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UJ Optometry and Journalism PhDs to compete in national 3 Minute-Thesis (3MT) finals

Two women PhD students will represent the University of Johannesburg (UJ) at the National 3-Minute PhD Thesis Competition (3MT) in the science and social sciences/humanities categories on 25 November 2016. The event will be hosted by the University of the Free State.

Ms Elizabeth Chetty (Department of Optometry: Faculty of Health Sciences) and Ms Leyla Tavernano-Haidarian (Department of Journalism, Film, and Television: Faculty of Humanities) will represent UJ in Bloemfontein. A video of Chetty’s presentation will also be entered for the global Universitas 21 3MT Competition.

At the UJ 3MT finals on 26 August, Chetty won the PhD Thesis Competition with her three-minute presentation on a multivariate analysis of short-term variation of keratometric behavior, refractive state and pachymetry in keratoconic corneas.


“The 3MT competition forced me to take a step outside my research bubble and interpret my thesis with a new perspective. Instead of describing detailed analysis techniques, I could focus on the key results and motivate my work with analogies that everyone could relate to. It was a great exercise,” said Chetty.

“To effectively explain your research in three minutes and in a way that is understandable to non-specialists is a challenge to say the least. But it’s a challenge that our PhD candidates and Master’s students were eager to take up,” said Ms Laura Arnold, Academic Facilitator: Research Capacity Development.

“Postgraduate students are in the daily business of creating new knowledge and making new discoveries. Sharing their discoveries with others is an essential skill for all postgraduate students, and we hope that this competition has provided an opportunity for the presenters to develop this skill further,” Laura added.

Also in the UJ 3MT finals, Ms Leyla Tavernano-Haidarian won the prize for the best slide.

The winner of the UJ 2-Minute Master’s Dissertation Competition (2MD) was Mr Tatenda Chabata from the Department of Marketing Management in the Faculty of Management. Another Master’s candidate, Mr Shingai-Harry Jijita (Department of Mercantile Law: Faculty of Law), received the audience’s choice prize.

The UJ 3MT and 2MD finals competitions were hosted by the UJ Postgraduate School (UPGS).

The winners of both competitions each received a tablet while the audience’s choice and best slide prizes were Exclusive Books vouchers worth R500.

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