3MT Final

George Institute PhD students make it to 3 Minute Thesis Final

On Friday July 31, two of The George Institute’s talented PhD candidates, Dr Anthony Sunjaya and Thomas Gadsden were among eleven students from UNSW that competed in the first ever virtual 3 Minute Thesis Final (3MT).

This year’s final was a slightly modified virtual version of the competition in which each of the finalists were asked to record a three-minute video consolidating their research into a pitch that clearly and concisely explained why it is so important. The biggest challenge was paring down thousands of pages of research into a short, easy to understand clip. As always, the competition was fierce, and all the presenters were highly commended by the judges.

Anthony presented on his research which aims to optimise the diagnosis and management of breathlessness - a common symptom of so many diseases such as asthma, heart failure, lung disease, obesity and mental health issues - in primary care. He will develop an electronic decision support system to be trialled in health practices and evaluate its effectiveness in improving the quality of life of patients suffering from breathlessness.  

Anthony said competing as a finalist in the 3MT competition, “helped me develop public speaking skills and confidence in explaining my research in simple language. It has made me realise that to be able to help and actually impact the patients I am researching for, I need to be able to communicate my work in a way that’s understandable to a general audience.”

Thomas’s presentation examined the design of incentives for community health workers (CHWs) and their impact on motivation and performance. He will conduct a study in Indonesia to identify CHWs preferences, to see what motivates them and then trial different packages of incentives to see what is most effective.

“Participating in the 3MT taught me less is always more when explaining research, that humour helps, and that in this era video production skills are definitely important,” said Thomas.

Congratulations to both Anthony and Thomas for making it all the way through to the finals!