“It was a huge surprise but also massively rewarding to be selected as the winner and I’m hopeful that my passion for what I’m doing comes across in the UK semi-final.”
PhD student Roy Mudie is the University’s first representative in a national competition challenging early-career researchers to explain their work quickly and effectively to non-specialist audiences.
Roy beat five other Dundee students to win the University’s inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) final. The competition asks doctoral candidates to present a compelling spoken presentation on their work and its significance in just three minutes. He will now go forward to the national semi-final coordinated by Vitae, where he will be pitted against PhD students from universities across the UK.
Roy is studying for his PhD at the University’s Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science, where he also works as an Applications Specialist. His research explores how augmented reality can be used in crime scene investigations, and he impressed judges with the clear and concise way he communicated complex issues in his presentation.
“The Three Minute Thesis competition mirrors a lot of what I personally value about research,” said Roy (33), from Wormit in Fife. “I feel good communication, to allow meaningful collaborations and make your research accessible to all, is essential to making the most of what we do.
“Originally I had entered the competition to be a part of the process and to take the opportunity to learn more about how I could achieve this in the future. It was a huge surprise but also massively rewarding to be selected as the winner and I’m hopeful that my passion for what I’m doing comes across in the UK semi-final.”
The first Three Minute Thesis challenge was held at the University of Queensland in 2008 and its success led to the establishment of local and national competitions across the globe. Competitions are now held in over 600 universities across 65 countries worldwide. Three Minute Thesis is not an exercise in trivialising research, but challenges students to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience.
Dundee heat organiser Dr Heather Doran said, “It is more important than ever that early-career researchers are equipped with the skills to communicate their research with the public and demonstrate why the work they are doing is vital. We had an extremely talented group of participants for the competition. Roy has done a fantastic job so far and I’m sure he will do the University proud when he comes up against other fantastic PhD students from across the county.”
The results of the UK semi-final will be known in August and the national final takes place in Birmingham on 17 September as part of the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference.
Images, from top: Roy with Elizabeth Mills and Runner-up Maithili Shroff; Roy; Roy with the judging panel from left, Rebecca Erskine, Dr Jon Urch, Grant Hill and Professor Niamh Nic Daeid.