Three Minute Thesis® UC Chile 2021 Contest has a Winner!

Octubre 4, 2021

Vania Macías, a fourth-year student of Biological Sciences, was chosen to represent UC Chile in the international final organized by the U21 network.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a contest that challenges doctoral students to communicate their thesis to a non-specialized audience, speaking in English, and only in 3 minutes.

Since its origin in UC Chile, 181 doctoral students have participated in the competition organized by the Graduate School of the Office from the Vice President for Research. This year was in a virtual format for the second time. It had 200 spectators who followed the development of the competition via streaming.

“In this competition, the researcher must be able to transmit the result of his work clearly and persuasively. And demonstrating what’s the contribution to the people’s quality of life. The Three Minutes Thesis® is a window for the researcher. With joy and satisfaction, I observe the massive participation of our students in this contest”, says Ignacio Sanchez, president of UC Chile.

Choosing the winning project

The 9th version of the 3MT UC Chile® 2021 contest had 21 doctoral students who sent their videos during July to be evaluated by the pre-selection committee.

They chose eight finalists:

Vania Macías Calvio, a Ph.D. student in Biological Sciences, mention in Cellular and Molecular Biology, presented the project: "Neuroprotective role of reelin in Parkinson's disease."

The grand finale

The final evaluation process was in charge of the following jury:

They decided on the first and second place of the contest:

  • 1st place: Vania Macías Calvio, Biological Sciences, mention in Cellular and Molecular Biology.
    • Project: “Neuroprotective role of reelin in Parkinson’s disease.”
  • 2nd place: Nicolás Gálvez Arriagada, Biological Sciences, mention in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.
    • Project: “Winter is coming: maternal immunization against the respiratory syncytial virus.”

The winner, Vania Macías happily commented:

“I am pleased with this achievement because working on a thesis that requires regular laboratory tests has been complex during the pandemic. Fortunately, this year, we have come back little by little and continue with our projects. The challenge of recounting your years of work in just 3 minutes gives you perspective and focuses you on the essentials.”

“The experience of participating in Three Minutes Thesis® is necessary for the times we live in today. Never before has it been so urgent for society to understand scientific work. It is imperative to have access to information to make good decisions in a future as complex as what we are living today,” says Paloma Avila, a member of the 2021 jury.

The public’s favorite

While the jury’s deliberation, 385 people chose their favorite video in real-time through an online voting platform.

With 25% of the preferences, Isidora Suazo Gálvez won the public’s interest with her project “The genetic butterfly effect.”

The fourth-year Ph.D. student plans to do an internship abroad before finishing her program of studies.

“It makes us happy and gives us hope, knowing we have a large group of students interested in contributing to development. They can effectively spread to the world the relevance and scope of the research worked for months or years,” emphasizes Pedro Bouchon, Vice president for Research at UC Chile.

International Final

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition emerged in the midst of one of Queensland’s (Australia) most severe droughts. The residents were encouraged to time their showers by attaching a three-minute timer to the bathroom wall.

Inspired by this, University of Queensland Graduate School Dean Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson created the idea for the 3MT® competition.

In October, Vania Macias will represent UC Chile in the international final, organized by the U21 network.

On that occasion, the competition will be among the winners of 26 leading world-class institutions.

People’s choice voting will open on September 20th.

“Each year, it’s harder to choose a winner, which shows us that presentations quality increases with every competition and reflects the commitment of our students. Since UC Chile started the contest, students from 14 doctoral programs have participated. This allowed them to gain visibility to projects related to all areas of knowledge and creation,” says Diego Cosmelli, the UC Chile Graduate School director.