"3MT gives me the opportunity to share my research findings with others, and this can increase my confidence and self-determination to continue my research career," says Zhang Yalun, Champion of the HKU 3MT 2011.

"3MT has been an unforgettable experience. Although, at first I was apprehensive about the idea of turning what will be a 300-page thesis into a 3-minute presentation, I was immediately drawn to the challenge. The contest has sharpened my thesis direction, and opened up a valuable platform for me to continue to communicate the importance of literature and culture in our lives," says Lai Suet Lin Selina, 1st runner-up.

"Taking part in the 3MT competition was a tremendous experience and challenge. Boiling down years of research into a few short minutes is an arduous task - but so many professional and everyday settings call for precisely such conciseness. And it is in precisely this challenge that the 3MT competition has so much charm," says Aleksandr Borisovich Kogan, 2nd runner-up.

The inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition of HKU was successfully held on June 17, 2011. 43 research postgraduate (RPg) students competed for 3 prizes decided by the adjudicating panel and the People's Choice Award decided by audience ballot.

Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, 3MT is an academic competition that challenges RPg students to explain their research within 3 minutes to a general audience. 3MT celebrates the discoveries made by RPg students and encourages them to develop the skills to communicate the importance of their research to the broader community.

We were honored to have Professor Sarah Roberts-Thomson, Deputy Dean of the UQ Graduate School, and Dr John Strickland, former member of the HKU Council 1996-2011, serving on the adjudicating panel as external members. Internal members of the adjudicating panel included Professor John Bacon-Shone, Associate Director of the Knowledge Exchange Office, and Professor Ben Young, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, who served as co-chairmen, and Ms Trinni Choy, Acting Director of Communications.

Congratulations to all the winners of the HKU Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition 2011. They are:

(awarded a research travel grant or book prize of HK$7,000)

Name: Mr ZHANG Yalun
Degree Registered: PhD
Faculty: Medicine
Title of Presentation: Pax6 – A Novel Target in Stopping Alzheimer's Neuronal Death
Primary Supervisor: Dr Song You-Qiang

1st Runner-up
(awarded a research travel grant or book prize of HK$5,000)

Name: Ms LAI Suet Lin, Selina
Degree Registered: PhD
Faculty: Arts
Title of Presentation: Was Twain White? The Translational Frame of Blackness in the Work of Mark Twain
Primary Supervisor: Dr Kendall Johnson

2nd Runner-ups (each awarded a research travel grant or book prize of HK$3,000)

Name: Mr Aleksandr Borisovich KOGAN
Degree Registered: PhD
Faculty: Social Sciences
Title of Presentation: Intuitive Gene Detector
Primary Supervisor: Dr Cecilia Cheng

Name: Ms YUEN Kit Man
Degree Registered: MPhil
Faculty: Medicine
Title of Presentation: A Comparison of Influenza A Induced Apoptosis in Human Alveolar Epithelial Cells
Primary Supervisor: Dr John Nicholls

People's Choice Award (awarded a research travel grant or book prize of HK$3,000)

Name: Ms LI Yunzi
Degree Registered: MPhil
Faculty: Arts
Title of Presentation: Translating "Waiting"
Primary Supervisor: Dr Issac Yue

Please click here for the videos of their presentations.

In their closing remarks, both Professor Roberts-Thomson and Dr Strickland said that the quality of the research presented by the students was impressive.

"I hope that after the Competition, our students will find it a lot easier and enjoy talking about the relevance and significance of their research in layman's language to everybody. The experience will be valuable to all the student participants," says Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Paul Tam.

The HKU 3MT Competition was jointly organized by the Graduate School and the Knowledge Exchange Office. The assistance of The University of Queensland in launching the 3MT Competition at HKU is deeply appreciated.

Winners of the HKU 3MT Competition 2011 and members of the adjudicating panel
(From left) Professor Ben Young (Assistant Dean of the Graduate School), Yuen Kit Man (2nd Runner-up), Aleksandr Borisovich Kogan (2nd Runner-up), Zhang Yalun (Champion), Professor John Bacon-Shone (Associate Director of the Knowledge Exchange Office), Professor Sarah Roberts-Thomson (Deputy Dean of the UQ Graduate School), Dr John Strickland (former member of the HKU Council 1996-2011), Li Yunzi (winner of People's Choice Award) and Trinni Choy (Acting Director of Communications)