Some of this year’s videos are now available:
Melissa Matz, a second year research degree student in the Department of Non-communicable Disease Epidemiology, has won first prize (£500) in the School’s inaugural Three Minute Thesis local competition. As one might expect, all entrants must give a dynamic spoken presentation on their research topic and its significance in just three minutes! The winner of each local competition goes forward to the national UK semi-final.
Melissa is part of the Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group, and her talk was entitled “Would you survive ovarian cancer?” She is examining the various factors that will influence survival, namely: socioeconomic status; race; geography; stage of cancer; and the type of tissues and cells (histology). Understanding the reasons for these variations will be an important step towards improving prognoses for women everywhere.
Ann Fazakerley, Tim Collier and Dr Val Curtis judged the competition, and in addition to Melissa’s first prize, awarded the runner-up prize to Tara Tancred from the Department of Disease Control, whose talk was entitled “Power to the People”. Tara is a third year research degree student, and she shared the successes of a community-based quality improvement project around maternal and newborn health in Tanzania that she has been evaluating. Tara and Melissa’s talks were also popular with the audience, and they were jointly voted “audience choice”.
Staff and students attending the event heard three other compelling presentations. Ify Aniebo (Department of Immunology & Infection) who works in malaria research spoke on “The battle of drug resistance”, Marta Busana (Department of Non-communicable Disease Epidemiology) who works on breast cancer screening entitled her talk “Are your breasts dense?”, and Andreia Leite (Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology), who is working on vaccine safety and electronic health records in partnership with Public Health England, spoke on “Making vaccines safer!”
The judges, and the event compere, Dr James Logan, were extremely impressed by how participants communicated complex science skilfully, at the same time as enthusing audiences with their passion for their work, and speaking completely from memory!
“I first came across this competition in 2013 when I was based at the University of Melbourne and my PhD student entered. Having seen the amazing confidence it gave her to chat about her research to anyone, I was keen to offer the opportunity to students at the School. I was so impressed by the standard of our participants, and we very much hope to run a competition at the School again in 2016.”
Melissa Matz said:
“I am happy that I took part, as it’s a great exercise to teach you how to describe your research succinctly to someone outside the field, and communicate technical things to non-experts. I enjoyed stepping beyond my own project and data-set, and focusing on the wider impact of my work.”
Melissa will now be entered into the UK Three Minute Thesis online semi-final (co-ordinated by Vitae). The UK finals will be held in Manchester in September, and we wish her all the best!
Many congratulations also to Tara, Ify, Andreia and Marta. We would also like to thank the Faculty of Infectious & Tropical Diseases, the Faculty of Public Health & Policy, and the Faculty of Epidemiology & Population Health for providing the prizes.
Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) celebrates the exciting research conducted by PhD students and was developed by The University of Queensland.
Photo 1: From left to right; Andreia Leite, Ify Aniebo, Marta Busana, Tara Tancred, and Melissa Matz
Photo 2: Event compere, Dr James Logan
Photo 3: Melissa Matz and Tara Tancred receiving prizes from Tim Collier