School of Law

Three-Minute Thesis Competition!

The College of Law and Management Studies (CLMS) has hosted a Three-Minute Thesis (3-MT) competition for its PhD students.

The contest will also take place later this year in UKZN’s other Colleges with all the winners and runners-up then going forward to compete for a place in a national competition.

UKZN was invited by the University of the Free State to participate in the 3-MT competition which is being held virtually.

Billed as a research communication competition, it was developed by the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia and involves Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students being given three minutes to do an oral presentation on their research and its significance.

Competitors are challenged to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries in such a way that they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience.

In the CLMS competition, the judging panel comprised the College Dean of Research, Professor Colette Muller, and leaders of each School – Professor Pfano Mashau of the Graduate School of Business and Leadership; Professor Shannon Bosch of the School of Law; Professor Isabel Martins of the School of Management IT and Governance, and Professor Josue Mbonigaba of the School of Accounting Economics and Finance. A variety of academics made up the audience.

Said Muller: ‘Participants were judged on the comprehension and content of their presentations and on their engagement and communication with the audience. Critically, it was essential that the thesis topic and its significance were communicated in a way that made a non-specialist audience understand the research and want to know more.

‘Overall, the competition really challenges competitors to not only have a thorough grass roots grasp of their research but to also hone in on their ability to present concisely in the very limited time frame without using any sophisticated animation or other aids on the single PowerPoint slide they are permitted.’

Winner Ms Judy Gounden and runner-up Ms Lorraine Muguto will now compete against the winners and runners-up from the other Colleges with the overall winner and runner-up going on to participate in a national competition in October.

‘I am extremely excited and honored to have won,’ said Gounden. ‘I am certain I will be faced with a number of astute students with remarkable research projects and look forward to learning from them. I plan to spend sufficient time practising and preparing for the finals.’

Said Muguto, ‘I am really excited to be taking part in this competition – such a wonderful honor and experience. My strategy going to the next level is to present my thesis as a story that it is, anchored with passion and persuasion.’

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photographs: Supplied