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Contests to showcase brevity and brilliance

Academics and students are gearing up for two rapid-fire competitions that will cap off the University of the Sunshine Coast’s 2015 Research Week on Thursday 16 July.

The final day of the University’s annual research showcase at USC’s Innovation Centre auditorium will see 26 USC researchers across diverse fields rise to the challenge of summarising their projects in either three minutes or just 60 seconds.

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition from 10am to 10.45am will see nine Higher Degree by Research students explain their complex work in 180 seconds.

Topics this year range from doing without bosses, eating attitudes and behaviour, urban stormwater quality, environmental art, and developing futures in DNA.

USC Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Roland De Marco said the aim of this contest was for students to engage a general audience with dynamic summaries of their research.

"It gives the students valuable research training experience and skills development," Professor De Marco said.

The 3MT presentations will be followed from 11.15am by the ‘A Minute to Win It – My Research in 60 Seconds’, where 17 USC academics will present their work in an informal and fun fashion.

Their topics will range from avoiding workplace injuries, beating breast cancer, and playful aggression in early childhood to the efficient loading of timber trucks, the Lance Armstrong doping saga and the effect of holiday recollections on women’s job satisfaction.

Professor De Marco, who will be one of the contestants tomorrow, said the competition challenged researchers to put across a core idea much more succinctly than would usually be the case.

The theme of USC’s 2015 Research Week has been ‘integrate innovate inspire’.

— Terry Walsh

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