2022 EDITION

Coimbra Group Universities are invited to submit their entries for the 2022 edition of the Coimbra Group 3 Minute Thesis Competition (3MT).

Rules for the Coimbra Group 3 Minute Thesis Competition

In principle, the University of Queensland Rules for videos apply to the Coimbra Group competition and have only been slightly modified for uniformity, comparability and technical simplicity. (https://threeminutethesis.uq.edu.au/resources/competition-rules).

Recordings from both physical and online competitions will be accepted, provided that the performance is carried out live (even if online) and that the video submitted is not the best version of several recorded ones.

  1. A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  2. No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  3. No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  4. Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  5. Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  6. Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  7. Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  8. The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  9. Coimbra Group additional rule: videos must be filmed at an institutional live 3MT events, and not be a “studio” recording. The presentation by the doctoral researcher must stand for itself: oral introductions at the event shall not be included, nor any opening credits by the producers.

Judging Criteria

The following criteria shall be applied in the local events, the initial procedure to determine the finalists as well as in the finals:

Comprehension and content

  • Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question
  • Presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research
  • Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes and impact of the research

Engagement and communication

  • The oration was delivered clearly, and the language was appropriate for a non-specialist audience
  • The PowerPoint slide was well-defined and enhanced the presentation
  • The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention

In judging the presentations, it should be understood that scholarly and scientific research is at the core of the activity. Thus, the findings, results and the evidence for it must play a significant role in the presentation. Mere claims and overstatements of any kind regarding the scientific findings and their consequences or relevance must be avoided.

Eligibility

The 3MT is about communicating research results, not mere research plans. Therefore, active doctoral researchers (i.e. prior to thesis defense, no graduates) are eligible to participate if and only if they have already achieved substantial research results that can and have to be presented in the presentation. Thus the target group most likely consists of doctoral candidates in the last year of their thesis. Presentations not reporting tangible results will be excluded from participation by the technical jury. Graduates are not eligible.

How to submit your entry for the Coimbra Group 2022 3MT Competition

Coimbra Group Universities should submit their entries by 31 March 2022. Videos should be accompanied by:

  • The contestant’s 3MT slide (illustrating the talk)
  • A cover slide containing:
  • the name of the university
  • the name of the contestant
  • the title of the presentation
  • the research area
  • The contestant’s email address

 Call for Participation 2022 Coimbra Group 3MT:

3MT Call_2022

2021 EDITION

On Tuesday 29 June 2021 Coimbra Group held the online final of its 5th edition of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, which has been developed by the University of Queensland and consists of effectively explain one’s research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

 

 

Our congratulations go to Dounia Ziyati, a PhD Candidate at the Doctoral Schools of the Universities of Montpellier Languedoc Roussillon, on winning the 2021 competition!  Through her brilliant talk “Compact PV-CSP hybrid systems: Expanding the global solar market beyond daylight power”, Dounia illustrated a valuable and economic model for the exploitation of solar energy.

 

 

 

Congratulations also to the runners-up of the competition, Favour Onyeogaziri, a PhD candidate at Uppsala University, and Robin Amsters, a PhD candidate at KULeuven, for their excellent research work and outstanding performance. Favour’s research focus on cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM), a neurovascular dysplasia affecting about 0.5% of the entire human population. Her thesis aims to study novel mechanisms in the pathogenesis and progression of CCM and identify novel therapeutic targets. Whereas with a presentation titled “Lighting the Way for Lost Robots”, Robin explained to our audience how his research work aims to help indoor robots localise themselves.

The performances of Dounia, Favour and Robin were assessed by a judging panel of five members from Coimbra Group universities on the basis of comprehension, content, engagement and communication. This year’s Coimbra Group 3MT jury included:

  • Maria Francesca Di Filippo: Winner of the 2020 Coimbra Group 3MT Competition, University of Bologna
  • Giulia Licini: Chair of Coimbra Group STEM Working Group and Professor of Organic Chemistry, University of Padova
  • Gerald Lind: Senior Professional, Doctoral Education/Early-Stage Researcher Development, University of Graz
  • Bevin Mcgeever: Chair of Coimbra Group Research Support Officers Working Group and ERC Research Projects Officer, Research Development Office, Trinity College Dublin
  • Riitta Pyykkö: Emerita Vice-Rector, University of Turku (Science Communication expert)

After the pitches of the three finalists, we had the pleasure to welcome, as guest speaker, the President of the European Council for Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (EURODOC), Giulia Malaguarnera. She presented the perspective of early-career researchers on Open Science, a timely topic the importance of which has been brought to the fore by the Covid-19 crisis.

