Winning the 3MT Award at the 2017 Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA) Conference

LabakeCongratulations to Omolabake Fakunle for winning the 3MT award in Scotland recently. Here she tells us her experience and some tips for presenting your research in a clear and engaging way:

I was delighted to have won the 3-Minute Thesis competition on 22 November 2017 at the SERA conference held in Ayr, Scotland. I believe my success at the 3MT competition is underpinned by preparation and practice. As part of my preparation, I had attended 3MT competitions held at my university. At the time, I did not feel ready to participate in the competition as my research was at its early stages. I was however very interested to present in the future 3MT. I took notes of the strengths of the different presentations. I also watched several 3MT presentations online. I read tips and examples available on the resource page of the University of Queensland Australia where the 3MT started in 2008. Additionally, I carefully considered what content to use for my one PowerPoint slide required to provide an effective visual image to convey my research to the judging panel and to the audience. I practised my written pitch and asked for feedback about my delivery and timing. My ten-year old daughter was my biggest critic ā€“ and very much rooting for me to win!

For the 3MT competition, I used a 3-point strategy to (i) use imagery to draw in the audience, (ii) provide clear and concise details about the context of my research and (iii) conclude with a focus on the impact of my study.


  1. Introduce my research with a single image

I used the image of a landmark construction in Scotland, the Queensferry Crossing [bridge], to depict the importance of education as an important bridge to a lifetime of destinations in terms of lifelong learning and enabling access to the labour market, otherwise described by many as employability. This relates directly to the focus of my research exploring international student perspective of developing their employability while undertaking their masters-level study abroad.

  1. Explain my research

I spoke about the gap in the literature and the contribution my research is making in the field of internationalisation of higher education. I gave a summary of the context of my research and its participants.

  • Impact of my research

In conclusion, I related how my findings are significant to educators, practitioners and policy makers who are stakeholders in the delivery of higher education to an international cohort of students in a globalised world.

It was great to explain my research in less than three minutes in front of a judging panel and staff and students from different universities in Scotland ā€“ and to win!

I am truly grateful for all the good wishes from my mentors and colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, the U21 FINE leadership team, friends and family!


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