3MT heats up in Manawatū

Masters student Shelley Grace, a winner in her Manawatū 3MT heat, talking about her research on treatment of cow hide for leather

Raw hide research reigned in the first Three Minute Thesis (3MT) heat last week. A study on eliminating wrinkles and another on combatting fungal microbes in cow hide for better quality leather won the Manawatū master's heat of this year’s competition, which kicked off last week.

Thirteen master's and 33 doctoral students, from a wide variety of discplines in sciences, health, humanities, social sciences and business, delivered three minute presentations summing up the essence of their research and why they believe it is important in their field, with modern slavery in India and online banking among the other winning presentations.

Day one’s judges were Dr Karen Ashton of the Institute of Education; Dr Mary Breheny of the School of Public Health; and Professor Kevin Stafford of the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences

Day one saw the judges and audience learn about new research on wide-ranging topics, such as improving the quality of grass for cows, the benefits of sheep dairying, improving maths education, understanding the challenges for Māori social workers, Gallipoli, and solutions to antibiotic-resistant infections.

In following doctoral heats, researchers dazzled the audience with presentations on a plethora of topics, including strategies for reducing surgical pain for dogs, improving the storage and quality of feijoas; the link between cancer, human papilloma virus and vaccination; and teaching reading to new entrants.

Judges for the second day of heats were Dr Sam Richardson of the School of Economics and Finance, Dr Sharon Henare of the School of Food and Nutrition, and Associate Professor Christine Cheyne of the School of People, Environment and Planning.

Judges, audience and contestants at the first 3MT heats for 2017

Albany and Wellington heats on this week

Heats for the 2017 3MT competition take place at the Auckland campus in Albany on Wednesday and Thursday this week, and in Wellington on Friday, with seven master's and 13 PhD candidates registered for Albany, and five master's and seven PhDs for Wellington.

The aim of the competition is to communicate the key theme and significance of a thesis topic to a non-specialist audience, using accessible language. First prize for the doctoral category is $5000 for research (travel, conferences, publication costs), with a $2000 research travel grant for the Runner Up; $1000 research travel grant for the People's Choice award and $1000 cash for the winning Master’s thesis. Winners from both categories get the chance to compete nationally and internationally. Judges include a mix of academic staff and external guests.

On August 15, Master’s and PhD finalists will participate in the Massey University 2017 3MT competition final, taking place at the Speirs Centre in Palmerston North, with well-known comedian and television presenter Te Radar as Master of Ceremonies

Results for the Manawatū heats:

Heat 1 (Master’s) finalists:

Shelley Grace – Solving the cold case of ‘Red Heat’ (Institute of Fundamental Sciences)

Catherine Maidment – Ironing out the wrinkles in leather (Institute of Fundamental Sciences)

Heat 2 (PhD) finalists:

Rebecca Lucas-Roxburgh – Sex, vaccines and cancer (Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences)

Katie Knapp – The Assessment of Attentional Control (School of Psychology)

Heat 3 (PhD) finalists:  

Saba Azeem ­– Effects of personal characteristics on the use of online banking in New Zealand (Massey School of Business)

Omer Nazir – Modern slavery: exploring conditions of exploitation in brick kilns of India (School of Management)

Heat 4 (PhD) finalists:

Sarah Pirikahu – Shall we take a risk? (Institute of Fundamental Sciences)

Ben Munro – Does it flow? (Institute of Fundamental Sciences)

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