“Open Science is just good science” – said the EURODOC’s president – “It is nothing new; it is a way to make research processes transparent”.

In a conversation with the hosts of the event, Ludovic Thilly and Stephan Schröder-Köhne, on the opportunities that Open Science can bring, Giulia Malaguarnera highlighted the barriers to embracing Open Science practices, from the point of view of early-career researchers. According to the latest EURODOC’s findings, there is still little awareness of Open Science and more training would be beneficial. When asked about the key recommendations with regard to a smooth and fast transition to Open Science, Ms Malaguarnera said “We need increased awareness. Don’t be afraid of training people in Open Science practices and don’t be afraid of sharing negative results. We do have the instruments – we just need to use them”. She concluded her talk by suggesting to set a date by which we decide to switch to Open Science.

The recording of the event is available here.

For further information about the 3MT competition.

 

 

 

2020 EDITION

Congratulations to Maria Francesca Di Filippo on winning the 2020 edition of the Coimbra Group Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition!

With a presentation titled “Functional properties of chitosan films modified by snail mucus extract”, Maria Francesca, a PhD candidate in biomimetic and material chemistry at the University of Bologna, talked to our audience about how her research work attempts to improve the properties of bioplastic to make it more competitive when it comes to replacing plastic. Her presentation is available on our YouTube channel.

Speaking on behalf of the competition’s judging panel, Riitta Pyykkö, Emerita Vice-Rector at the University of Turku, said that Maria Francesca’s presentation had the best balance between science, research and communication (…) on an interesting topic – not just for science, but for the whole world – and about which we want to find out more.”

Being able to communicate science is very important and, in the context of the European Commission’s policy developments, the European Research Area and the Horizon Europe programme, it has become one of the highest priorities as well as one of the most important aspects we have to tackle in the years to come”, said Anna Panagopoulou, Acting Director for Research & Innovation Outreach at the Directorate General for Research & Innovation of the European Commission, who attended the event and gave a talk about the newly launched Communication on the European Research Area.

A judging panel of five members from Coimbra Group universities assessed the finalists’ performances on the basis of comprehension, content, engagement and communication. This year’s gender- and discipline-balanced jury included:

  • Claudia Cavadas, Vice-Rector for Research at the University of Coimbra and Member of the Executive Board of the Coimbra Group (Pharmacology)
  • Pedro Garcia Sanchez, Faculty of Sciences, Algebra Dept., University of Granada (Mathematics)
  • Mr Jean-Marie Pincemin, Head International Office, University of Poitiers and Vice-Chair of the Doctoral Studies Working Group of the Coimbra Group (Humanities/Social Sciences)
  • Riitta Pyykkö, Emerita Vice-Rector, University of Turku (Science Communication expert)
  • Adriana Zait, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi (Economics)

Selina Bruns (University of Göttingen) and Vicente Artola Arita (University of Groningen) were the runners-up of this year’s final.

Selina, a PhD candidate in agricultural economics and rural development, presented her research about sustainable economic development of smallholder farmers in the larger Mekong Region. Her work aims to address what determines the differences in farm performance. You can watch Selina’s presentation here.

 

 

Whereas with a presentation titled “One size does not fit our hearts”, Vicente, a PhD candidate in medicine, explained how the aim of his thesis is to better characterize patients with atrial fibrillation to improve diagnosis, prevention and treatment in order to provide personalized counselling to the needs of each person. Vicente’s presentation is available here.

 

The three finalists gave an excellent performance – they were, after all, the winners of their own universities’ internal 3MT competitions.

The event was streamed live on our YouTube channel and the recording is available here.

The Coimbra Group 3MT competition was launched in 2017 by the Doctoral Studies Working Group, in line with one of their strategic priorities geared towards professional development of PhD candidates.
The network-wide competition consists of two phases: in the first phase, after holding their institutional 3MT competition, universities are invited to submit the video of the winner from their own internal competitions to the Coimbra Group office, which then launches an online voting procedure. This year, a total of 19 out of the 41 member universities of the Coimbra Group took part in the competition, and this in the context of a semester marked by university lockdowns, as Gunda Huskobla, the Chair of the Doctoral Studies Working Group, recalled when introducing the final. These universities submitted the video of their institutional winner and a total of 26 universities submitted their votes. Voters were requested to assign 3, 2 and 1 point(s) to their preferred top three candidates.  The live final is the second and last phase of the competition, where the three shortlisted candidates are assessed by a judging panel for a first, second and third prize of, respectively, € 3000, € 2000 and € 1000.

Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the 3MT competition consists of effectively explain one’s research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Competitors are allowed one PowerPoint slide, but no other resources.

For further information about the 3MT, please visit: https://threeminutethesis.uq.edu.au/home

This document provides the technical guidelines for the 2021 Coimbra Group 3MT competition as well as useful tips for your own institutional competition:

CG 3MT Call 2021

2019 EDITION

We are happy to announce that Ms Claudia Schmidt, a PhD candidate at the University of Goettingen, is the winner of the 2019 CG 3MT live final which took place at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow on 7 June 2019. A biology graduate, Claudia’s research areas are molecular biology and biochemistry, in particular biochemistry of membrane proteins. In just three minutes, she explained to our audience how her research look into the way our cells recycle, which is quite a challenge when the title of your thesis is “Reconstitution of Doa10-mediated ER-associated protein degradation with purified components”! Owen James (University of Edinburgh) and Femke Cnossen (University of Groningen) were the runners-up. Owen’s research work is in the area of regenerative medicine and stem cell biology. He talked to our audience about developing a humanised in vitro model of myelin formation using human pluripotent stem cells. As for Femke, her research is in the field of labour economics and her PhD thesis focuses on the impact of technology on the Dutch labour market. Their performances were outstanding and our audience truly enjoyed not only finding out about their research, but also the way they were able to communicate effectively their work to non-experts. The performances of the three 3MT finalists were assessed by a jury of five people composed by:

Dr Aneta Lipinska, Faculty of Management and Social Communication, Jagiellonian University of Krakow
Mr Jean-Marie Pincemin, Deputy Head International Office at the University of Poitiers and Vice-Chair of the Doctoral Studies Working Group of the Coimbra Group
Prof. Michel Verleysen, Louvain School of Engineering, Université catholique de Louvain
Prof. Adriana Zait, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi.
The jury was chaired by Prof. Patrick Gilli, President of the Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3.

Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the 3MT competition consists of effectively explain one’s research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Competitors are allowed one PowerPoint slide, but no other resources.

For further information about the 3MT, please visit: https://threeminutethesis.uq.edu.au/home

This document provides the technical guidelines for the 2019 Coimbra Group 3MT competition as well as useful tips for your own institutional competition: Call for participation 2019 edition

 

2018 EDITION

Congratulations to Khalil Shahramian, PhD candidate at the University of Turku on winning the first prize of the 2018 Coimbra Group Three Minute Thesis competition at the final that took place at the University of Salamanca last 1 June. Congratulations also to Jason Dydynski (University of Tartu) and to Nicola Seitz (University of Würzburg) on being the runners-up and to Constantina Theofanopoulou (University of Barcelona) for the participation.

An initiative of the Doctoral Studies Working Group, the CG 3MT competition first round took place in April. All CG Universities were invited to participate by submitting the video of the finalist from their own internal competition. 21 PhD candidates (from 21 CG Universities) took part in the first round. The panel was composed by the members of the Doctoral Studies WG, and, in the case of those universities with no representative in the Doctoral Studies WG, the CG Representative was invited to cast the vote on behalf of his/her university.

A total of 22 CG Universities submitted their vote. Voters were requested to assign 3, 2 and 1 point(s) to their preferred top three candidates.

 

2017 EDITION

The Coimbra Group held its first 3-Minute-Thesis (3MT) competition in 2017.

We are happy to announce that Mr Oisin McCormack (University of Padova, left on the photo) is the winner of the 2017 CG 3MT competition!

Ms Tanvi Butola (University of Göttingen, to the right) won the second prize while Ms Maddie Long (University of Edinburgh, in the middle) won the third prize. We wish to thank all three finalists for their outstanding performance!

Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the competition consists of effectively explain one’s research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Competitors are allowed one PowerPoint slide, but no other resources.

An initiative of the Doctoral Studies Working Group, the CG 3MT competition first round took place in April. All CG Universities were invited to participate by submitting the video of the finalist from their own internal competition. 20 PhD candidates (from 20 CG Universities) took part in the first round. The panel was composed by the members of the Doctoral Studies WG, and, in the case of those universities with no representative in the Doctoral Studies WG, the CG Representative was invited to cast the vote on behalf of his/her university.

A total of 21 CG Universities submitted their vote. Voters were requested to assign 3, 2 and 1 point(s) to their preferred top three candidates.

Tanvi Butola, Maddie Long and Oisin McCormack were the finalists of the first round. They then competed against each other at the live final which took place during the CG General Assembly at the University of Edinburgh on 9th June 2017.