3-Minute Thesis winner takes global prize

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PhD student Eamonn Fahy has won the Universitas 21 (U21) Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition – the international 'grand final' of 3MT competitions.

Eamonn's winning 3MT speech was titled Catching the Silent Thief of Sight – a presentation on his research into glaucoma and methods of early detection.

The U21 competition comprises 3MT winners from its 25 member universities, who are pitted against one another online.

Eamonn, who is a PhD student in the Department of Ophthalmology, received a bursary of US $2,500 to visit a U21 university of his choice for research or professional development purposes.

In his winning presentation, Eamonn described how more than 300,000 Australians have glaucoma, but only half of those have been officially diagnosed. His doctoral work seeks to identify ways of detecting changes in the eye before sight is lost.

"What a challenge to condense a PhD down to three minutes! This is an incredible honour to receive first place, among a group of fantastic competitors," Eamonn said.

"I'd like to say a big thank you to my supervisors at the Centre for Eye Research Australia, the University of Melbourne and the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education for all of their support."

Professor Dick Strugnell, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Graduate Research, spoke of the University's immense pride in Eamonn's achievement.

"Eamonn is an outstanding communicator. Not only does he provide wonderful clarity regarding his own research topic, through the U21 3MT and subsequently through engagement with the media, Eamonn has been a fantastic advocate for public investment in research in Australia.

The University of Melbourne is immensely proud of Eamonn Fahy."

First developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, the Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT®) challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.