'Three Minute Thesis' Prepares Students to Present Research

Four students seeking their master's degrees and five students doctoral programs competed last week in an event designed to prepare them for presenting research.

The "Three Minute Thesis" event, hosted by the UK Graduate School and the Graduate Student Congress, is a research communication initiative requiring graduate students to speak succinctly and engagingly about their current research to a nonspecialist audience.

It provides students with the opportunity to practice presenting their work, and to receive feedback from a panel of judges. A preliminary competition took place during the previous week, culminating with a final competition Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Jianing Li, a doctoral student in the UK College of Medicine, in pharmacology and nutritional sciences, won first place in the doctoral competition, with a presentation titled "Peanut allergy, not just peanuts.”

Shayan Mohammadmoradi, a graduate student also in the UK College of Medicine in pharmacology and nutritional sciences, took first place in the master's competition, with a presentation titled, "Cholesterol lowering effects of probiotics: a clinical trial."

Li and Mohammadmoradi also won the People’s Choice Awards for doctoral and master’s respectively.

Second and third place winners included:

· Carolyn Crowdus Meyer - anatomy and neurobiology - doctoral second-place winner
· Gary Gregg - plant and soil sciences - master's second-place winner
· Victoria Pook - entomology - doctoral third-place winner
· Laura Higley - classics - master's third-place winner

Other students who competed in the final round were Kendra Staggs (pharmacology and nutritional sciences), Qian Sun (entomology), and Joey Van Noy (plant and soil sciences).

Jianing Li will represent the University of Kentucky at the Southern Council of Graduate Schools Regional Competition to be held March 7-8, 2015, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Videos of the master's and doctoral winners are now on the 3MT website: http://www.research.uky.edu/gs/StudentDevelopment/3MT_Competition.html

Throughout the competition, representatives from "Presentation U," an initiative designed to cultivate multimodal communication skills across the curriculum, also provided information and tips on how to deliver effective presentations.

"Communicating one’s research clearly and concisely, especially to others who may be unfamiliar with it, is a vital skill for graduate students," said Morris Grubbs, assistant dean, Office of Graduate Student Development. "The challenge is to translate the research effectively while not dumbing it down. No matter their career plans, students should practice the art and skill of telling a compelling story about their work. The 3MT is a longer and more formal exercise than the 30-second or 1-minute “elevator pitch” and allows the student to use a slide of images to help illustrate the research story."

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365; sarah.geegan@uky.edu