Young minds shine in 3MT competition

Gemma Sharp

A thought-provoking presentation on the reasons why women undergo genital cosmetic surgery has emerged as the winner of Flinders University’s 2013 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition, held on Friday (August 30).

School of Psychology student Gemma Sharp took out the prestigious title for a presentation on her PhD research, which aims to identify the social and cultural factors that influence women to consider labiaplasty, a plastic surgery procedure to alter the folds of skin surrounding the human vulva.

The annual 3MT Competition saw eight Flinders finalists battle against the clock – and their peers – to pitch a compelling oration on their thesis topic in simple, user-friendly language.

Representing the four faculties of Flinders, the finalists presented research on a range of subjects, including degenerative spine disease, the genetic determinants of cataracts, the use of marine sponges for anti-HIV drugs, gender diversity on boards and the dispositions of white teachers to their work in South Australia’s remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.

School of Humanities PhD candidate Emma Maguire, who delivered an insightful presentation into the commoditisation of girls’ autobiographies, came runner-up in the annual competition while Qi Yang from the School of Medicine won the people’s choice award for her work to find anti-HIV drugs in marine compounds.

This year’s judging panel included celebrity judge Dr Paul Willis, Director of the Royal Institution of Australia, Professor Jeri Kroll, Flinders University’s Dean of Graduate Research and Dr Sinead O’ Connell, Commercial Development Director of Flinders Partners.

In addition to a $2000 cash prize, Ms Sharp will now go on to represent Flinders at the Trans-Tasman 3MT final in Sydney in October.

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