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An 80,000 word thesis would take 9 hours to present. Their time limit… 3 minutes!

Seventeen doctoral candidates from across all faculties competed in the UCL Three Minute Thesis Final hosted by the Students’ Union on 12 June 2019 in the Christopher Ingold XLG2 Auditorium. After already competing in Faculty heats between February and May, the winners and runners-up form the heats progressed to the grand final.

The finalists had just three minutes to present their research in language appropriate to non-specialists, and with only one single presentation slide to support them. The panel of judges decided on the overall winner and runner-up by scoring finalists against specific criteria set out by 3MT®. The great thing about 3MT® is that the audience got a choice too; alongside the judges winners, there was a People’s Choice ballot where the audience could vote for their winner. A massive congratulations to all the finalists but a special congratulations to:

Meredith Martyn - UCL 3MT® Winner 2019

Meredith is from the Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology and her presentation led to Meredith being awarded as UCL 3MT® Winner 2019. Meredith will now go on to compete in the 3MT® online national semi-finals and could progress to be one of only six finalists in the UK 3MT® Final. Good luck Meredith!

Meredith Martyn - Winner

Inefficiency in Cancer Clinical Trials

Ever wonder how drugs make it from initial discovery to the hands of patients? Research quality between these steps is of the utmost importance, especially in life-threatening diseases such as cancer. Choosing the correct clinical trial design to evaluate the effectiveness of a newly discovered drug is vital in order to avoid misleading conclusions. However, lack of guidelines mean researchers choose designs for the wrong reasons. This is exactly what Meredith aims to improve.

Francisco Rul-Lan - UCL 3MT® Runner-up 2019

Francisco, from the Department of Computer Science was selected as runner-up by the panel of judges. 

Francisco - Runner-up

Inverse problems for medical imaging

In the core of every medical imaging technique lies a mathematical model. This mathematical model allows to transform the information from signal measurements to an image and vice versa. It has two parts: Forward model & Inverse model. Both parts are needed in order to obtain the final image. In his PhD project, Francisco has studied a particular medical imaging modality known as Photoacoustic Tomography. They have developed a novel way to solve its underlying mathematical model and implemented a prototype computer software that uses my solution to obtain the photoacoustic images.

Isobel Wilson - UCL 3MT® People’s Choice Winner 2019

The People’s Choice Winner was Isobel from the Chemistry Department. 

Reducing Waste with Electrosynthesis

The chemical industry produces waste at an alarming rate, with countries around the world failing to meet their 2020 targets for chemical waste reduction. Urgent action is required. Using electricity in replacement of chemicals during reactions can help reduce waste, however this is not a common technique used by the chemical industry. Isobel’s research intends to demonstrate the many benefits of using electricity in chemical reactions. If successful, their thesis will bring us one step closer to electricity being widely used in the chemical industry and thus help to reduce the amount of chemical waste produced.

Huge congratulations to all our winners!

Lastly, a big thank you to our panel of judges: 

  • Simon To - Leadership Development and Change Manager (Students’ Union UCL)
  • Kasia Bronk - Academic Development Consultant (Doctoral Skills Development Team)
  • Dan Kelberman - Senior Research Associate (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health)