The King’s Three Minute Thesis Grand Final which took place on 28th April 2022 gave a wonderful insight into the captivating and prodigious research taking place at King’s.

A total of 14 PhD students across the King’s faculties took on the challenge of presenting their research to a lay audience within three minutes, using a single slide. This year, the four faculty heats were held online and eight participants went through to the Grand Final held in-person in the Bush House Auditorium during the Spring PGR Induction.

Julia Fajardo-Sanchez was selected as the King’s winner and has been put forward for the Vitae National Quarter Finals. The King’s Judges said Julia’s engaging presentation was “inspiring”, persuasive, and her stage presence was “excellent”. Julia is based in the Department of Life Course Sciences within the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, and her 3MT is titled Seeing the Whole Picture.

Here are Julia’s thoughts on her King’s 3MT experience:

Julia Fajardo Sanchez

The Three-Minute Thesis experience has been absolutely amazing. The team organizing the competition helped us along the way and all the criteria was made available on time. I felt very comfortable during the heats as the team encouraged us and made us feel at home between our peers. I knew it is a worldwide competition that can increase the exposure on your research and with that in mind, I decided to compete. If there are two things that, no matter what the result, we can all get out of participating is to increase your confidence by speaking in public and to engage even more with the purpose of your research by bringing the essence of your work to the public. I am definitely grateful for the opportunity, and I recommend it to everyone who would like to try it!”

Alex Martin, from the Department of Psychology in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, was the Runner-up this year as the judges were highly impressed with her ability to convey the human angle on the need for her research very persuasively. Alex’s 3MT is titled the Role of the Father in Reducing Risk of Depression within Families.

Here are Alex’s thoughts on her King’s 3MT experience:

Alex Martin

“It has been an absolute honour to take part in the 3MT competition. I would strongly encourage others to take part. First, the process of developing my talk for a lay audience gave me the opportunity to ‘zoom out’. This gave me insight into my own research which I didn’t have before, having been immersed in the detail for so long. I really enjoyed reflecting on why my research matters outside of our academic bubble. Second, taking part has opened several doors. I will be collaborating with the DTC to develop a workshop on presentations. I have also shared the talk with several charities and was asked to develop a blog for them to publish – so my research has had real-world impact as a direct result of the 3MT competition. Third, taking part has been really good fun! Congratulations to the other contestants for such interesting and engaging talks – and to the very deserved winner!”

Nigel Eady, Director of Research Talent at King’s, and Chair of the Grand Final Judging Panel, said:

“Both Julia and Alex really engaged the audience in the first few moments of their talks. The simplicity of the images they used was powerful and they immediately drew you in, wanting to know more. Julia also used the stage effectively and both she and Alex explained the human angle on the need for their research very persuasively. As with all the best presenters, they deployed the minimum of technical language, leaving us as an audience feeling we had learned something new and feeling inspired at the amazing work of King’s postgraduate researchers.”

Tom Rusbridge, Research Staff Development Consultant, and Judge of the Grand Final, said:

“The winning presentation captured what 3MT is all about. Julia had a witty and memorable hook to draw the audience in, explained the rationale and process of research clearly, and used accessible language throughout. To cap it off, the presentation was confident and engaging in spades. I wish Julia every success at the national semi-final.” 

Watch the King’s 3MT finalists’ presentations and read about previous finalists’ experiences and advice for future participant below.

Learn about last year’s 3MT winner, Curie Kim who went on to represent King’s at the Vitae National 3MT Quarter Final Competition in the blog post titled King’s 3MT Grand Final 2021. You can also view the King’s 3MT finalists from 20142017, 2018 and 2020.