National Institute of Fundamental Studies (NIFS), Sri Lanka held its first 3-minute thesis (3MT) competition on 27th Thursday, December, 2018. This competition is inspired by the 3MT competition, which is annually held in over 200 universities worldwide. This was initiated at the University of Queensland, Australia in 2008. In this, higher degree research students present their research projects only in 180 seconds which will be targeted to be understood by non-scientific, but an intelligent audience. The students are presenting this using one static power-point slide without any animations or videos.
This year’s competition is the first one of its kind at NIFS, which aimed to improve the NIFS students’ presentation skills while informing the general public about the science carried out at the institute. The event was a multidisciplinary session as research students from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics presented their work. Students competed at the event in two categories as undergraduate and postgraduate. Following 1st round, eight finalists were chosen in each category out of around 50 contestants. The event was graced with NIFS scientists and was judged by renowned professionals that included Prof. S. Samitha, Prof. Samath Dharmarathna, Prof. Ashoka Dangolla and Dr. Dhananjali Gamage. Pubudu Nuwan, Pavithra Madamarandawala and Tharangika Bowanage won the first, second and third places of the undergraduate category while Sathya Sambawadas, Yugani Weerasinghe and Sandhya Jayasekara won the respective places of the postgraduate category. The winners were awarded with cash prizes and the NIFS director, Prof. Saman Seneweera, who addressed the gathering with his enthusiastic thoughts, stated that this event will be the first of its own and will be continued at NIFS hereafter annually.