AUT’s Marianne Carroll on her National 3MT Masters Win

Last Thursday, AUT’s 3MT Masters winner Marianne Carroll competed at the Virtual 2020 National Universities Masters 3MT Competition, where she took home first prize! Marianne was kind enough to pause her celebrations to write this article about her path toward the national championship. Congratulations Marianne!

I entered 3MT to bring focus to my study, in particular what I wanted to achieve with my research results. I am over half-way through my Masters now and I was thinking ahead as to how I can communicate my research to others and learn the skills to do so. I had just finished my data collection and was starting statistical analysis when I saw 3MT advertised. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to be clear in my mind what research questions I wanted to answer with my data.

3MT was run virtually this year which gave me the opportunity as a distance learner to enter. I live in Te Anau, so travelling to Auckland to compete was not realistic for me. Writing my 3MT script made me reflect on what my research was investigating and why this was significant. The judging criteria wanted this to be succinct and clear. Going through the process of writing my script and ensuring it was clear, logical, and succinct has made me more focused on my research and how to communicate this to an audience. Learning how to communicate my research to those not in my field was originally difficult when writing my script and I feel I can now confidently do this. We forget sometimes how much knowledge we do have and how we can presume others have this knowledge too. I also presumed that only people in my field would be interested in my research, but the support from family, friends and my community has been amazing.

Marianne Carroll presenting her national award-winning 3MT talk.

Video recording and editing was completely new to me. I am very grateful now that I had this opportunity to learn these skills as I can envisage me using these in the future to communicate my research. I couldn’t recommend entering this competition enough. When I look back at my pre-heat video and compare it to my AUT final video, and then finally my National 3MT video; I can see the progression and improvement in each one. I found the judges feedback very helpful, by addressing their points, I feel I excelled more in each new video. If you are thinking of entering this competition, ensure you have addressed all the judging criteria.

As a Masters research student, I want to feel like I am contributing to my field (physiotherapy) and producing new research that will enhance understanding and influence clinical practice. In order to do this, skills to communicate research, especially virtually in this modern world are invaluable. The virtual experience has been very positive for me, I study part-time, work part-time, and run my own business and am currently pregnant; therefore, the virtual competition gave me the opportunity to do things at my pace. So, if you are motivated, organised, and passionate about your research: Enter! I would like to thank AUT’s Graduate Research School who were very supportive throughout the whole process and a special thanks to my amazing supervisors.

About Marianne Carroll

Marianne is completing her Masters through the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences. She completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Rehabilitation through AUT in 2017. She is a physiotherapist, originally from Ireland and has lived and worked in various locations around New Zealand; currently settled in Te Anau, Fiordland. Her interests are Pilates, cycling, kayaking, and exploring the beautiful outdoors.

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