Complex research – simply explained


3 minute read

On Thursday 4 August, ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE) higher degree research (HDR) candidates competed in the College's Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Participants were given just three minutes and a single PowerPoint slide to explain in plain language what their research is, why it’s important and what they have discovered so far.

3MT, a global research-communication contest, challenges HDR candidates in a way that Dr Alex Eapen, CBE’s Director of HDR, finds highly valuable and rewarding.

“The CBE 3MT competition has an extraordinarily positive vibe around it. It's a platform that sees HDR candidates take the core kernel of their research projects and present them in a compelling way to a non-expert audience. All in just three minutes. Not only does the 3MT competition help them develop their communication and presentation skills, but it also brings their fascinating projects instant visibility across the College,” he shares.

Research School of Accounting student, Chen Wang, was the winner of the CBE 3MT competition and will go on to represent the College at the ANU 3MT Final on Thursday 1 September.

Her research, The invasive use of monitoring technology reduces Working From Home employee wellbeing, focuses on the use of technology designed to monitor employee productivity in the remote work context.

“In my thesis, I conduct a survey and find that the invasive use of monitoring affects employees’ sense of control at work, which also has negative results for employees’ engagement at work,” she says.

Her research suggests that organisations who integrate external corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities help employees identify with them and, consequently, lessen the negative impacts of monitoring technologies.

Grateful for the opportunity to share her work, Chen was eager to participate in the CBE 3MT competition after hearing positive things about it.

“The competition has provided me a great chance to promote my ability to effectively explain the breadth and significance of my research, while also being fun! Some of my friends participated in previous years and gained great experience from it,” she says.

Chen competed alongside runner up, Titus Rotich, and the People’s Choice Award recipient, Kathy Wang. Titus’ presentation, entitled Malaria: The Forgotten Pandemic, explored how government spending could be better targeted to treat malaria, a disease that kills half a million children every year. Meanwhile Kathy presented Dopesick, which demonstrated that opiates have an adverse effect on corporation productivity through the individual experience of opioid misuse.

Alex extends his congratulations to the participants and acknowledges those who contributed to the success of this event.

“This year, we were very fortunate to have an excellent judging panel comprising of CBE’s Dr Anna Hartman, Dr Lucy Morris, and Dr Juergen Meinecke, as well as an engaging MC, Sayla Siddiqui. The College is grateful to them for their support of this event. Many congratulations to Chen for winning the competition, to Titus for coming second, and to Kathy for winning the Peoples' Choice Award!” he shares.

As Chen reflects on her 3MT and HDR experience so far, she has this simple advice to offer fellow HDR candidates.

“Back up your work! This action can save you many tears if done weekly,” she says.


Watch the presentations delivered at the CBE 3MT competition. 

You can support Chen at the ANU 3MT Final on Thursday 1 September.

The ANU College of Business and Economics offers an extensive range of specialised programs. Click here for more details.