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NDSU Three Minute Thesis competition set for Feb. 1



More than 40 NDSU graduate students will present their research and vie for prize money in the annual Three Minute Thesis competition Feb. 1. The competition, sponsored by Sanford, is slated for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in NDSU’s Memorial Union. The presentations are open to the public.

This is the third time the NDSU the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies is hosting the event. Students were nominated by the faculty leadership in their majors to participate.

“In addition to content knowledge, the number one skill that employers want in a new hire is the ability to communicate well,” said Brandy Randall, associate dean of the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies. “The Three Minute Thesis competition gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to clearly communicate complicated ideas in a way that is both brief and interesting.”

The competition encourages students to bring their groundbreaking work out of the classroom or laboratory to share with the public. “This competition requires students to explain their work in common terms, which will prepare them for future careers,” Randall said.

The competition features graduate students from a variety of disciplines explaining the goals and value of their research in terms relevant to government officials, media, future employers and funding organization representatives.

A typical 80,000-word thesis would take nine hours to present; the competitors are given just three minutes. The winner will be awarded a $1,000 grand prize.

Australia's University of Queensland developed the first Three Minute Thesis competition in 2008, and the concept has spread to institutions around the world. More than 350 universities in more than 18 countries now hold competitions.

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