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April 4, 2016
For immediate release

WATERLOO – Twenty doctoral and master’s degree students from across Ontario will travel to Waterloo on April 14 for the provincial finals of the Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT Ontario).

Hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University, 3MT Ontario will be held at the nearby Centre for International Governance Innovative (CIGI) starting at 10 a.m.

The 3MT is a communications competition for graduate students. Developed in Australia by the University of Queensland in 2008, the 3MT challenges students to explain their research in plain language in just three minutes. This is not an easy task considering a full graduate thesis can be 80,000 words in length.

“We are pleased to welcome some of the best and brightest graduate students from across the province to share their research with our community,” said Joan Norris, dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at Laurier. “The 3MT gives students the chance to hone their communication skills and show a potential employer that they can explain something very complex in simple terms.”

The 20 competitors in the provincial competition are all winners of local competitions hosted by every university in Ontario.

“I feel really lucky to have this chance to share the research that I'm so passionate about,” said Becky Earhart, a doctoral candidate in psychology and the winner of Laurier’s 3MT competition. “I think it's going to be a great event and I’m excited to learn about the interesting questions that young researchers across the province are studying.”

Sitting across from the competitors will be a panel of judges with a wide range of backgrounds and interests. Invoking images of “American Idol,” the 3MT Ontario judges will score the quality of the presentations and the presenters’ ability to engage the audience. The judges for the 3MT Ontario are:

  • Rob Baker, guitarist for the Tragically Hip
  • David Meyers, chief executive officer of Iceberg Vodka
  • Susan Anzolin, chief financial officer for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)
  • Ken Steele, chief futurist at Eduvation
  • Gohar Ashoughian, university librarian, Wilfrid Laurier University

The judges will select the winners of the 3MT Ontario, who will receive $2,000 in total prize money. As well, the top five presenters will move onto the national level, an online competition coordinated by the Canadian Association of Graduate Schools.

The 3MT Ontario will also feature Jim and Jennifer Moss, founders of Plasticity Labs and Canadian Business Magazine’s “Innovators of the Year for 2015.” They will be the emcees and bring their brand of humour and happiness to the event.

The 3MT Ontario event is free and the public is invited to see what young researchers from across Ontario are working on — three minutes at a time.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Michael Bittle
Communications Coordinator
Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

T: 519.756.8228 x4718

E: mbittle@wlu.ca

Kevin Crowley, Director
Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3070

E: kcrowley@wlu.ca

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