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Three minutes for research
2015-08-19

Sixty-three researchers, three minutes each. This is the Three-Minute-Thesis competition (3MT) for master’s and doctoral students countrywide, presented by the Postgraduate School at the University of the Free State.

For the first time, this international competition will be presented on a national level in South Africa, with students from more than ten of the most prominent universities in the country taking part. During the competition, each researcher has to give a presentation on his/her research in three minutes.

Mr Katleho Nyaile, the competition organiser, says the 3MT is part of the Postgraduate School’s initiative to highlight and to boost postgraduate research.

The 3MT competition originated at the University of Queensland, Australia. Since its inception in 2010, it has developed into an international trend. Currently, the 3MT is presented in Australia, the USA, and the UK.

For the competition, participants are given only three minutes to explain their research. In this short time, they have to explain not only the problem and the methodology, but also why this research is important. Participants are allowed to make use of only one piece of static imaging material for support.

“It is not only great fun, but also a learning opportunity for the researchers. The competition supports the capacity of the researchers to convey the essence of their theses effectively. This is something that researchers sometimes find very difficult.”

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