First for Swansea as PhD student reaches final of UK national 3MT competition

A Swansea University PhD psychology student who specialises in the use of language and deceptive trust in online grooming has reached the UK national Three Minute Thesis or 3MT competition final.

Laura BroomeLaura Broome is one of only six finalists chosen from 64 participating institutions across the UK, and the first ever Swansea competitor to make it through firstly to the national semi-final, and now the final of the 3MT competition.

The 3MT is an annual competition held at over 200 universities worldwide. It is open to PhD students, and challenges participants to present their research in just 180 seconds, in an engaging form that can be understood by an audience, who although intelligent, have no background in the research area.

Laura was initially the winner of this year’s Swansea University 3MT competition which took place at the University in May this year. 

In her talk, Laura explains how online groomers spend their time developing ‘deceptive trust’ when they hide their true intentions behind a false intimate relationship, using specific language to prepare minors for online abuse.

Speaking about her success in the competition so far, Laura said: “I am thrilled to be the first Swansea University student to reach the 3MT final. I entered the competition to develop my presentation skills and never dreamed of getting this far. The competition has given me a platform to talk about an important misconception of online grooming: that all individuals who groom minors online are deceptive in their approach. We need to equip young people with the tools to not only protect themselves from people who are so obviously deviant, but also from those who seek companionship and present themselves in a friendly, non-threatening way.”

If Laura is successful in the final, she will be awarded £3,000 to spend on public engagement purposes.

The UK national 3MT final will take place on 17 September at the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference in Birmingham.