Third-year PhD researcher Lórien MacEnulty (they/them) of the qToM Group participated and placed in a series of 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) competitions. Starting local, MacEnulty and other Trinity postgrads across all disciplines explained the main ideas of their theses in layperson’s terms to the community in a competitive event hosted by Tangent. The audience was impressed enough to award MacEnulty Second Prize of the jury and Public’s Choice award.

Emboldened by the success, MacEnulty joined the equivalent nation-wide competition, this time in French! The Ma Thèse en 180 Secondes (MT180), hosted principally by the Irish University Association at UCD, provides an annual challenge for the young Francophone researchers in Ireland.

The language barrier proved surmountable, as MacEnulty, who learned French in American middle and high schools, won 1st prize of the jury and a seat at the international MT180 finals, held in Montréal, Québec in October 2022.

Representing Ireland as an honourable invitee among francophone nations, MacEnulty delivered their three-minute thesis to an audience comprising French-Canadians and French-speaking individuals world-wide. Their message? Watch the live stream here to find out (subtitles hopefully available; MacEnulty performs at 1:33:40).

Although vanquished by the Senegalese, Madagascan, and Swiss competitors, MacEnulty enjoyed the international opportunity to spread the word on qToM’s research. They and three other participants in the Ireland-based competitions wrote this Q&A for Research Matters to talk about their experiences.