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National 3MT competition held at UFS
2017-03-29

Description: 3MT 2017 Tags: 3MT 2017

The two winners of the Three minute thesis
competition, Andrew Verrijdt (left) and
Kerryn Warren (right).
Photo: Charl Devenish


From Neanderthal hybrid children to eating corn silk as a way of managing kidney diseases, the National Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT) captivated the mind.

“We brought the competition to South Africa and hosted the local, regional, and national competitions for the past few years,” said Dr Emmie Smit, organiser of the event. It is an opportunity to raise the profile of postgraduate research and to develop a cross-disciplinary student community to effectively communicate research to a wide audience. The event was founded by the University of Queensland, Australia. The third national 3MT competition took place at the University of the Free State (UFS) on Friday 24 March 2017.

Three minutes and one slide
During the competition, participants had three minutes to explain their master’s or doctoral research and one static PowerPoint slide could be used. “It is very important that this slide works for you. There must be some way the information on the slide connects to what you present,” said Dr Henriette van den Berg, Director of the Postgraduate School at the UFS.
 
Winners grateful for opportunity
“It is an honour and a drive. It is very nice to have this sort of thumbs up,” said Kerryn Warren, winner of the Science category. Her research title was, What did a Human-Neanderthal Child Look Like? “I have been looking at the hybrids between different species and subspecies of mice in order to use them as a model to find out what human hybrids looked like.”

The presentation by Andrew Verrijdt, winner of the Humanities category, entitled Hiding in the Deep: Anonymous Websites for Paedophiles on the ‘Darknet’, gave a glimpse into the mysterious and dangerous realm of the dark web. “I am grateful for the opportunity. Primarily because I think it’s an important topic, and society will benefit by getting the word out there as it is a sensitive topic,” he said. The two winners, both from the University of the Cape Town, won R15 000 each.  A further R30 000 of prize money went to the four runners-up.

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