Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Tomke Kossen-Veenhuis

Tomke was a finalist in the 2016 competition.

Contestant details

Name: Tomke Kossen-Veenhuis

Position: 2016 Finalist

PhD Topic: Not published yet

3MT Talk Title: Contemporary Dance and Music Collaborations: A Study of Cross-disciplinary Professional Performance

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

If you are not quite convinced to participate in the competition I can highly recommend going to the workshops offered by the IAD in February before any of the competition heats take place. They motivated me to actually sit down and conceptualise ideas. I believe, I wouldn’t have taken part if I hadn’t gone to the workshops! Also, once you decide to take part, make sure you start memorising your script before the school heats - you will be able to use body language more and it is what you have to do for later stages in the competition anyways.

How has 3MT benefited you?

 It was an entirely new challenge for me and it has benefitted me particularly in the final stages of my PhD. It helped me to be clear about my research and findings but also to get a new perspective on my PhD by preparing a talk for an entirely different audience. Through this, I was able to clarify questions that I had asked myself so many times like: “What am I doing this for? How do my results contribute to society?” Most importantly, it gave me, as a non-native English speaker, more and more confidence by going through the different heats into the final.

What was the most challenging thing about 3MT?

Memorising the speech and producing a useful and effective slide!

Why would you recommend 3MT to other doctoral students?

Because it was a great experience in general! It offers a fantastic opportunity to share your research together with students from various areas in a friendly and fun environment. Not to forget, that is comes in very handy to have a 3-minute talk of your research prepared - be it your viva, the lunch break at a conference or a job interview.

 How have you used the skills gained in the competition?

I learned to distil my thoughts on the thesis even better. Keeping an overview about the key aspects and learning that it is possible to actually include a lot of information if you try to be as concise as possible. This is an important skill for any sort of communication but good practice when you are writing up your PhD as I am doing at the moment.