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Meet the winners of the 2024 Concordia Three Minute Thesis Competition

16 finalists distilled their master's and doctoral research down to 180 seconds at the annual event
March 19, 2024
Three smiling young women, holding up their certificates for winning the Three Minute Thesis competition.
From left: The three winners, Emma Hsiaowen Chen, Angelika Gnanapragasam and Monali Patel.

Three Concordia graduate students took home top prizes after competing live at the university’s annual Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT®) on March 15.

The event challenges students to distill complex research into a clear, jargon-free presentation that engages a non-specialist audience — all in just under three minutes and using a single, static PowerPoint slide.

It’s a competition that takes place at institutions around the world and is now in its 13th year at Concordia. This edition featured 16 master’s and doctoral finalists.

In preparation for their 180 seconds in the spotlight, students worked closely with GradProSkills and guest coaches in the weeks leading to the main event. Competitors then incorporated the coaches’ feedback to perfect their pitches. 

Three judges voted for the best master’s and doctoral presentations. The audience had the opportunity to vote for their favourite overall presentation. 

Here are this year’s winners

‘Stay calm and be confident’

Angelika Gnanapragasam, a master’s student in health and exercise science, took first place in the master’s category. Her winning presentation was titled “Blood flow restriction: Nice or knife?”

She is studying a physiotherapy technique that can help vulnerable people build their muscle strength without using heavy weights. 

“I learned to master myself, stay calm, go up and be confident,” says Gnanapragasam. “I’m here to have fun and learn as much as I can from others.”

‘Be accessible, fun and understandable’

Emma Hsiaowen Chen, a doctoral student also in health and exercise science, won first place in the PhD category for her presentation “Ballet for balance! Creating accessible online fall prevention.” 

Her research investigates online fall prevention using dance for older adults who can’t access in-person programs. 

“I learned how to take a thesis, which is 80 to 100 pages long, distill it down to three minutes and have it be accessible, fun and understandable to anyone,” says Chen. “You can transfer those skills to any situation. It can help research make it out of the lab.” 

‘I loved seeing people’s responses’

Monali Patel, a master’s student in chemical engineering, was the audience favourite. Her presentation was called “Greening the chemical industry: Brightening our future.” 

Patel is researching how to generate sustainable bioplastics using renewable sources. 

“I loved presenting and seeing people’s responses,” says the people’s choice winner. 

Learn more about Concordia’s graduate skills development program,



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