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The University of Southampton
Doctoral College

Three Minute Thesis Competition

Three Minute Thesis Grand Final

The Southampton Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is one of many such competitions held world-wide and 2020 was our seventh year of Three Minute Thesis at Southampton. The competition runs annually as part of our Festival of Doctoral Research, and this year we held the competition online.

The University 3MT winner, runner up and people's choice winner were announced at the Doctoral College Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 30 June 2020, by Professor Chris Howls, Director of the Doctoral College.

Finalists were competing for:

1st Prize - £500 to support their research
2nd Prize - £250 to support their research
People’s Choice - £500 to support their research

The Winners

University 3MT Champion

James Easton, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (School of Chemistry)

Runner up

Daniel Wallace, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (School of Engineering)

People’s Choice

Daniel Wallace, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (School of Engineering)

Judging Panel

Allison Stratford, Head of Corporate Communications

Jo Lisney, VP Education & Democracy, SUSU 

Kieron Broadhead, Executive Director of Student Experience 

Mylene Ployaert, Head of Research Funding Development, Research and Innovation Services 

Nikhil Mistry, Research Fellow, School of Ocean and Earth Sciences (and PeRU Associate) 


Congratulations to all our finalists!

Just scroll down to watch the 3MT University finalists in action!

*University 3MT Champion*

Modelling the Shape of Love - James Easton, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (School of Chemistry)

"I’m investigating oxytocin, also known as the love peptide! It is the hormone responsible for making us feel close to our romantic partners, children and even our pets! I’m using a computer to investigate the different shapes that oxytocin can form and trying to use that information to help develop new medicines."

*Runner Up and People's Choice Winner*

Private Personal Sound Zones - Daniel Wallace, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (School of Engineering)

"Normal loudspeakers tend to fill the room with sound, but this isn't always beneficial when privacy is a concern. If you're using an intercom at a bank counter, you probably don't want everyone else nearby hearing how much money you've got. The systems I'm researching use several speakers to focus sound towards you, and can focus extra background noise towards eavesdroppers, so that speech is loud and clear for you, and nobody else. We can tailor this background noise to be appropriate to different environments, to make sure it's not annoying or distracting, whilst still preserving your privacy."

Controlling Buruli ulcers: Would a rapid diagnostic test help? - Fatumah Atuhaire, Faculty of Social Sciences (Mathematical Sciences)

"Buruli ulcer (BU) is a neglected tropical skin disease caused by infection with a bacteria known as Mycobacterium ulcerans. The mode of its transmission into the skin has not been fully clarified. Prevention and control of BU depends on quick diagnosis and early start of treatment. A rapid diagnostic test (RDT) had been proposed as an aid for testing and timely reception of results. My research has formulated a mathematical model to evaluate the cost effectiveness of implementing the RDT. Our findings will be instrumental to policy makers on decision making on whether the RDT is feasible for remote rural setting where the disease is most common."

What Happened to Seaton Snook? - Peter Falconer, Faculty of Arts & Humanities (School of Music)

"I am creating an online archive of sounds and music from a quasi-fictional abandoned seaside town in the North East called Seaton Snook. The site showcases techniques found in the field of Sonic Journalism, a field which is an important and powerful tool in discovering and disseminating information, but which is often overlooked in our society's preoccupation with the visual image. By using these techniques in an artistic context, I aim to demonstrate the importance of engaging with disenfranchised and neglected communities directly through their music and culture, in order to encourage a more inclusive dialogue on other socio-economic issues."

Therapy after Stroke: How much is enough? - Beth Clark, Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences (School of Health Sciences)

"People who have had a stroke benefit from Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy after stroke, with guidelines recommending that 45 minutes of each therapy is delivered daily.  These guidelines are based on expert consensus and audit result show that they are not always achieved.  This research examines two questions.  Firstly, it considers the evidence for time spend in rehabilitation after stroke, by undertaking a systematic review with meta-analysis.  Findings suggest that more time spent in therapy does not result in significant improvement, unless it is a large amount of additional therapy.  The second question considers why some people who have had a stroke don’t receive the recommended 45 minute minimum.  Therapists participated in a Delphi study, which aims to gain consensus for reasons why someone may not receive the recommended minimum amount of therapy following stroke."

Follow the links below for photos/videos and more info on previous competitions.

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