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Three Minute heroes selected

Birkbeck doctoral students competed in annual contest with Keith Jarrett taking the overall £500 prize.

Eight doctoral students that competed in annual contest with Keith Jarrett.

The presentation skills of Birkbeck’s PhD students were highlighted at the annual Three Minute Thesis competition, which celebrated some of the exciting research being conducted at the College.

More than 50 guests attended the event to see Keith Jarrett (Department of English and Humanities) named overall winner for his entry, “The migration of meaning: writing a new London Caribbean culture".

Keith, who also studied for his Creative Writing MA at Birkbeck, is a seasoned performer and a former UK poetry slam champion. He said: “It was a wonderful opportunity to hear from other Birkbeck PhD students from a wide range of disciplines. I was impressed by the breadth of the presentations, and at how much you can gain from listening to three minute summaries.

“I was shocked to win against such strong competition! I'm inspired to find out more about the other researchers' work. Maybe now I'll be able explain to my family what it is exactly I do,” added Keith, whose script Safest Spot In Town was dramatised for BBC Four in August last year. He collected a £500 prize for his win.

It is the second time Birkbeck has staged a Three Minute Thesis competition following last year’s launch, and this year it has been combined with a poster competition. The event, which took place in the lecture theatre within the Clore Management Centre,  offers doctoral  students a chance to prepare their presentation abilities and share the key elements of their research, in an accessible and inspiring way.

Runner-up Cathy Rogers (Department of Psychological Sciences) was awarded a £250 prize for her talk “Freedom and control: how do children achieve their creative goals?”.

There was a tie for the People's Choice prize between Pavni Kohli (Department of Geography) for “Looking beyond fear in Delhi: Mapping women's everyday life” and  Raul Valdivia (Department of Cultures and Languages) with "Picturing Utopia: Photography against the odds in a Peruvian sunset".

The Birkbeck Graduate Research School Poster Competition was won by Ajitesh Ghose (Department of Psychological Sciences) who collected a £300 prize for a poster which looked at "Grounded Semantics: A Neural Network Approach".

Three runners-up were each awarded £50:

  • Annie Brookman-Byrne (Department of Psychological Sciences) for "Stop and think! In science and maths"
  • Sasha Dovzhyk (Department of English and Humanities) for "The afterlives of Aubrey Beardsley in Russia (c. 1899–1929)"
  • Elizabeth Hornby (Department of Management) for "Talking about whistleblowing: a discourse analysis of institutionalised whistleblowing in the UK banking industry"

Each of Birkbeck’s five schools were represented on the judging panel, while the poster judges also included Dr Sarah Lee (Head of Research Strategy Support) and Chris Murphy (Director of Development and Alumni). 

Professor Julian Swann (Pro-Vice Master for Research), who hosted the evening, said‘The passion the students have shown for their research has been inspiring. It’s such a great opportunity to share the breadth of research here at Birkbeck and I am already looking forward to next year."

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