Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Three-minute Thesis competition kicks off at SPHPM

Last week at SPHPM, a record number of PhD students took part in the annual Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT) held during the School morning tea. The competition sees graduate researchers condense years of work into a brief presentation in front of a live audience and a panel of judges.

Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), 3MT showcases exciting research conducted by PhD students and requires them to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Commencing in 2008 at UQ, in 2009 and 2010 the 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities as interest in the competition grew. Word has spread and 3MT competitions are now held in over 350 universities in more than 18 countries.

With just three-minutes and one presentation slide as a visual aid, the nine participants competing at School level highlighted the breadth of public health graduate research taking place at the School.

Presentations ranged from the mental health and well-being of mothers in Nepal following the 2015 earthquake, to the socioeconomic disparities seen in children with obesity, to an examination of preventable deaths including suicide in aged care facilities in Australia.

This year saw a number of Department of Forensic Medicine (DOFM) PhD candidates take part in the competition, with Samantha Rowbotham’s presentation about her study of the mechanisms of skeletal blunt force trauma (BFT) earning her second place in the competition.

However it was candidate Cassandra Wright who won the SPHPM heat with her presentation on alcohol consumption and new media intervention in young people. Her study involves trialling the use of personalised mobile phone messages to help young Australians to curb their binge drinking.

The Monash University final will take place in September, with the winner taking home a $2,000 prize and earning a place in the Trans-Tasman Final in Perth. On behalf of SPHPM we congratulate and thank all the participants for taking part in the 3MT competition and wish Cassandra good luck when she competes at the Faculty level round in August.

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