Research News

In 3MT contest, PhD candidates to pitch their thesis in 3 minutes or less

Concept of a speaker sharing an idea with a panel of people. .

The rules for the Three Minute Thesis competiton are simple: Contestants have up to 3 minutes to pitch their research, using a PowerPoint slide to display any necessary information. Nothing else is allowed; if a participant uses more than 3 minutes, they're disqualified.

By ALEXIS NICHOLSON

Undergraduate medicinal chemistry major

Published February 23, 2022

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“If research is going to have an impact on the broader world, it must be communicated clearly. This competition challenges doctoral students to learn this important skill. ”
Elizabeth Colucci, assistant dean for graduate professional development

On March 4, UB will be hosting its sixth annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, which highlights the skills and knowledge of PhD students while stressing the importance of good communication.

You can think of 3MT as an elevator pitch — one where students get the opportunity to inform people about the research they are doing.

This year, organizers will livestream the competition, enabling audience members to watch the event live as contestants pitch on a stage. The event begins at 3 p.m.

“Communicating the importance of one’s research can be challenging. But, in today’s world, it is critical, says Elizabeth Colucci, assistant dean for graduate professional development. “If research is going to have an impact on the broader world, it must be communicated clearly. This competition challenges doctoral students to learn this important skill. We look forward to hearing about the incredible research happening at UB by our doctoral students.”

In order to be eligible, participants must be current UB PhD students who are doing their dissertation research. Presentations must be related to their research, as well as their degree program.

The rules are pretty simple: Contestants have up to 3 minutes to pitch their research, using a PowerPoint slide to display any necessary information. Nothing else is allowed, and if a participant uses more than 3 minutes, they are disqualified.

After participants wrap up their talks, they are judged based on their communication style, the audience’s comprehension of their research, and engagement with the audience. 

The contestant who comes in first place receives $1,000, while the second- and third-place participants receive $750 and $500, respectively. During the competition, viewers are able to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award. The winner of this award will receive $250.

The participants of the 2022 3MT competition:

  • Jocelyn E. Marshall (Traumatic Reckonings: New Readings of Contemporary Feminist Art), Department of English. Research focuses on identifying feminist textual practices that interrogate the cultural and political implications of imperialism and the impact on displaced women.
  • Mahasweta Bhattacharya (Decrypting Your Brain: Quest for Smarter Machines), Department of Biomedical Engineering. Research focuses on brain activity and could contribute to development of brain-machine interfaces that will hopefully help with the rehabilitation process of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Hannah Calkins (Combating Treatment Resistance in Lung Cancer), Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Cancer Therapeutics, Roswell Park Graduate Division. Research focuses on treatment-resistant lung cancer and ways to kill the treatment-resistant cells.
  • Hamed Khorasani (The Search for Sewage in U.S. Rivers and Lakes), Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. Research focuses on the presence of wastewater effluent in our rivers and lakes.
  • Maria Amir (Finding Jugni: A Sufi Mapping of ‘Mera Jism, Meri Marzi’ for Pakistan’s Aurat Marches), Department of Global, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Research focuses on the themes in indigenous folklore from Pakistan and the relation to women’s marches.
  • Bita Nasiri (Say Farewell to Multiple Surgeries: Artificial Vessel That Grows With the Patient), Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Research focuses on the production of cell-free vascular grafts that grow after implantation.
  • Danielle Lewis (An Examination of Men Faculty Allies for Undergraduate Women in STEM), Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. Research focuses on the experiences of men faculty allies for undergraduate women in STEM.
  • Sricharan Veeturi (Imaging Biomarkers for Risk Stratification of Brain Aneurysms), Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Research focuses on medical imaging that is used for risk assessments.
  • Emily Bowlus-Peck (Communal Trauma and the History of Mental Health Care Systems), Department of History. Research focuses on mental health hospitals in earlier times and how they influenced future mental health care practices.
  • Chih-Han Liu (Clean Car: Novel Configured Catalysts for Catalytic Converter), Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Research focuses on gasoline vehicle efficiencies.

The UB 3MT competition is co-hosted by the Graduate School and Blackstone LaunchPad at UB. The event is sponsored by the Innovation Hub powered by UB's Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships.