If you snooze, you... win! PhD candidate’s sleep research takes out 3MT

Emma Schimke, UQ 3MT Final Winner, presenting her 3MT

Emma Schimke, UQ 3MT Final Winner, presenting her 3MT

University of Queensland PhD candidate Emma Schimke had a dream ending to her Three Minute Thesis (3MT) presentation after being named the winner of UQ’s first ever virtual 3MT competition.

The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences student raced the clock to explain how sleep may benefit memory and word learning, and has the potential to help people with language difficulties in her presentation titled - ‘ To sleep or not to sleep ’.

Ms Schimke said her participation in 3MT had helped her develop her presentation skills and had given her an opportunity to share her research with the wider community.

“I’ve learned how to communicate a summary of my thesis to a non-specialist audience in an engaging and accessible format,’ she said.

“It has been a unique opportunity to present my entire thesis in just three minutes and an experience I have thoroughly enjoyed.’

Due to COVID-19, participants presented their three minute thesis in a virtual version of the competition.

“I love presenting live and usually feed off the energy of the crowd,’ Ms Schimke said.

“For me it was challenging to record the presentation and not immediately witness the reactions of the audience to gauge their interest and understanding.’

Emma Schimke_To sleep or not to sleep? from Emma Schimke on Vimeo.

UQ Graduate School Dean Professor Alastair McEwan said 3MT in its virtual format had been a great way for graduate researchers and the UQ community to connect during the COVID pandemic.

“This year we had a record number of more than 300 PhD students competing in 3MT at UQ, and many more at over 900 institutions worldwide? Professor McEwan said.

“The 3MT competition demonstrates the tremendous capabilities of our PhD candidates and their potential to have a real impact through their research.’

Hollier O’Neill from the Faculty of Medicine was runner up with her presentation ‘ Racing to improve heart transplants ’, and took home $2,000 sponsored by Boeing Australia.

3MT UQ Final - Hollier O'Neill from Hollier O'Neill on Vimeo.

Amanda Bordin won the People’s Choice award for her presentation ‘ A breath of fresh air: improving tests for bacteria in cystic fibrosis ’ and won $1,000 donated by Alumni Friends.

Amanda Bordin_A breath of fresh air: improving tests for bacteria in cystic fibrosis from Amanda Bordin on Vimeo.

As winner, Ms Schimke won the $5,000 prize, sponsored by UniBank, and will now go on to represent UQ in the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition on 1 October.

UniBank General Manager Mike Lanzing said they were delighted to support researchers of the future.

“It was remarkable to see the effort it took the UQ 3MT Finalists to condense their 80,000 word thesis and deliver it in just three minutes,’ he said.

“Well done everyone, and in particular Emma for her winning presentation.’

The 2020 Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition will held via Zoom and you can register to attend.

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