Three Minute Thesis Winner

This is the first time I participated in the 3MT contest and I am amazed by how much I have learned in the process. Based on feedback from the judges and other participants, my talk has “evolved” a lot during the three rounds of competition. I feel like I have gained a great amount of clarity about my research, and this is very useful for my career and my PhD.

When I prepared for my talk, I first asked myself: what are my key messages? These are the take home messages that I want my audience to remember. After that, I structured my talk using a technique called 4MAT. 4MAT is a communication technique designed to help engaging with audience of different learning types. This is a skill that I learned earlier this year during my participation in a global leadership program in Antarctica called Homeward Bound.

Coral reef field work during my PhD in Bolina, the Philippines.

I structured my talk so that it covered the questions of: 1) why my work is important? 2) what are the facts and data about my research? 3) How did I do the research? And 4) what are the future applications of my work? One thing I found important is go to the practice sessions and hear feedback from participants outside my field. Their feedback really helped me to see my research from a difference angle.

Science communication is one of my passions and this experience has taught me how to engage with audience outside my field. It was great to win the competition, but what I was most happy about, was that my messages on coral reef conservation can touch people’s hearts. Half of the world’s coral reefs have been lost in the last 30 years and I believe it is important for us to get the message out. My wish is to encourage more people to care for our coral reefs and to participate in collective actions to save our reefs.

Watch Wing's winning performance here.

More information on the Three Minute Thesis can be found here.

Wing Chan, PhD student.