Paediatrics and child health PhD student Balarka Banerjee will be travelling to the University of Queensland in September to represent The University of Western Australia in the Trans-Tasman Three Minute Thesis challenge after being awarded the University title.
Balarka competed against 10 finalists from UWA faculties to win top honours for presenting an engaging and dynamic talk on his thesis topic and its significance in three minutes. To make the challenge more difficult, students were allowed just one lecture slide, and no other props.
Balarka Banjerjee's presentation ‘Lung Transplants - making the second chance count' held the judges attention as he explained his work to combat chronic rejection.
"Imagine waking up every morning and knowing you are about to die... and then you get a second chance," was Balarka's opening statement.
The runner-up was Ryan Dempster from the Oceans Institute, with his presentation ‘The role of electro-reception in the feeding behaviour of sharks'.
The Three Minute Thesis competition is open to Masters and Doctoral students and is judged on three criteria:
- Communication style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience
- Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research
- Engagement: did the oration make the audience want to know more.
Competition organiser Dr Krystyna Haq said UWA's first year involvement in the competition was successful in its aim of developing academic and research communication skills.
"The quality of the presentations was fantastic. Summarising several years of complex research into a three-minute presentation is an incredibly difficult task and students did a wonderful job. I wish Balarka success in the finals," she said.