Image: Candidates, judges and participants at the 3MT competition in Thailand | Natinee Kulpijit

On 12 December 2018 the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) and the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) in Vietnam collaborated to host Thailand’s first Three Minutes Thesis (3MT) competition. The 3MT project is funded by Wellcome through a MORU Network Public Engagement Bursaries award.

A tradition that traces back ten years to the University of Queensland in Australia, the 3MT competition has now been adopted by more than 600 universities in 66 countries around the world, and is open to all active PhD students. The 3MT competition aims to cultivate students’ academic presentation and research communication skills, especially the crucial yet oft-overlooked ability to effectively explain academic research to a non-specialist audience in a short amount of time.

At the 3MT competition in Thailand, 9 doctoral candidates from MORU and OUCRU competed against the clock to present their thesis. The first place prize went to Kartika Saraswati from MORU/OUCRU, and the runner-up was Marieke Bierhoff from MORU’s Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU). Two People's Choice awards went to Tom Hughes from MORU and Marieke Bierhoff from MORU’s Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU).

In the audience were secondary school students from Mahidol Wittayanasorn, who were invited to witness the excitement and challenges of scientific research. With the rare opportunity to speak with and ask questions of real scientific researchers, the hope was that younger students could perhaps be inspired to follow in pursuit of scientific careers in the future.

The 3MT competition was part of the 2nd MORU-OUCRU Student Conference.



Image: 3MT Winners: Kartika Saraswati from MORU/OUCRU, Marieke Bierhoff from MORU’s Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) and Tom Hughes from MORU received a research and travel grant from David Burton, Chief Operating Officer, MORU | Natinee Kulpijit

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