Past Competitions:

The 3MT event not only challenges me to articulate my study succinctly and transmit its significance effectively to the general community, it more importantly provides a valuable opportunity to improve my public speaking skill, which I believe can only be developed through actualization. Even if you have numerous presentation experiences in various (international) academic conferences throughout the course of your postgraduate study, even if you have tons of teaching experience, and even if you have always been so composed and confident when presenting your thesis to your academic fellows and supervisors, believe it or not, 3MT is an entirely different experience. The idea of speaking in front of people touches my nerves sometimes. The worst thing is, you do not know when and how it will get on your nerves! I was so tense on the day of the competition that I forgot my speech TWICE despite hundreds of rehearsals, but I learnt how to recollect myself quickly, which is not a lesson that you could have every day! I treasure such experience tremendously. I sincerely encourage everyone to participate in the 3MT competition. It's fun! You will benefit from it more than you would have imagined.
Ms Cassini Sai Kwan CHU
PhD, Social Sciences
Although I have explained my thesis to friends who are not interested in space or history before, I did not talk in the simplest language until I started writing my 3MT script. The competition was a great opportunity for me to learn to distill my thesis into a concise script of three minutes, using clear and effective vocabularies. It also helped me to deliver my arguments efficiently in my thesis. The competition was an extremely fun, rewarding and enjoyable experience. A number of people made it possible. My deepest gratitude goes to Dr Janet Borland, Prof. John Carroll, and most importantly, my primary supervisor Prof. Charles Schencking for their time, guidance, support and encouragement. I would also like to thank my teachers and friends from the Department of History for their advice and support. The comments they offered greatly enhanced the strength and colour of my script and presentation.
1st Runner-up and People's Choice Award Winner
Ms Phoebe Yin Hang TANG
MPhil, Arts
3MT was really a challenging competition for me, and I bet for other participants as well. The challenge was not coming from giving a presentation to strangers - in which for a final year postgraduate he/she should have given presentations at local or international conferences before. The challenge was from how to consolidate your research findings in only 180 seconds, and communicate to your audience effectively. I always believe that communication is a key component of research, and this is what makes your findings and results meaningful. Therefore, I did enjoy participating in 3MT, and I would encourage my friends to join next year to share their brilliant and hard work to the public. I must thank my friends and colleagues for practising with me and supporting me throughout the preparation and competition. I should give my special thanks to Dr Terence Ng, the champion of last year's 3MT, who gave me a lot of ideas on improving my presentation. And I also thank my supervisor, Dr Kenneth Leung, for giving me guidance and support throughout my study.
2nd Runner-up 
Mr King Yan HO
PhD, Science
Bringing our research to the public is just as important as the science itself. On the path of our PhD study, we are always encouraged to strengthen our communication and presentation skill. However, our target audience is mainly our fellow researchers in the same field, which could sometimes be merely a small community. The 3MT competition is a brilliant idea, as it reminded us that the ultimate goal of research is, indeed, to contribute new knowledge to society. The attention of the audience is short-lived nowadays in this fast-paced world - we normally do not get more than a few minutes before they start pulling out their phones. I have learned in this competition that to successfully maintain their attention, creativity is needed to translate our "alien" language and simplify the complex plot in an engaging way. I would like to express my greatest gratitude to my supervisors, Dr. C. J. Seneviratne and Prof. L. P. Samaranayake, for their guidance and support. I truly enjoyed sharing my research project with my fellow schoolmates, my family and friends ... and their friends.
Online People's Choice Award Winner
Ms Sarah Sze Wah WONG
PhD, Dentistry


Date of Competition: Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Schedule of Presentations:

Closing Remarks of Adjudicators

Videos of Candidates and Awardees

Members of the public, colleagues and students are cordially invited to vote for the most engaging presenter for the Online People’s Choice Award via YouTube until 1500hrs, June 24, 2013. You can vote for any one of the finalists below. The finalist with the most ‘LIKE’ votes on YouTube will be awarded a book voucher of HK$800.


Candidate No. 8

Ms Cassini Sai Kwan CHU
PhD, Social Sciences

1st Runner-up and People's Choice Award Winner

Candidate No. 32

Ms Phoebe Yin Hang TANG
MPhil, Arts

2nd Runner-up

Candidate No. 11

Mr King Yan HO
PhD, Science

Online People’s Choice Award Winner

Candidate No. 36

Ms Sarah Sze Wah WONG
PhD, Dentistry

Candidate No. 7

Mr Ian Tsz Yat CHONG
MPhil, Medicine

Candidate No. 9

Ms Ella Lai Fan FU
PhD, Education

Candidate No. 10

Ms Charmaine Kai Wing FUNG
MPhil, Social Sciences

Candidate No. 13

Ms Yuner HUANG
PhD, Engineering

Candidate No. 35

Ms Kwan Lam WONG
MPhil, Social Sciences

Candidate No. 44

Mr Oscar Wai Ho YEUNG
PhD, Medicine

News in Brief

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition 2013 of HKU was successfully held on June 11, 2013. This year 40 research postgraduate (RPg) students participated in the competition, and 10 finalists were shortlisted to compete for 3 prizes decided by the adjudicating panel and the People’s Choice Award decided by audience ballot. The Online People’s Choice Award was awarded to the finalist who received the most ‘LIKE’ votes on YouTube after the competition.

The 3MT was developed by The University of Queensland, Australia in 2008. It is an academic competition that challenges RPg students to explain their research within 3 minutes to a general audience. 3MT celebrates the discoveries made by RPg students and encourages them to develop the skills to communicate the importance of their research to the broader community.

Professor Paul Y S Cheung, Associate Vice-President of HKU, officiated at the final competition. Mr Man Cheuk Fei, HKU Council Member, and Ms Linda Yeung, Education Editor of the South China Morning Post (SCMP), served on the adjudicating panel as external members. Internal members of the adjudicating panel included Professor John Bacon-Shone, Associate Director of the Knowledge Exchange Office (KEO), who served as the Chairman of the panel, Dr Danny Chan, Associate Professor of the Department of Biochemistry, Professor Ying Chan, Director of Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC), Professor Nirmala Rao, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, and Professor Ben Young, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School. Professor Becky Loo, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, helped adjudicate at one of the parallel heats.

Congratulations to all the winners of the HKU 3MT Competition 2013. They are:

Champion (awarded research travel support or book prize of HK$7,000)
Name: Ms Sai Kwan Cassini CHU
Degree Registered: PhD
Faculty: Social Sciences
Title of Presentation: Compensated Dating
Primary Supervisor: Professor Karen Joe Laidler

1st Runner-up (awarded research travel support or book prize of HK$5,000); and
People’s Choice Award Winner (awarded research travel support or book prize of HK$3,000)
Name:Ms Yin Hang Phoebe TANG
Degree Registered: MPhil
Faculty: Arts
Title of Presentation: Selling Skylab: Dreams and Challenges
Primary Supervisor: Professor Charles Schencking

2nd Runner-up (awarded research travel support or book prize of HK$3,000)
Name: Mr King Yan HO
Degree Registered: PhD
Faculty: Science
Title of Presentation: Ecological and Human Health Risks Associated with Organotin Contamination in the Marine Environment of Hong Kong
Primary Supervisor: Professor Kenneth M Y Leung

Online People’s Choice Award Winner (awarded book voucher of HK$800)
Name: Ms Sarah Sze Wah WONG
Degree Registered: PhD
Faculty: Dentistry
Title of Presentation: Discovery of a “Magic Bullet” for a Deadly Fungus
Primary Supervisor: Professor L P Samaranayake

Cassini will represent HKU at the Trans-Tasman 3MT Competition hosted by The University of Western Sydney (UWS) in Parramatta, Sydney on October 18, 2013.

“Through participation in the 3MT, I hope that our young researchers are equipped for the challenge to promulgate their research discoveries concisely and precisely, and make a real impact on the world,” Professor Paul Cheung says.

The HKU 3MT Competition was jointly organized by the Graduate School and KEO. The support of JMSC in event production is deeply appreciated.

Awardees and finalists of the 3MT Competition with the officiating guest, members of the adjudicating panel and supervisors of the awardees and finalists.

(From left, back row) Professor Charles Schencking (supervisor of the 1st runner-up Ms Phoebe Yin Hang Tang), Professor Ben Young (Assistant Dean of the Graduate School), Professor Paul Cheung (Associate Vice-President), Professor Nirmala Rao (Associate Dean of the Graduate School), Mr Man Cheuk Fei (HKU Council Member), Dr Danny Chan (Associate Professor of the Department of Biochemistry), Professor John Bacon-Shone (Associate Director of KEO), Dr Jan van Aalst (supervisor of the finalist Ms Ella Lai Fan Fu)

(From left, front row) Ms Kwan Lam Wong (finalist), Ms Sarah Sze Wah Wong (finalist), Professor Ying Chan (Director of JMSC), Ms Yuner Huang (finalist), Ms Cassini Sai Kwan Chu (Champion), Ms Phoebe Yin Hang Tang (1st Runner-up and the recipient of the People’s Choice Award), Mr King Yan Ho (2nd Runner-up), Ms Linda Yeung (Education Editor of SCMP), Mr Ian Tsz Yat Chong (finalist), Ms Charmaine Kai Wing Fung (finalist), Ms Ella Lai Fan Fu (finalist), Mr Oscar Wai Ho Yeung (finalist)

2013 Trans-Tasman 3MT Competition

The 2013 Trans-Tasman 3MT Competition was held on Friday, October 18, 2013at The University of Western Sydney (UWS), Parramatta. Over 40 universities representing more than 50,000 PhD and Masters students in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Hong Kong competed in this competition.

The HKU 3MT 2013 Champion, Ms Cassini Chu, PhD candidate in the Faculty of Social Sciences, represented HKU in the 2013 Trans-Tasman 3MT Competition.

Photo Gallery