Filter articles by:
Date published
Article keywords
Article type

Three-minute time limit tests UC’s PhD candidates

Marcus Butler

1 September 2017: It was a case of deja vu for University of Canberra PhD candidate Hayley Teasdale, taking out the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition for a second year running.

Ms Teasdale joined 12 other PhD candidates to put their research knowledge to the test in front of a live audience during this year’s 3MT  competition. Her winning presentation titled Proprioception: your sixth sense drew on her own family experiences as well as her research into Parkinson's Disease, exercise, proprioception and trans-cranial stimulation.

Other highlights of the competition included presentations on Australia’s marsupial invaders, hijacking the viruses which hijack our body's cells and how modern women in politics are punished by the system.

The competing PhD candidates combined their understanding of their field of expertise with stage-craft and presentation skills before a layman audience and were only permitted one powerpoint slide to support their talk.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Frances Shannon says it was a great challenge and a learning experience for 13 of the University's PhD candidates.

“The average PhD thesis is 80,000 words long, while the average speaking speed is two and a half words a second. So we are really getting these students to cram their knowledge down into about 450 words, less if you count dramatic pauses,” Professor Shannon said.

“But the competition is serious business because presentation skills are critical for PhD candidates, especially those who will go on to have research careers. In the future they’ll be expected to speak at academic conferences, seminars and in front of panels competing for grants.”

Second place was awarded to Cynthia Mathew for her presentation, Hijacking the hijacker: nuclear export inhibitors against Exportin-dependent viruses. Ms Teasdale also took out the People's Choice award, which was voted on by members of the 3MT audience.

The winners will share in $3,500 prize money to further their research and Ms Teasdale as the overall winner will progress to the Asia-Pacific Finals on 29 September in Brisbane. 

The 2017 judging panel includes: Adam Boland, Executive Producer (Video) at the Australian Academy of Science; David Hazlehurst, Acting-Deputy Secretary at the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science; Emma Macdonald, Distinguished UC Alumni and Associate Editor at HerCanberra; and Nipuni Wijewickrema, entrepreneur and  ACT Young Australian of the Year 2016.

2017 UC 3MT Competitors

  • Anji Perera: Engaging the disengaged to shrink the water footprint (@Anji_perera)
  • Shara Ranasinghe: Creating a path to give strong support to fight the cancer battle (@SharaRanasinghe
  • Mel Timpson: Objectives of university education (@Mellificus)
  • Cynthia Mathew: Hijacking the hijacker: nuclear export inhibitors against Exportin-dependent viruses (@Cynthiamathewms)
  • Kerstin Oberprieler: Systemic gamification: the design of environments for meaningful engagement  (@KerstinOberprie)
  • Anna Brichacek: Let’s change the ending: investigating positive body image in youth (@anna_brichacek)
  • Caroline Gouws: The sweet side of prickly pear
  • Danish Ahmad: Breaking barriers, changing destinies (@danish_ahmad82)
  • Hayley Teasdale: Proprioception: your sixth sense (@haylolz)
  • Foyez Shams: Genetic approach for native fish conservation (@FoyezShams)
  • Margarita Medina: The decline of Australian marsupials (@maggie_medrom)
  • Shayer Alam: Dragon sex (@shayermia77)
  • Joanna Richards: Modern Marie-Antoinettes: The punishment of political women (@tootsiekannah)