5 Minute Research Pitch national finals a success

Published in the November 2016 issue

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Southern Cross University hosted the 2016 national finals of the prestigious 5 Minute Research Pitch at the Gold Coast campus.

Fifteen academics from eight universities each had five minutes to present their current or recently-completed research with the aid of three PowerPoint slides.

Dr Naomi Wells and Dr Renaud Joannes-Boyau

Dr Naomi Wells and Dr Renaud Joannes-Boyau

Dr Melanie Hayman from Central Queensland University won the overall prize with her presentation ‘Fit4Two: A proactive approach to reducing chronic disease in Australia’ taking home $3000 and winning university hosting rights for next year’s 5RP national finals.

Southern Cross University won the right to host this year’s event after shark researcher Dr Daniel Bucher became the overall winner at the 2015 national final hosted by Australian Catholic University. He emceed this year’s event on the Gold Coast.

Dr Naomi Wells from the School of Environment, Science and Engineering and Dr Renaud Joannes-Boyau from Southern Cross GeoScience represented Southern Cross University after winning their respective categories at the Southern Cross University heats in August.

Dr Wells discussed ‘Following waste streams across landscapes: The power of stable isotopes’ in the Science and Health category while Dr Joannes-Boyau spoke on ‘Reconstructing the dietary habits of early humans’, taking out third prize in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences category.

Southern Cross University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Geraldine Mackenzie, one of the six judges on this year’s panel, said she was pleased with the exceptionally high quality of the presentations and underlying research.

“The finalists are representative of our early to mid-career researchers, and the breadth of talent and research capacity was pleasing,” she said.

“The overall quality of the presentations was the highest standard the competition has seen, which indicates that increased value is being placed on ensuring we train our researchers to communicate to and engage with non-technical audiences.

“This event enables our researchers and audience to hear about the diversity of research interests from all participating universities. The researchers competing always speak positively about what they learn from the experience.”

The participating universities for 2016 included Australian Catholic University, Central Queensland University, Charles Sturt University, Edith Cowan University, Federation University, University of Southern Queensland and Victoria University.

The event organising committee, Office of Research and Graduate School planned this year’s national finals with support from www.ithinkwell.com.au – sponsor of the people’s choice award.

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