Marith Dieker and Zahar Koretsky participate in TEDx PhD Pitch Night

Maastricht’s first ever TEDx PhD Pitch Night took place on 12 September. PhD candidates had 3 minutes to pitch their research and see if they could secure a place on the TEDx Maastricht stage.

Marith Dieker and Zahar Koretsky participated and pitched their own research on the red dot. One of the jury members was Valentina Mazzucato.

Below they share their experiences on the event.

Marith:
“It was a nice experience! To present your research in such a short time is very challenging. Because (part of) my research is about changes in radio traffic reporting practices, I used two excerpts from an old and more recent traffic report to illustrate my claim. It was fun to ‘show’ some of my data this way.

I was also glad to see so many different UM research disciplines represented, among the speakers and in the audience!”

Zahar:
“It was great to share what I do with such large audience! I happened to present first, so it was very nerve-racking. But once I was done it was very cool to just listen to all those fascinating people on stage.

I talked about my research on “un-inventing” technology: how technologies disappear from daily use and how this is not a straightforward process. Otherwise all of us would have already switched to green cars and green energy a long time ago!”

Valentina:
“The contestants were very brave, presenting a 3 minute pitch to such a large audience but the atmosphere was very supportive.

I learned a lot! The winner, Nadine Blankvoort, gave a presentation on the words that are used when Dutch institutions speak to refugees and how this affects societal perceptions about them. She clearly conveyed her research in layperson’s terms to be understandable to non-experts. She started with a personal story of one of her respondents that really grasped the audience. Everyone was so still you could hear a pin drop. She went on to present some of her findings and then she closed with a reflection to help us think about how this relates to our everyday lives.

I strongly encourage PhDs to participate in this event next year. It is good practice, as we researchers are increasingly being asked to convey the societal relevance of our research, or to be able to explain the essence of our research to a non-expert audience, such as the summary sections of grant applications. It’s good practice and the audience is very supportive.”

Photo taken by Peter Mullenberg

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