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3-Minute Thesis Contest Spotlights NDSU Student Research
North Dakota Ag Connection - 02/11/2020

NDSU graduate students will present their research and vie for prize money in the annual Three Minute Thesis competition, scheduled Feb. 20. Preliminary rounds are set for 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. in NDSU's Memorial Union, with the final round scheduled for 2 p.m.

The presentations are free and open to the public. In addition to the competition, the Graduate Student Showcase is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom. Voting for the People's Choice Display and the People's Choice Poster will end at 1:50 p.m.

"The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is part of what makes our graduates successful," said Brandy Randall, associate dean of the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies. "The Three Minute Thesis competition is a fun and exciting way to practice this skill. Competitors had the option of attending two workshops offered by the Center for Writers to help them hone their communication and presentation skills."

The competition encourages students to bring their groundbreaking work out of the classroom or laboratory to share with the public. The event features graduate students from a variety of disciplines explaining the results and value of their research in terms relevant to government officials, media, future employers and funding organization representatives. A typical 80,000-word thesis would take about nine hours to present; the competitors are given just three minutes.

Preliminary round winners will receive $250 cash prizes, and the overall competition winner will be awarded a $1,000 grand prize. After the championship round, the audience will be able to use their cell phones to vote for their favorite presentation, and the winner of that will be awarded the 3MT People's Choice award. The grand prize and the 3MT People's Choice award are funded through a donation by Gate City Bank. The event also is supported by Doosan Bobcat.

The championship round and awards ceremony will be livestreamed this year, using either Firefox or Chrome. The NDSU winner will advance to the Western Association of Graduate Schools regional competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Australia's University of Queensland developed the first Three Minute Thesis competition in 2008, and the concept has spread to more than 600 institutions in 85 countries around the world.

NDSU Three Minute Thesis champions have included:

2015-Allison Peltier, nursing

2016-Manpreet Bains, molecular pathogenesis

2017-Tayebeh Anajafi Marzijarani, pharmaceutical sciences

2018-Farnaz Fouladi, pharmaceutical sciences

2019-Elisabeth Wilson, biological sciences

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