Doctoral candidate Sarah Warbis wins national Three Minute Thesis competition 2023

Sarah Warbis - National Vitae 3MT winner 2023
Sarah Warbis - National Vitae 3MT winner 2023

Doctoral candidate, Sarah Warbis, Department of Psychology won the national Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition organised by Vitae.

  • Published on Friday 15 September 2023
  • Last updated on Friday 15 September 2023
  • Three Minute Thesis challenges doctoral candidates to present a compelling spoken presentation on their research topic and its significance in just three minutes. 3MT is an academic competition developed by the University of Queensland, Australia and its success has led to the establishment of local and national competitions in several countries. The Doctoral College at Bath hosts the institutional competition and provides on-going support and development for all 3MT participants.

    Since 2014 Vitae have proudly hosted the UK 3MT competition which is the culmination of finalists from Vitae member Higher Education Institutions throughout the UK. After winning the University of Bath competition, Sarah Warbis, Department of Psychology was one of six finalists, chosen by a panel of judges from online quarter and semi-finals, to compete in the final broadcasted on Friday 15 September. Sarah was selected as the Judges Choice winner and will receive a £3K grant provided by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to spend on a public engagement activity.

    We managed to speak to Sarah following the final and she said:

    I’m still in complete shock that I won! This is an absolutely incredible achievement and I’m so proud of myself for putting my all into the competition! I’m planning on running a public engagement workshop with key stakeholders in my field, for example, police, policy makers, councils and universities. This event will be focused on disseminating the findings from my PhD and discussing how we can implement them to make a real difference to people’s lives.

    Sarah is in the second year of her PhD, exploring how we can encourage bystanders to intervene when witnessing a sexual assault. With a background in social psychology, and three years market research industry experience, Sarah has turned her efforts to using virtual reality in her research, as an active member of the CREATE lab in the Department of Psychology. Alongside her PhD and teaching responsibilities, Sarah also cofounded and runs the Researcher Wellbeing Group, an interdisciplinary, interuniversity group, providing crucial support for ECR researchers, like herself, exploring sensitive subjects where secondary trauma is a risk.

    I had the great pleasure of judging Sarah at the University of Bath 3MT semi-finals, and subsequently watching her presentation at the University final and again at the Vitae 3MT National Final. Across all of these occasions, Sarah delivered an excellent and engaging presentation on the topic of her PhD research, and expertly conveyed the impact and significance of the important work being conducted. A superb ambassador for the doctoral community at the University of Bath - well done, Sarah!

    Dr Rachel Arnold, Academic Director (Doctoral), Vice-Chancellor’s Office

    The Doctoral College has supported the 3MT competition for many years and we have had a number of Bath students reach the national finals. Students who take part in the competition have the opportunity to access training and support from the Doctoral College and there are many benefits for all students who enter the competition. The competition is a good platform to help raise the profile of doctoral researchers and their research, to learn about and practice innovative dissemination techniques and to build confidence.

    I am absolutely delighted for Sarah winning the national 3MT competition. I first met Sarah back in March 2023 when we had our University briefings regarding the competition and since then her engagement with the 3MT development programme has been outstanding. It’s really nice to see that the hard work she has put in has been rewarded and I hope that 3MT has given Sarah a platform to disseminate her research on a wider scale and highlight the importance of her research topic.

    Oli Schofield, Doctoral Training and Development Manager, Doctoral College