Southern Miss Graduate School to Host 3-Minute Thesis Event
Fri, 10/31/2014 - 08:38am | By: Van Arnold
For the first time, The University of Southern Mississippi's Graduate School will offer a unique opportunity for students to showcase their thesis or dissertation work in a competitive format.
The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition invites graduate students to describe the significance of his/her thesis or dissertation to a general audience in three minutes or less. Cash prizes will be awarded to the eight finalists – ranging from $250 for finalists to $1,000 for the Grand Champion.
The competition will be held from 1-5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4 and continue at the same time on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at the Thad Cochran Center. Eight students will compete in the finals, set for 1-3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6 at the Trent Lott Center.
Dr. Karen Coats, dean of the Graduate School at Southern Miss, notes that graduate students generally are trained well to discuss their research with other researchers in their discipline, and thus get lots of practice doing this through presentations in their departments and at professional conferences. However, rarely do they learn how to convey their message in terms a general audience can understand.
“Effective communication is an essential skill that affects the public perception of the value of research, regardless of the discipline,” said Coats. “The Three Minute Thesis competition requires students to critically evaluate the significance of their own research, to distill the message to one that can be presented in less than three minutes, and to capture the attention of a lay audience through an engaging presentation that makes them want to know more.”
The competition is open to any active master's, specialist or doctoral student who has not graduated prior to Fall 2014. Students will compete in one of the following four categories: 1) arts and humanities; 2) life, health and environmental sciences; 3) physical sciences and mathematics; 4) social and educational sciences and business.
Participants are required to follow a spoken word format (no poems, raps, or songs permitted). A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted, but no additional electronic media or props are allowed.
The Grand Champion will compete in the 2nd Annual 3MT competition during the 2015 meeting of the Conference of Southern Graduate School to be held in March in New Orleans. All travel expenses will be paid and the student will vie for a cash prize.
To learn more about the Southern Miss Graduate School and the Three Minute Thesis competition, call 601.266.4369 or visit: http://www.usm.edu/graduate-school