The fastest two minutes in sports takes place each May at Churchill Downs. The fastest three minutes in WSU academics is on tap for Wednesday, March 27 in Pullman.
Three Minute Thesis pits WSU doctoral students from eight colleges and one representative from WSU Vancouver in a competition to present their thesis and its significance in a compelling three-minute presentation.
The WSU community is invited to watch the nine finalists present at 1 p.m. in The Spark, and the event will be livestreamed online.
Three Minute Thesis began at WSU in 2014 as a College of Education competition. After serving as a judge for the inaugural event, provost Dan Bernardo recognized the value in making it a University-wide event.
“Three Minute Thesis is one of my favorite events of Showcase week,” Bernardo says. “In today’s society dominated by social media and threats to science-based policy making, it is critical for our scientists to communicate research in a form understandable to the general public. This competition provides an opportunity for our doctoral candidates to practice taking their complex research and distilling it into a concise and comprehendible message.”
Graduate School dean Lisa Gloss is also a major proponent for the Three-Minute Thesis, and has pledged support for the event through the Professional Development Initiative. Gloss says the benefits are felt on numerous levels.
“We’ve always talked about the elevator speech and I think 3-Minute Thesis is a really good professional play on that,” Gloss says. “It really teaches students to get to the essence of what is important about what they do. I think if we want to continue advocating for sustained or improved funding for higher education, we need to be able to produce students who can clearly articulate that.”
Faculty play a crucial role in preparing students for 3MT, and Gloss encourages the campus community to take part in one of the highlights of Showcase week.
“We’re academics, so we’re interested in new discoveries,” Gloss says. “Just attending is a really quick, fun, interesting way to learn about what’s going on, on our campus. The finalists last year were all very focused, poised and the talks weren’t overly dense. It’s just really impressive.”