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3MT contest in Luxemburg: 3 prizes for LCSB students

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Publié le jeudi 16 juillet 2020

Three PhD-students from the LCSB are awarded a prize for the best 3-minute video presentation of their research. The contest was organised for the first time in Luxemburg by the student’s association LuxDoc in order to promote various research topics to a general and non-scientific audience. The participants filmed themselves explaining their research taking no more than 3 minutes of time and using only a single slide as a visual support. 

Explaining science in only 3 minutes

Overall, 31 PhD-students from the University of Luxembourg participated in the competition. The presentations covered a broad range of topics, ranging from economics to space research. A judging panel composed of experienced members of the different faculties rated the presentations in addition to a poll in which all university members could vote. 

“It was an interesting experience and very different from a live presentation,” recalls Kobi Wasner, winner of the first prize and people’s choice voting who is currently a PhD student in the Molecular & Functional Neurobiology group. “I really enjoyed sharing my research with those who do not have any science or biology background, as I can see how interesting it can be for them,” he adds. In his video, Kobi explains how researchers at the LCSB are able to turn skin samples into stem cells to investigate Parkinson’s disease.  

A different format to present research

Researchers are generally used to comprehensive and very detailed presentations using a lot of scientific jargon, which is sometimes hard to understand even for scientists from other fields. At the same time, there is a high public interest in the research conducted at the university. To bridge this gap, LuxDoc decided to organise this 3MT contest for the first time in Luxemburg. The format was developed at the University of Queensland, Australia, in 2008 and nowadays is gaining increasing popularity. “We are very happy to have found several excellent partners. They kindly sponsored the event and made it possible to organise it in a short time”, says Miriam Fougeras, president of LuxDoc and part of the organisation team. 

The high number of uploaded videos shows that also the scientists from various disciplines also support the initiative to communicate science to the public. Although the majority of them was not familiar with that format of presentation, all participants made a great effort to present their research in an appealing, lively and understandable fashion.

“The way you need to design your presentation is actually quite different from what we are used to in the scientific community,” comments Sònia Sabaté Soler, PhD student in the Developmental and Cellular Biology group and one of the two LCSB laureates who received a runner-up prize. “It is more like you are explaining your research to a friend who is doing something completely different – but all in 3 minutes!” 

Laure Pauly from the Translational Neuroscience group who also received a runner-up prize adds:“It was a great opportunity for exciting others about my project and make them curious to know more. I can only recommend everyone to participate in such events!”

A compilation of all videos of the competition and further information can be found on the LuxDoc website.

Picture: ©LuxDoc asbl