Fifty-eight upcoming researchers raced against the clock as they competed in the 2018 Asia-Pacific Three Minute Thesis (3MT) final at The University of Queensland this week.
After years of work developing a thesis, PhD students from Australia, New Zealand and Asia condensed their research into engaging presentations that had the audience on the edge of their seats.
The day belonged to Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Yasmin Mustapha Kamil who won with her work on a quick, cheap and accurate diagnostic tool for dengue fever.
Yasmin also took the People’s Choice award, walking away with $6,000 in prize money.
It’s the second year in a row that a student from a Malaysian university has taken out the top spot.
Selene Petit from Macquarie University was the runner-up with her powerful presentation about communication and autism, ‘Can the brain speak when the mouth can’t?’
UQ Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Training) and Graduate School Dean Professor Alastair McEwan said it was an exciting year for the competition with more universities than ever taking part.
“The competition provides a platform that showcases the amazing research PhD students are conducting across the Asia-Pacific region,” Professor McEwan said.
“It is also a wonderful way for students to demonstrate their ability to communicate and engage with a wide audience on their research.
Through a series of semi-finals, judges whittled the field of 58 down to just ten students who took to the stage one last time in the final.
UQ developed the 3MT competition in 2008 and it’s now been adopted by more than 600 universities in 66 countries.
3MT was born when Queensland was in severe drought.
Residents were encouraged to limit their showers using a three-minute egg timer.
The then Dean of the UQ Graduate School, Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson, put two and two together and came up with 3MT.
Springer Nature sponsors the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition.