PhD challenge: 80,000 words explained in three minutes

The average PhD thesis is 80,000-words and takes three years to complete. How does one do it justice in three minutes? That is the challenge for eight UniSA finalists in this year’s Three Minute Thesis ® (3MT) competition on Thursday 29 August.

Using just one slide, UniSA’s best minds will condense their PhD findings into 180 seconds, communicating their research to a non-specialised audience.

Subjects this year include a novel solution to repairing DNA damage using fruit; performing everyday repairs using video game technology; and transforming typography for readers with dyslexia.

Veteran broadcaster Julia Lester will host the booked-out event and the winner will represent UniSA at the Asia-Pacific Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) later in the year. In addition, finalists will be competing for $5500 prizemoney and a people’s choice to be voted live on the night.

Details of this year’s finalists and their topics are:

  • Jessica Porter: Homeless in the bush
  • Ellie Davies: Developing the Needs in Recovery Assessment
  • Bradley Herbert: Performing Everyday Repairs Using Video-Game Technology
  • Linh Truong: Ultra-short laser pulse for ultra-short tracking time
  • Vaibhav Gupta: The Success Lies in the Combinations!
  • Bridgette Minuzzo: Art in the Office
  • Darren Taljaard: Make it clear please – digital reading and dyslexia; and
  • Emma Jaunay: DNA damage and the native fruits that may help.

The event will be held in the Allan Scott Auditorium at the University of South Australia from 6pm on Thursday 29 August at UniSA’s City West campus. Media are welcome to attend.

Notes for editors

The Three Minute Thesis competition was borne out of a novel solution to a severe drought in Queensland in 2008. To conserve water, residents were encouraged to time their showers and many people used a three-minute egg timer fixed to the wall in their bathroom. A quick-thinking academic at the University of Queensland in 2008 seized upon the idea for a research competition. Today, 3MT is held in over 600 universities across more than 65 countries worldwide.

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