You have three minutes…Grad students compete to explain research quickly and clearly

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You have three minutes…Grad students compete to explain research quickly and clearly

From health to biology and the humanities, this year’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition demonstrates how graduate student research benefits every facet of our lives.

3MT is an international research competition where graduate students have just 3 minutes to explain their research and its importance during a straightforward presentation in plain language, using only a single slide to illustrate their topic to a panel of non-specialist judges and peers.

3MT helps students build important soft skills by challenging students to swap out science jargon for easier to understand language, and explain why their work is relevant to people’s everyday lives.

Hosted by McMaster University, this free event is open to the public and begins at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday April 17. Presentations begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 12 p.m.

Here’s a summary of the exciting university research that will be presented at this year’s 3MT competition:

  • Brock University – Alicia Azzano, Applied Disability Studies with a specialization in Applied Behaviour Analysis. She is studying the effectiveness of parent-mediated intervention using behaviour analytic teaching strategies for improving targeted behaviours characteristic of ASD for at-risk infants.
  • Carleton University – Melody Gavol, Biology. Her research looks at the impacts of commonly used pesticides on the immune systems and disease susceptibility of native frog species.
  • University of Guelph – Anthony Incognito, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences. Anthony would like to complete his PhD and then begin and postdoctoral fellowship in hopes of becoming a professor so he can forever study what he loves.
  • Lakehead University – Alexander Bilyk, Forest Science. His focus is always on providing innovative solutions and making sure that the solutions can be used in the real world.
  • Laurentian University – Chelsea Pike, Science Communication. Her research is focused on describing attitudes of Canadians towards FASD as identified in the online Facebook discourse.
  • McMaster University – Matthew Campea, Chemical Engineering. Since his childhood, Matthew’s family has been touched by cancer: he made it his passion to create safer methods for chemotherapy.
  • Nipissing University – Jordan Sutcliffe, Kinesiology. ordan’s master’s research seeks to better understand competitive youth sport parents’ behaviour through assessment of their identity and well being.
  • OCAD University – Uttara Ghodke, Inclusive Design. She is currently building on these skills to develop research in the area of non-visual and cross-sensory data analytics tools that employ a combination of tactile, aural, and visual cues through a single object or integrated system to communicate geographic information for blind, low-vision, and sighted audiences alike
  • Ontario Tech University – Sarah Habibi, Applied Bioscience. Sarah is a researcher, science communicator, and teacher.
  • University of Ottawa – Stephanie Woodworth, Geography. Her research interests include decolonization, water and human movement, youth education, land-based pedagogies, Indigenous methodologies, and knowledge co-production.
  • Queen’s University – Amanda Brissenden, Chemical Engineering specialising in Biomedical Engineering. Her research focuses on biomaterial development for treating degeneration of the intervertebral discs in the spine.
  • Royal Military College of Canada – David Patch, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. He does research under the Environmental Sciences Group with supervisors Dr. Iris Koch and Kela Weber looking at emerging contaminants.
  • Ryerson University – Alex Kjorven, Environmental Applied Science and Management. Her graduate work in environmental science at Ryerson University involves building a commercial board-game engineered to challenge individual perceptions and attitudes toward climate change.
  • University of Toronto – Shane Saunderson, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. His research focuses on psychological influence caused by robots during social interactions with particular interest in topics such as persuasion, trust, and leadership.
  • Trent University – Katharine Viscardis, Canadian Studies. Her dissertation explores the history and legacy of Canada’s first institution designed, officially, for children and adults with disabilities, the Huronia Regional Centre (1887-2009).
  • University of Waterloo – Haya Almutairi, Civil and Environmental Engineering. Haya’s research is part of a research program aiming for the development of High-Performance Asphalt Mixes (HPAM). She focuses on the investigation of the use of nanomaterials in asphalt mixes as a solution for self-healing and mitigation of fatigue and low temperature cracking.
  • Western University – Yoah Sui, Kinesiology. His research interests include examining: (i) the cognition surrounding sedentary behaviour among university students, (ii) the effectiveness and feasibility of theory-driven message framing interventions to modify sedentary behaviour cognition, and (iii) the impact of sedentary behaviour cognition on psycho-social and wellness outcomes.
  • Wilfrid Laurier University – Mariam Elmarsafy, Integrative Biology. Mariam’s research has taken her to North Dakota and Northwest Territories where she learned about the impacts of environmental change in freshwater lakes first hand.
  • University of Windsor – John Freer, Education Studies. Inspired by his own experiences growing up with epilepsy, John studies students’ attitudes toward disability and investigates its implications for inclusive education.
  • York University – Lina Deker, Psychology. She is currently completing her PhD in psychology where she is studying children’s cognitive development of memory.

Watch 3MT Live

Can’t attend in person? A live stream is available here:

What happens next

Video recordings of the finalist’s presentations will then be profiled for a two week period on the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies website. Non-specialist judges will choose the national winner and a runner up from those videos in May.

For more information about the competition and the event, visit:

Tags: 3MTThree Minute Thesis