Birkbeck 3MT Winner Gabriella McGrogan talks about the 2019 competition

Gabriella McGrogan (Department of Criminology) was overall winner of the 2019 Birkbeck 3MT competition for her entry, “Against our Community Standards’- “Outsider” Witnessing of Atrocity and Social Media Censorship”.

Birkbeck doctoral researcher Gabriella McGrogan tells us about taking part in the 2019 Birkbeck 3 Minute Thesis Competition

Trying to figure out how to condense something you’ve been passionately thinking about and shaping over many months, into around the same amount of time you spend brushing your teeth before bed, seems beyond tricky. My supervisor suggested that the Three Minute Thesis competition would be a great opportunity to refine the key points of my project and give me a handy synopsis to roll out at conferences, meetings and in the pub. This seemed worthwhile, if only to avoid the baffled looks my poor friends give me when I’m trying to explain what I do now.

Developing skills

Having worked as a TA in secondary schools in London and Paris, I thought I might have had an advantage in the public speaking stakes. What could be more terrifying than getting 35 teenagers to first, be quiet, and second, listen to you? As it transpires, academic conferences are. Put on by famous institutions and renowned journals, full of ‘grown-up’ academics who have earned themselves the blue tick on Twitter, my first attempt earlier this year was nerve-wracking. The competition was such a brilliant opportunity to develop skills and alleviate imposter syndrome!

Speakers and members of the audience at the 3MT reception
Communicating research

Almost exactly three years ago, I submitted an application to study for Birkbeck’s MSc in Global Criminology. Up until then, I had completed two degrees in Literary and Cultural Studies, but realised that I wanted a change. It’s an understatement to say that the existence of Birkbeck has changed my life for the better. I think the competition, and ensuring my research is accessible and comprehensible to as many people as possible, is a great way to embrace and celebrate the ethos of the college. My research will benefit hugely from the interaction and input of those outside of my discipline and academia in general. Most importantly, I got to engage with students from other departments and learned some fascinating things from their presentations!

I’d strongly encourage any students considering taking part in future to do so. The tips I gained from the training alone were well worth the time spent and I’ve definitely noticed I can explain my project with ease in the aftermath!

Speakers and members of the audience at the 3MT reception

You can read more about the 2019 Birkbeck 3MT Competition here.

Are you beginning your 2nd year? The BGRS would like to hear from you!

WRITING

Are you just beginning your 2nd year as a Birkbeck PhD student?

As the new 2018/19 academic year begins we hope you are looking forward to diving back in to your research. In order to give our new intake of PhD students a better picture of what their first year might entail, we would like to hear from those of you who are just beginning your second year as a doctoral researchers at Birkbeck.

We would aim to include your answers in a profile piece on the BGRS blog during the Autumn term.

For those who are willing to take part we would ask you to reply to some of the following questions  about your first year as a research student; and you would be welcome to add any other experiences that you think are relevant:

  • Were there any aspects of beginning your PhD that you found especially challenging and how were you able to overcome this?
  • What are the key achievements or milestones from your first year and how do these fit with your aims for the second year?
  • What role has your supervisor played during your first year?
  • What advice would you give other students who are just beginning as doctoral researchers at Birkbeck or to staff who have responsibilities for supporting or supervising PhD students?
  • What were the highlights of your first year?
  • What are you looking forward to most as you begin your second year?
  • Was there any training or resource that you would particularly recommend to first year PhD students?
  • How well have you been able to balance the work required to begin your PhD with other family, work or other commitments?

Tea and coffee invitation

Those who agree to take part will be invited to share some free tea and coffee in G20 with others who contributed to the piece, later in the term.

Contact us

Please do contact us if you would be willing to share your experiences for this blog piece, or if you have any questions.