Wound therapy Wins U21’s Global Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition

U21 is delighted to announce that Cody Frear from the University of Queensland has won first prize with his presentation ‘Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in Paediatric Burns; No No or Noo Noo’. 

The 3MT® competition, begun by the University of Queensland, one of Universitas 21’s founding members, transcends to a global level with U21. PhD students, having already been chosen as the 3MT® winner in their own University, are pitted against other winners from across the U21 network, to find an overall and a people’s choice winner.

Cody Frear - U21 3MT® Winner 2019

U21 is delighted to announce that Cody Frear from the University of Queensland has won first prize with his presentation ‘Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in Paediatric Burns; No No or Noo Noo’.  Cody’s research focuses on a vacuum treatment for burns in children which removes rogue cells and promotes the growth of new cells and blood vessels, healing children three days faster than those given conventional anti-microbial dressings. Cody said:

I was thrilled and not a little shocked to learn that I had won. The calibre of each and every presentation was superb, so it was an honour even to be placed in the same category as the other finalists.

After spending a good chunk of my life recruiting patients, collecting data, and stumbling my way through statistics, it has been phenomenally rewarding to see this work resonate with so many people.

3MT has pushed me to think a little bit harder about how I present and discuss my work. Like many young researchers, I felt a need in the past to "prove" myself during presentations--prove how hard I had worked, how knowledgeable I was, how many words I could fit on a single PowerPoint slide, etc. Thanks in large part to 3MT, I now take a more audience-centred approach, prioritising simplicity and employing narrative as well as humour to keep listeners engaged.

'Draw me a clock…'

U21 3MT 2019 Highly Commended - Emma Elliott

University of Glasgow

Emma Elliott - Highly Commended

The runner up was Emma Elliott from the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences.  Her research, ‘Draw me a clock…’ addresses how we assess memory and thinking problems after a stroke.  Specifically, she is looking at accuracy and feasibility of different cognitive screening tests in an acute stroke setting and how well they predict later outcomes.  She illustrates these problems in her talk, using the example of the test where patients are asked to draw a clock-face.

Emma said:

It has been a great opportunity to take part in a global competition and to have the support of the University of Glasgow behind me. The entries have been fantastic so I am delighted to have received the highly commended U21 3MT Award. I hope that my talk raises awareness of the psychological consequences of a stroke, as these issues have not received the same research attention as other aspects of stroke recovery.’

The Thief with many faces: Investigating Hepatitus B virus

U21 3MT People's Choice Winner - Chidinma Raymond

University of Nottingham

Chidinma Raymond, People's Choice Award

The 2019 People’s Choice, which had a record 9,300 individual votes, was won by Chidinma Raymond from the University of Nottingham’s School of Life Sciences.  Her thesis titled ‘The Thief with many Faces; Investigating Hepatitis B virus’ is designing new detection tests to combat the virus which changes its ‘face’ and make up in order to escape detection.  The virus currently causes liver damage and cancer in 292 million people across the world. Chidinma said:

My 3MT journey has been a priceless experience with incomparable benefits. Taking part in this 3MT has enabled me to engage actively with an audience, focusing on how my research benefits the general public. Presenting a 4-year research project in a concise and understandable way to a non-specialist audience has improved the quality and impact of my research and has developed my communication and engagement skills. Carrying on from here as a researcher, I hope to continually engage with the public about my research as well as inspire the next generation of researchers to do the same.

The panel of judges comprised Associate Professor Caroline Daley (University of Auckland) and Chair of the U21 Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies group; Sally Jeffery, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers Middle East and Global Education Network Leader; Kerrie Kennedy, Deputy Editor of The PIE News; Professor Laura Poole-Warren, University of New South Wales, and Professor Maria Pramaggiore, Dean of Graduate Studies, Maynooth University.

Professor Daley commented, ‘Cody Frear’s presentation was a perfect example of what the 3MT is all about. Incredibly important research, on paediatric burns, was explained to the judges (and the general audience) in an engaging, lively and at times humorous way. We were surprised, and entertained, by the Teletubbies references. Cody was a clear winner, and should be very proud of his outstanding presentation.’

Kerrie Kennedy, Deputy Editor of The PIE News, said ‘The calibre of entries was exceptional overall, and it is encouraging to know that there is an abundance of fascinating and potentially vital research being conducted by students of various backgrounds and disciplines all around the globe.’

Professor Bairbre Redmond, Provost of U21, remarked:

‘The U21 Three Minute Thesis continues to be one of the jewels in the crown of the network, showcasing the innovative and exciting research of our PhD students across the world.  At a time when we face a lot of global concern and uncertainty, the range and quality of research of these finalists and their real enthusiasm for their work offers great hope for the future. I congratulate all those who took part in the competition and particularly applaud Cody, Emma and Chidinma, who should be very proud to have come top in such an impressive field of candidates. I also thank the University of Queensland for their ongoing support with this important competition, which is much appreciated.’

All the U21 3MT® presentations can be seen here.

Connie Wan