Three Minute Thesis contest praised as 'fantastic' success

  • Date

    Tue 30 May 23

People's choice winner Rasha Elsawy ,winner Norman Riley, runner-up Christy Abbadasari

A crunch competition that saw students face off in a thrilling thesis contest has been branded a “fantastic” success.


The Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) saw nine PhD students present their research to judges in front of a packed room - with the winner taking home £200.

Returning as an entirely live event for the first time since 2019 - The Three Minute Thesis competition also sees winners go through to a national knock-out.

This year’s top prize was clinched by Norman Riley, from the Department of Sociology.

His presentation – A Working Class Vegan is Something To Be? Perceptions of Veganism in a Northern Town – explored how he was researching how communities could adapt to a plant-based diet.

You can watch a version of his presentation above.

He said: “I decided to enter the 3MT as I wanted to challenge myself to do something I knew would be incredibly nerve-wracking.

“I did not appreciate just how tough it would be and on the morning of the event I almost pulled out. However, I pushed myself to do it without ever having any inkling I might win.

“Doing the presentation felt like simultaneously the longest and shortest three minutes of my life. When my name was announced as the winner, I was genuinely shocked.

“Other competitors were fantastic and to be chosen as the winner from such an excellent field is an honour.”

The runner-up Christy Abbadasari, from the School of Health and Social Care, won £100 for her talk - The Perspective of Advanced Nurse Practitioners Who are Employed by General Practitioner Surgeries or Primary Care Networks in Managing Care Home Visits in England.

Essex Business School's Rasha Elsawy took home £100 and The People’s Choice prize for her thesis, Smartwatches Retention, Personality Begins where Adoption Ends.

Professor Leanne Andrews: “In my role of Faculty Dean (PG) (Science and Health) I’ve had the pleasure of serving as a member of the judging panel for the Three Minute Thesis Competition for a number of years.

“It’s always fantastic to see our doctoral students present their varied and exciting research in three minutes, and this year was no exception.

“The passion and dedication for their research were very evident, with all participants embracing the opportunity to share their knowledge.

“It was wonderful to see the level of audience members present this year, creating a supportive multidisciplinary environment, who also played a role in selecting the ‘audience choice winner’.

“I look forward to the event next year and encourage other doctoral students to take part.”