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SDS Virtual 3MT® Judges

Meet our Virtual 3MT Judges.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.

3MT® challenges PhD students to explain the complexity and relevance of their research to a non-specialist audience in a concise and engaging way. Presenters have a maximum of three minutes to pitch their research and can only use one slide.


Find out more about this year's judges:

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Dr Emma Bolger

Dr Emma Bolger is a senior lecturer and the programme leader of the MSc in Career Guidance and Development, at the University of the West of Scotland. Her academic teaching and research focuses on equality and inclusive practice in career development. Emma is also an external examiner for the University of Derby, the University of Huddersfield and Canterbury Christ Church University. Dr Bolger is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the Career Development Institute, AGCAS, NICEC and IAEVG.

Outwith academia, Emma is an active volunteer. As an advocate for pupil and parent voice in statutory education, the focus in her voluntary work is primarily on equity within education and a particular area of interest is support for dyslexia and speech and language difficulties within Gaelic Medium Education (GME). Amongst other roles, she is vice-chair of Glasgow City Parents’ Group, she set up and chairs the Dyslexia Scotland GME branch and is a director and a trustee of Connect.

Professor Graeme Nixon

Professor Graeme Nixon is the Director of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences (SGSSS), a Scotland-wide Doctoral Training Partnership funded by a £25m investment from the Economic and Social Research Council, with additional financial support from the Scottish Funding Council. 

Based at the University of Edinburgh, the interdisciplinary SGSSS Directorate are implementing training, cohort development and support for approximately 300 PhD students. 

Graeme also holds a Personal Chair in the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition at the University of Aberdeen where he as a research programme examining the causes and treatment of cardiovascular disease. 

To increase public awareness and patient engagement, Professor Nixon established and was co-Director (2017-2021) of the Aberdeen Cardiovascular and Diabetes Centre. a joint initiative between the university and NHS. 

Previously, he was Dean of Research at the University of Aberdeen (2018-2023).  In this cross-institutional role, he led the Postgraduate Research School and had strategic oversight of all aspects of the PhD journey.

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Lorna Stalker

Lorna Stalker is a National Operations Executive within Skills Development Scotland, Policy & Professional Practice Team, and co-author of a new career development book – Sailplaning, Creating a 4-D Life and Career.

Lorna has over 30 years working within the Scottish Careers Service developing knowledge and professional skills through various roles including labour market research, post-school key worker, school career guidance practitioner, team leader.  In her current role she supports the integration of policy into practice and the continuous professional development of practitioners.

Lifelong learning is at the heart of Lorna’s professional journey, gaining qualifications in training, counselling, guidance, supervision, before being awarded the Bob Abele Medal and achieving an MSc in Career Development, awarded by the University of the West of Scotland.

Dr Patrick Watt

Patrick is Head of the Evaluation & Research team at SDS.

Prior to joining SDS he worked for Futureskills Scotland and was previously a director of a leading Scottish economic development consultancy.

He has an honours degree in mathematics and statistics, a masters in urban and regional planning, and a PhD in labour economics.

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