldwide.

Fellow finalists from universities across the UK will deliver presentations on a range of topics from cancer to crude oil and metal recovery.  The overall winner will receive a £3,000 grant to spend on public engagement activity as well as an engraved trophy.  

Alfie said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be representing the University at the 3MT® finals. After putting so much time and energy into my research, it’s amazing to be able to share it in such an engaging and dynamic context.” 

Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, said: “The 3MT® is a fantastic opportunity to showcase and celebrate the research conducted by postgraduate research students around the world. We are delighted that our research student, Alfie Wearn, has secured a place in the national 3MT® final. Alfie’s research demonstrates the key role that our postgraduate research students play in developing life-changing research underway here in Bristol.”

The UK final will take place on the evening of Monday 11 September as part of the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference. 

A judging panel will select the winner and there will also be a vote by dinner participants for the ‘People’s choice’ who will receive an invitation to speak at the iconic Royal Institution, arranged by Speakezee. 

Watch Alfie’s 3MT® video here. 

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