3 minutes, courage and right words needed in thesis contest

Erica Dufort-Lafrancois, TRU finalist last year. (TRU photo)

Erika Dufort-Lafrancois, TRU finalist last year. (TRU photo)

NEWS/ TRU — Three minutes and a lot of words — the right words.

Thompson Rivers University will host the 3MT Western Regional Championship on April 30 in the Black Box Theatre.

The event is free and the community is encouraged to attend for a glimpse into some of the research taking place at universities in Canada. Each participant has three minutes to explain his or her body of work before a live audience. The only tools they have at their disposal are a single static slide and a lot of courage.

Up to 16 of Western Canada’s most accomplished graduate students will be welcomed to TRU, where they will test their ability to explain their work — succinctly — to a non-specialist audience. The winner of the 3MT Western Regional Championship will go on to compete at the Canadian championship.

This is TRU’s second time participating in the event. Last year, TRU’s finalist and Master of Environmental Science student Erika Dufort-Lefrancois took first place at the Western Regional Championship hosted by the University of Calgary. She admits to having been nervous about moving forward to the regional competition from her “small university.”

“It helped to show me I was still getting the same opportunities afforded to students at the larger universities,” she said, adding that the process was enriching.

Dr. Will Garrett-Petts, Associate Vice-President of Research and Graduate Studies, said the timing for the event couldn’t be better.

“With 2015 marking a decade of graduate programming at TRU, our students and our faculty have worked hard to create rich and engaging research programs, and this is our chance to open our doors and showcase our achievements to the world.”

The first 3MT was held at the University of Queensland, Australia, in 2008 with 160 students competing. Since 2011 the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in at least 170 universities across more than 18 countries worldwide. There are 32 universities in Canada competing in the event.

About Mel Rothenburger (9652 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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