In a testament to the superb training that is the standard here at St. Boniface Hospital Research, two out of the three winners in the Faculty of Graduate Studies inaugural 3MP (3 Minute Postdoctoral Competition) were post-doctoral fellows under the supervision of Dr. Sanjiv Dhingra. Dr. Abhay Srivastava secured the second-place prize, while Dr. Niketa Sareen clinched the third-place position and the coveted People’s Choice Award.
The 3MP competition is a new platform that challenges researchers to condense the essence of their extensive postdoctoral research into a mere three minutes, using only one static slide to elucidate their work’s breadth and significance. The goal is to communicate the significance of their research to a diverse, non-specialist audience effectively. The competition serves as a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between the scientific community and the general public.
Dr. Abhay Srivastava, the second-place winner, presented his research on a stem cell-based personalized drug selection platform for patients with rare genetic disorders. “It was challenging to summarize and simplify our complex ideas and tell a story in those 3 minutes but at the same time it was exciting and a great learning experience. I enjoyed it thoroughly,” he said.
In a similar vein, Dr. Niketa Sareen, who clinched third place and the People’s Choice Award, presented her research on modulating the immunogenicity of stem cells to enhance their post-transplantation survival. “I missed participating in 3MT during my PhD, but I am glad U of M started it for post-doctoral fellows this year and I was able to participate. Given that we generally present our research to scientific audiences in elaborate ways, it was both fun and challenging to summarize it in 3 minutes for a non-scientific audience. It was a great experience and I enjoyed it,” she shared.
The 3MP competition draws inspiration from similar events like the UBC 3-Minute Postdoc Slam and the USask 3MP, with a unique twist to adapt to the University of Manitoba’s setting. These events are all built upon the foundation laid by the “Three Minute Thesis” event, which originated at the University of Queensland in 2008. The 3MP competition is a fantastic opportunity for postdoctoral researchers to refine their communication skills and engage with a broad audience while showcasing the incredible work being done in various fields.
Congrats to both Abhay & Niketa!