Campus Life

Students to participate in U of L's first Three Minute Thesis competition

Seven University of Lethbridge graduate students will give compelling research presentations on Monday, Mar. 3 and Saturday, Mar. 15 – and will do so in fewer than 180 seconds.

The Three Minute Thesis is an internationally recognized research communication competition that was developed by the University of Queensland in 2008. It challenges thesis-based graduate students to give a compelling presentation about their research and its significance in three minutes or less. Hosted by the U of L’s School of Graduate Studies and Graduate Students’ Association, it is the first year this competition will take place at the U of L.

U of L graduate students will be judged on their ability to deliver a confident, insightful and impactful three-minute presentation by a panel. Students will have the opportunity to qualify for a regional competition at the University of Calgary and a national competition to be held in May.

“The Three Minute Thesis is a competition where graduate students in research-based programs explain their research, and its significance, to a non-specialist audience,” says Dr. Helen Kelley, acting associate dean of Graduate Studies. “Disseminating new knowledge is an important skill we want our students to have. This competition allows our students the opportunity to practice explaining their research to the general public in a short time span.”

Kelley says that in addition to being an excellent experience for U of L graduate students, these events are an outstanding opportunity for community members to enjoy a series of presentations on compelling topics.

“I think this competition is an excellent opportunity for Lethbridge and area residents to hear some unique and exciting presentations about some interesting research our graduate students are working on,” says Kelley. “Certainly we have seen how similar initiatives, like the TED talks, have been able to inspire individuals from all walks of life. The presentations these students make will be interesting and definitely to the point.”

Presentation topics range from translating protein movements into novel antibiotics to male caregivers of spouses with dementia in rural Alberta.

The qualifying heat for the U of L Three Minute Thesis competition will take place Monday, Mar. 3 at 4 p.m. in AH176 (Anderson Hall). The finals for the U of L students will take place Saturday, Mar. 15 at 4:30 p.m. in MH1040 (Markin Hall), in conjunction with the U of L Graduate Students’ Association Meeting of the Minds Conference.

Both events are free and open to the general public.