Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Amelia Howarth

Amelia was a finalist in the 2016 competition.

Contestant details

Name: Amelia Howarth

Position: 2016 Finalist

PhD Topic: Not published yet

3MT Talk Title: Energy Molecules, Kidney Disease and The Real Value of Urine

Do you have any top tips for preparing for the competition?

Practice, practice, practice! Once you know the content your talk really well from memory, you can start to work on the delivery of your talk. If you have a good handle on both of these, you'll have more confidence - which will come in useful when you're faced with the audience! Also, you never want to walk away from something feeling you could have been better prepared. Practice as much as you can, and you'll know you've done your best.

How has 3MT benefited you?

3MT has been a fun experience, but it's also been great practice for me. I'm really interested in science communication and public engagement. 3MT has helped me to better communicate complex ideas to a lay audience, but has also improved my public speaking and confidence.

What was the most challenging thing about 3MT?

I think that, coming from a science background, it's very difficult to hit the right level of complexity in explaining your research to people who aren't scientists. You need to make it simple enough to understand, without underestimating your audience and being condescending. I found that the best thing to do was give my talk to friends and family who weren't scientists and see how they felt about it.

Why would you recommend 3MT to other doctoral students?

No matter what career path you want to follow eventually, as a current doctoral student, you're in acadaemia, at least for the time being. In acadaemia you are always going to have explain your research - to colleagues, to family, to the public. 3MT really helps you to do that in a way that is interesting, understandable and concise. Plus, its fun hearing about other people's research from different areas - so even if you don't want to compete, attending these events is fun too.