I entered the 3MT® competition in 2021 just toward the end of my first year as a part-time PhD researcher at the School of Digital Arts (SODA). 

I saw the competition as a challenge which could help me to summarise my PhD project more effectively. In addition, I saw the competition as a chance to practice explaining my project to a non-expert audience. 

My first reason, summarising my PhD project, might sound easy and straightforward, but for me it was difficult because I was at the beginning of my PhD journey and my project contains many elements. It is a practice-based PhD research project that examines the relationship between the self and the city through sound using sonic practices, psychogeography and a digital soundmap; it is both an artistic development and a participatory arts project which will involve collaborations with participants from local music organisations. That’s a lot to digest, but drafting and structuring my script for the 3MT presentation helped me to summarise the different parts of my PhD in a comprehensive and effective way, providing more clarity for both me and the 3MT® audience. 

This leads to my second reason for entering the competition: practicing explaining my project to a non-expert audience. As you can tell the themes of my PhD are quite niche and abstract to most people, so I had to think about including examples to illustrate the points I was making. For example  I started my presentation pointing out sounds that most audience members encounter in their everyday lives to get them thinking about sonic experiences straight away without immediately diving into theories related to sound. As my project also reaches into non-academic areas, such as arts organisations, I will need to communicate my research in a non-academic way and for that reason my experience with Three Minute Thesis will surely prove useful. 

I was also very happy to have won the 3MT® Manchester Met Judges’ Choice award the first time I entered, which boosted my confidence as PhD researcher. 

If you want to find more about my work visit www.industriesmcr.com and follow @industriesmcr on all socials. 

Markus won the Judges’ Choice Award and a £100 voucher in the 2021 3MT® competition. Entries are now open for this year’s competition, find out more on our website. Deadline for entries is 6 June 2022. Watch Markus’ winning presentation. 

Cover image by Bella Probyn

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