Concise, clear communication is imperative in the academic realm. It is a skill to make your research vision heard and an even greater one to make it understood.
Enter the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. The competition was developed by the University of Queensland. Master’s-degree and doctoral students are given three minutes to present their thesis to a non-specialist audience. They have to explain the importance of their research in an understandable manner.
This year, the eight faculties of the North-West University (NWU) competed against each other to see who will represent the NWU at the national 3MT event.
Thirty-four master’s-degree students and 58 doctoral students entered the event, which was staged at a faculty and institutional level – the latter being a virtual event. The winners of the respective doctoral categories will go on to take part in the national competition at the University of the Free State on 29 October.
“Participation in the 3MT Competition allows students to develop many different skills such as presentation skills, public speaking and the ability to effectively explain the breadth and significance of their research to a non-specialist audience. It is a brilliant way to get students to concisely package their thoughts and effectively communicate their research. These skills will add value throughout the student's future career,” says Doret Kruger, senior specialist at the NWU’s Research Support Department and organiser of the event.
The doctoral winners were, per faculty:
Economic and Management Sciences: Dr Jacqui-Lyn McIntyre-Louw for Curbing the corruption pandemic in South Africa.
Education: Dr Anita Lubbe for Cooperative learning-embedded assessment.
Engineering: Dr Chantelle Pelser for Improved energy budgeting process using measurement and verification principles.
Humanities: Karabo Mohapanele for The impact of family structures and its dynamics on the street children phenomenon in the North West Province, South Africa.
Law: Adv Marietjie van Aswegen for Agricultural water rights trading and transfers.
Natural and Agricultural Sciences: Dr Anneke Lincoln Schoeman for Tiny parasites (not their frog hosts) answer big questions about the spread of disease.
Theology: Sarah Piketh for Who is my neighbour?