The annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Trent is back, and it is scheduled to be held on 22 March at The Venue, 286 George Street, 7 p.m.

3MT 2016 will see 19 masters and post graduate students (representing a diverse range of graduate programs) challenged to effectively communicate their otherwise esoteric research objectives to non-specialist audience in just three minutes, with only one presentation slide.

“Forcing participants to balance complexity and depth with clarity and concision, 3MT® hones skills that will benefit graduate students both within and outside of the academy,” says Dana Capell, Academic Skills Instructor, one of the organizers of the event.

From job interviews, to networking with colleagues at conferences, to conversations with family and friends, graduate students are often in situations where they must describe their research, explained Capell, and to communicate in language that is accessible and engaging to a non-specialist audience.

Further, the event also benefits students in a more tangible way, pointed out Capell. It is an opportunity for students to expand their curriculum vitae and portfolios.

Also, all participants take away a digital video clip of their presentations, and that according to her is a valuable addition to students’ applications and portfolios.

Besides, it offers an added benefit to showcase the wealth of diverse student ideas Trent plays home to, said Capell.

It promote dialogue between students across the disciplines and with the general public, she added, because the event is advertised widely and participants are able to share key insights from their research with a diverse audience.

It has also been reported by previous participants that it has helped them to prepare for conferences and interviews as well as to complete their thesis, it was shared.

Three Minute Thesis first came to Trent in 2013, and saw its first competition held at Bagnani Hall, Traill College. It was initiated with the effort of Trent Academic Skills Instructors, along with the Dean of Graduate Studies at the time, Joan Sangster.

“The objective of starting it was largely with the effort to help graduate students develop their professional skills,” reminisced Capell.

The First Place Winner will represent Trent at 3MT® Ontario on April 14 at Wilfred Laurier University. This competition includes representatives from almost all of the universities in Ontario.

3MT 2016 will be judged by the experts of namely-Joeann Argue, Executive Director, Electric City Culture Council; Mike Hendren, Executive Director, Kawartha Land Trust; Stephen Kylie, Barrister, Solicitor, Notary Public;Dorothy Taylor, Anishinaabe Kwe, Curve Lake First Nation; and Murad Younis, President and Chief Pharmacist, Westmount Pharmacy.

The event is organized by Dana Capell, Academic Skills, Dean Elaine Scharfe, School of Graduate Studies, and Alison Scholl, Community Relations.

It is funded by Community Relations, School of Graduate Studies, Academic Skills Centre,  Trent Graduate Students’ Association, Catharine Parr Traill College, Office of the President, and the Office of the Provost.

3MT® was begun at the University of Queensland in 2008 as part of an effort to encourage graduate students to develop their skills in communicating their research.

It has spread to universities throughout the world with students participating in a wide range of university, regional, and international competitions.