On March 16, Manveen Kaur, a MSc student in the Applied Animal Biology program at the Faculty of Land & Food Systems, was one of eight graduate students at UBC to compete in the finals of the 2017 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. The title of her presentation was the “Effect of fat protected Vitamin B supplementation on bovine uterus.”
The first challenge was turning two years worth of work on their research project into a three minute speech, or about 450 words. The second was to keep it jargon-free and to present it in an interesting way for an audience with little or no experience in the topic. They were only allowed one slide.
At first, Manveen saw the 3MT as a good opportunity to develop her oral presentation skills. “It wasn’t until after I gave my speech and found out I won that I realized I was in a competition.”
Manveen entered the competition alongside her friend and fellow MSc student Laura Whalin, in the Animal Welfare program. “We were at the same meetings and we were able to bounce ideas off of each other.” It was the support from her fellow students and the LFS Learning Centre that helped Manveen and Laura reach the UBC finals.
For the second time, the LFS Learning Centre offered coaching and training sessions for grad students interested in the competition.An important part of that time was dedicated to getting the students feeling confident while talking about their research.
“In the Learning Centre, we believe that the ability for students to communicate effectively is an essential skill to have” says Cyprien Lomas, Assistant Dean, Learning Technologies. “Part of the coaching sessions we offered for the 3MT competition was to help grad students figure out why their research was important to them. Once they found that answer, it allowed for their passion to come out in their presentation and they really shined.”
Manveen will go on to represent UBC at the 2017 Western Regional 3MT Competition on April 28 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The regional competition will be live streamed at 11:00am PDT. Be sure to watch and vote for Manveen in the People’s Choice ballot!