Unique final delivers surprises and a close contest

Posttraumatic stress researcher Alex Canty has won the Flinders University 3MT for 2020, heading an all-women suite of finalists for the first time since the University has participated in the initiative.

Ms Canty, from the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work, shared her research in a talk ‘PTSD, is it all about perspective?‘ In a different approach to the disorder, rather than researching sufferers with past experiences, she is taking a step back to try and understand how PTSD could be produced from a person’s perspective on situations they are confronted with.

Her presentation captured attention immediately with a surprisingly confronting slide, which was not what it seemed. Only in her first year of candidature, the judges were impressed with Ms Canty’s ability to communicate the impact of her research at such an early stage. View her presentation from 47:10 in the 3MT final recording here.

Ms Canty won $2,000 for her efforts, and will now move forward to the 2020 Virtual Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition on Thursday 1 October, competing for the chance to win the grand prize of a $5,000 travel grant.

The Flinders University final was held on Thursday 6 August, with eight finalists presenting their pre-prepared videos to an in-room audience and many others who attended the event virtually.

Dani Milos, Research Higher Degree Education Coordinator in the Office of Graduate Research, said the University’s event organisers “decided that despite the pre-recorded virtual nature of the videos this year, we would still hold live events to air the videos to the judges and audience, and to interview the competitors.”

“This ensured competitors had similar experiences to the usual competition, with practice sessions, interactions with each other and with the 3MT trainer. It also meant that we kept the buzz around the competition and encouraged audience participation.”

In another first, two joint Runner-ups were chosen by the judges this year – Ellen Fraser-Barbour from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and Kari Vallury from the College of Medicine and Public Health. Each took away $1,000 in cash. The judges found a single Runner-up prize too close to call this year, particularly with only a half-point difference between the top three.

Ms Fraser-Barbour spoke on the topic ‘Don’t we all deserve to feel safe at home?‘ and Ms Vallury spoke about ‘Understanding perceived abortion stigma in Australia’.

A People’s Choice winner was selected by the audience (winning $500), with the honour going to Reem Alothmany of the College of Business, Government and Law, on the topic ‘Healthcare superheros vs human resource super-zeros!’

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences featured prominently in the final event of the competition, hosting three of this year’s finalists.

Entrants in the annual 3MT competition are tasked with the challenge of refining their PhD research project into an engaging talk under three minutes in length, which effectively conveys their project to peers and the wider community.

Judges for the 2020 grand final who generously donated their expertise and time were Marc Lyell, Business Manager Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd;  Dr Jane Cocks, psychology, stress, resilience and games for wellbeing consultant; and Professor Tara Brabazon, Flinders University Dean of Graduate Research.

Flinders University 2020 3MT finalists:

College of Business, Government and Law:
Reem Alothmany (supervised by Dr Zhou Jiang)
Tricia Rushton (supervised by Associate Professor Hossein Esmaeili Khabr)

Education, Psychology and Social Work:
Vanessa Alexander (Associate Professor Kerry Bissaker)
Alex Canty (Professor Reginald Nixon)

Medicine and Public Health:
Kari Vallury (Professor Paul Ward)

Nursing and Health Sciences:
Tazrina Chowdhury (Professor Paul Arbon)
Ellen Fraser-Barbour (Associate Professor Ruth Walker)
Morgan Pankhurst (Professor Michelle Holland)

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