PhD candidates to compete for three minutes of research glory

Affordable cars for the developing world, a finger-prick blood test for cancer and classroom diagnoses of ADHD are among the bright new ideas battling it out for the top three-minute thesis at UNSW on 18 September.

12 3MT stock 1

Photo: Thinkstock

Affordable cars for the developing world, a finger-prick blood test for cancer, biomaterials to replace bone and classroom diagnoses of ADHD are among the bright new ideas battling it out for the top three-minute thesis at a free public event at UNSW on 18 September.

Twenty PhD students from across the University’s faculties will have just three minutes to pitch their compelling research to a high-profile panel of judges for a cash prize and the honour of representing UNSW at the 3MT Trans-Tasman championships.

The annual contest is a showcase of some of UNSW’s most exciting doctoral research and a public event not to be missed, says Professor Laura Poole-Warren, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Training) and Dean of Graduate Research.

“This festival of amazing ideas is open to the community and is a great way to find out about some of the high-quality research that occurs at UNSW,” says Professor Poole-Warren.

“Where else can you hear 20 three-minute research snapshots across the creative arts, engineering, humanities, science, law, medicine, business and social sciences? This is even better than TED!”

Post-industrial city makeovers, new sensor technology to map fall risks for the elderly, and chlamydia immunisation of koalas are among the topics to be presented by faculty winners.

A mutant obesity-proof mouse will be pitted against novel wind turbine and rocket engine designs, the ‘digital artefacts’ of modern society, and a new way of taxing companies to reduce avoidance.

The winner will take home $3,000 and go on to represent UNSW at the Trans-Tasman competition with $5,000 up for grabs. Other prizes are $1,500 for the runner-up; $1,000 for the People’s Choice award determined by the audience; and $500 for the ASPIRE prize awarded by school students.

Presentations will be judged by award-winning ABC science journalist Robyn Williams, Fairfax’s chief political correspondent Mark Kenny, prominent schizophrenia researcher Professor Cyndi Shannon Weickert, Professor Martin Nakata, director of UNSW’s Nura Gili Centre for Indigenous Programs, and Dr Johannes Luetz, former UNSW 3MT ASPIRE prize winner.

What: Three-Minute Thesis Competition

When: 4.30-7.30pm, 18 September 2014 – free public event

Where: Leighton Hall, John Niland Scientia Building, Kensington campus

Media contact: Denise Knight, UNSW Media Office, 02 9385 3249, d.knight@unsw.edu.au