Summarising three years' work into just three minutes is no mean feat. But last week our research students did just that in a race against the clock in our Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Semi Final.

The Competition

17 doctoral students took to the stage in The Edge to compete for a £50 Amazon voucher and one of eight available places in the 3MT Final. Based on a concept originally developed by the University of Queensland, they each had just three minutes and one slide (no props!) to deliver their entire thesis. To put it in to context – an 80,000 word thesis would normally take around nine hours to present!

Covering a wide variety of themes, our semi-finalists delivered talks on a range of topics including B2B Facebook marketing, a revolution in nano patterning, the myths and stigma around body image and weight and a fascinating ‘Sherlock Holmes’ take on chemical reactions.

Students were judged against a strict criteria which looked at their engagement and communication skills as well as the research and results itself.

The judging panel made up of Luke Salkeld, Commissioning Editor at The Conversation; Lyn Barham, a Careers Consultant and Tom Mason, Social Media Executive here at the University of Bath. All agreed that ‘the students had set a high standard and it had been difficult to narrow it down to just eight finalists’.

The Finalists

This year’s finalists are: Laura Wallace (Department of Chemistry), Cong Zhang (Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering), Niamh Ni Shuilleabhain (Department of Health), Severina Iankova (School of Management), Fedra Hossein Zadeh Zaribaf (Department of Mechanical Engineering), Kay Fountain (Department of Biology and Biochemistry), Michael Joyes (Department of Chemistry) and Rachael Broomfield-Tagg (Department of Chemistry).

They each have a place in the final which will be held on Thursday 5 June at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI).