University geared for Postgraduate Research Month

15 September 2010

G Byrnes

Professor Giselle Byrnes: Pro Vice-Chancellor (Postgraduate) says its a chance to celebrate students and supervisors, and highlight the importance of postgraduate research.

Waikato University is gearing up for its annual Postgraduate Research Month in October.

Postgraduate Research Month is an opportunity for the university to celebrate its postgraduate student researchers and supervisors, and highlight the importance of postgraduate research.

“Postgraduate research and supervision is a fundamental part of the university,” says Waikato University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Postgraduate), and Professor of History, Giselle Byrnes. “Research is the lifeblood of the university and postgraduate student researchers and their supervisors are highly valued members of our research community.”

During the month, the university will hold a range of events and activities to build awareness of postgraduate research and to further develop a strong postgraduate culture on campus. Activities include a student quiz night, an information evening, workshops for doctoral students and their supervisors, as well as faculty seminars and research conferences.

Prof Byrnes says the highlight of the month will be the Thesis in Three competition, which sees doctoral students outline their theses in three minutes. Participants are judged on their ability to effectively communicate their research and its significance to a general audience while using a single slide.

“With a first prize of $5000, which will go into a research account for the winner, the competition has already attracted a great deal of interest in the past and we anticipate even more interest this year,” says Prof Byrnes.

Thesis in Three heats will be held during October, with 10 finalists selected to compete in the final event on Wednesday October 27 at Hamilton’s Clarence Street Theatre. The finals will be hosted by New Zealand comedian Te Radar, and is free and open to the public.

Prof Byrnes says the university will also be running a doctoral workshop in Tauranga for postgraduate research candidates and supervisors in the Bay of Plenty.

Meanwhile, Waikato University PhD student and last year’s Thesis in Three winner Fiona Martin heads to Australia this month to take part in the Australasian version of the competition.

Ms Martin, whose research looks at dying words of characters in early modern English drama, will compete against doctoral students from 33 universities from New Zealand and Australia. The inaugural Australasian Three Minute Thesis competition runs September 20-21 and is held at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.

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