September 26, 2018, by Lisa Chin

UNM 2018 3MT® Competition

This post is written by Dr Jiin Woei Lee, Research Training Development Manager.

The University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) organised its annual 3 Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition on Wednesday, 5 September this year. The judges were Prof Deborah Hall, Vice Provost of Research and Knowledge Exchange and Professor of Hearing Sciences in the UK campus, Ms Sheena Gurbakhash1 and Mr Julian Matthews2.

We had participants from all 3 faculties and so the topics were an interesting mix – from providing affordable insurance to micro-businesses (small businesses with 9 or fewer staff) in Indonesia to achieving high precision in the positioning of nanosatellites.

One of my favourite times during the 3MT® is watching the participants’ growth during the voluntary peer review training sessions. During these sessions, participants obtain feedback from the trainers, past winners and from each other to improve themselves. It is a challenge to condense one’s topic into a talk as short as 3 minutes, phrased in a way that is understandable to a non-research audience using 1 static slide with no animations and transitions. Every year I am in awe of the effort that the participants put in with not only restructuring their talks but also having the resilience to be criticised for their grammar and pronunciation. The most memorable time is the heavy debate between several people about the correct meaning of Pandora’s Box. Let’s just say that Google ended the debate (a few people including me were proven right and so I am happy about that).

As for competition day, I watched in awe as the participants went up one by one and delivered their speeches on point. The quality was high as they were already seasoned presenters from previous competitions and conferences. Prior to the announcement of the winners, Ms Sheena Gurbakhash provided overall feedback to the participants. Among the things she mentioned was the importance of interacting with the slides – pointing to where one is talking helps with guiding the listener through the talk.

The winners are listed below.

Winner: Ms Anusha Devi Nawoor from Biomedical Sciences with her talk The Future – Personalised Medicine

Runner up: Ms Yap Jing Ying from Chemical and Environmental Engineering with her talk Papaya Leaf for Dengue?

2nd Runner up: Mr Denesh Sooriamoorthy from Electrical and Electronic Engineering with his talk A Tick in Time Saves Lives

From left: Denesh, Jing Ying and Anusha

The judges commented that the event was well organised and that the food was good. Most importantly, they mentioned that they got to learn about new research at UNM as well. The participants found the overall experience to be valuable and that they gained confidence in presenting their talk on stage in the Great Hall.

I would like to thank all judges for contributing their time and effort to the competition. Their detailed feedback is much appreciated and will be used in future training workshops. A massive thanks to past winners Olaoluwa Duro-Bello, Lillian Olule, Mohammed Ayoub Juman and Sia Ming Yean for dispensing their 3MT® wisdom and for attending some of the peer review sessions to provide feedback to the participants.

Now, we are on to the tri campus round where the video of the winners from all 3 campuses will compete against each other to represent the entire University of Nottingham in the final U21 round. What is different this time is that we will be having judges from all 3 campuses rather than judges from only the UK.

I have not long finished filming, editing and submitting Anusha’s video for this round. Anusha had a big role to play in the making of the video too. It was a pleasure working with her. Fingers crossed we will snatch the tri campus title again!

1Sheena Gurbakhash has over 25 years in the communications industry. From 2012- 2014 she worked with the Alumni Association of Administrative and Diplomatic Officers, who commissioned a book about the role of the Civil Service in the development of the nation. The project involved detailed interviews with over 40 senior civil servants, culminating in the publication of “At the Forefront of Nation Building: Perspectives from the Administrative and Diplomatic Service”, in April 2014 by UiTM Press. She then went on to curate a number of exhibitions including: “MY story: Transforming the Nation”, which ran for 6 weeks at Galeri PETRONAS in August/ September 2014 and “Detik Bersejarah: Transformasi Negara”, in conjunction with the 57th Anniversary of Arkib Negara Malaysia (Dec 2014/ Jan 2015). Through 2012, in addition to various other projects, she developed, wrote and co-presented a weekly, one-hour, legal literacy programme for women on Capital Radio for the Association of Women Lawyers. She also wrote for the TV series Salon which will premier on Viu Malaysia in September 2018. In January 2018 she concluded a ten week play-writing course with THEATRETHREESIXTY. She is also involved in spoken word poetry. She is currently managing editor of Praxis, for Bar Council Malaysia. Sheena is a qualified lawyer and practised law for 9 years.

2Julian Matthews is a media trainer and consultant specialising in visual storytelling, crisis communications and online reputation management. He was a journalist for 20 years before embarking on a career in media training and consulting for the past 12 years. He has trained CEOs, editors and journalists, and PR, marketing and advertising executives who are transitioning from print to online media. Julian has conducted workshops titled Social Media Marketing, Online Advertising, Corporate Social Media, Effective Media Spokesperson, Effective Media Relations, Effective Investor Relations and Crisis Communications.

More information is available from Dr Jiin Woei Lee.

Featured image: Group photograph of contestants, judges and members of the Graduate School.

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