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Concordian Clayton Ma wins the Canadian Political Science Association Three-Minute Thesis Competition

Manon Laurent, a Concordia PhD candidate, was one of the three finalists
June 28, 2019
By Rachel Andren

Clayton Ma with contest chair Stephen White | Photo by the Canadian Political Science Association Clayton Ma with contest chair Stephen White | Photo by the Canadian Political Science Association

Concordia master’s student Clayton Ma has won the 2019 Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA) Prize for the Graduate Student Three-Minute Thesis Competition.

A student in Concordia’s Centre for Immigration Policy Evaluation, Ma focuses on non-white, visible minority Canadians’ political attitudes in his research.

His presentation, A Liberal Partisan? A Socio-Psychological Approach to Visible Minority Canadians’ Political Preferences, earned first place in the competition, which was open to any graduate student member of the CPSA. Participants must have made substantial progress on their master’s research paper or thesis research and analysis.

The annual three-minute thesis (3MT) contest challenges contestants to summarize their complex research in easy-to-understand language, in just three minutes.

“I really wanted to present the work I was doing at Concordia to others. The 3MT format provided a unique platform for graduate students to share their research while under a strict time constraint,” Ma says.

He offers this advice for would-be 3MT competitors: “Practice makes perfect. Having friends and a supervisor who support and criticize you is very important to succeeding.”

Manon Laurent, a Concordia PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, was also selected as one of three finalists for her presentation, Hyper-connected Parents in a Highly Competitive and Regulated Education Market. Laurent’s research examines shifts in contemporary Chinese education policies and how they shape the education system, especially the middle class.

“This experience was challenging. It forced me to clearly and concisely formulate the questions at the heart of my research,” she says.

“I had to precisely state why my research is relevant for a broader audience. I rehearsed several times, in front of colleagues, but also family and friends. The latter can provide valuable non-academic opinions.”

Watch Clayton Ma’s Canadian Political Science Association Three-Minute Thesis Competition–winning presentation:


Watch Manon Laurent's presentation:

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