Five finalists will compete for first place in the 2022 Sheffield Hallam University Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition final taking place as part of the Creating Knowledge conference. Copies of the in person and online Creating Knowledge Conference programmes are available on the Doctoral School blog site, please note this is still subject to change.  Please register your attendance via Eventbrite.

Meet the Finalists


Allison Dunne, Health Research Institute

“…parkrun has been a life saver to me.”

Middle-aged men who live in highly deprived neighbourhoods are vulnerable to poor mental wellbeing and are at a relatively high risk of suicide when compared to the UK population. Previous strategies to improve mental wellbeing by tackling the social determinants of health for this population group include community-based initiatives such as Men’s Sheds. parkrun, is a free, weekly running and walking event, organised by volunteers which shares many similarities with these community initiatives. This research employs a mixed methods approach, combining analysis of mental wellbeing data from the parkrun Health and Wellbeing survey (12,604 respondents) with thematic analysis of free-text responses describing the impact of parkrun on the wellbeing of middle-aged men in the UK. This presentation will ask “Did Paul Sinton-Hewitt accidentally design a global suicide prevention initiative when he organised a casual running event for 13 of his friends and brought along his stopwatch?”

Yasmine Ezzeddine, Industry and Innovation Research Institute

Understanding citizens’ reactions to police surveillance and use of Artificial Intelligence

This PhD investigates the counter-strategies to Law Enforcement Agencies’ (LEAs) surveillance and use of Artifical Intelligence (AI) in the security domain by addressing the criticism around AI in the security policing and understanding citizens’ views, what triggers resistance and the counterstrategies employed in response. Additionally, this PhD has strong synergies with the AIDA (Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Data Analytics for LEAs) EU project, and the mutual primary aim is to improve the quality of surveillance data by understanding whether it accurately represents reliable intelligence for LEAs given known counter surveillance strategies. Jointly, this PhD and AIDA will investigate the effects of LEAs’ surveillance on citizens’ behaviour, societal resilience, and how AI capabilities impact their abilities and rights to free expression. And the ultimate aim is to make policy recommendations and contribute to creating AI capabilities that account for citizens’ perspectives and concerns, leading to positive impacts for both, LEAs and societies.

Michelle Field, Health Research Institute

Understanding Ideation in Autism

The aim of my research is to expand what is known about autism ideation. This topic arose from my clinical practice where clusters of functional challenges in autistic children and adults were considered to be ideational difficulties. Defining ideation was the first challenge as the concept itself seems to have been stored in the realms of mystery. A scoping review supported the concept that ideation is deficient in autism and highlighted the gaps in research in this area. The main study involved quantitative correlational experiment with 20 autistic participants. The findings begin to show clear links between cognitive functioning in autism and abilities in autisum ideation, indicating that cognitive function could be responsible for ideational difficulties. This study indicates that ideational abilities relate to autistic traits. This research contributes to professional knowledge by increasing theoretical understanding of ideation in autism.

Daniel Haid, Health Research Institute

Assessing a rate-dependent mechanical metamaterial’s potential as helmet liner

Ice hockey has one of the highest concussion rates in sports, and ~90% of reported concussions are the result of collisions with other players. During such collisions, the helmet impacts a more compliant body than it is designed for or is represented in certification standards. Due to the risk of rigid surfaces, the ice of the boards, it is not feasible to simply reduce liner stiffness to improve helmets during collisions. A helmet system that provides increased protection during collisions without compromising performance during falls could prevent concussions in ice hockey. A promising approach is a mechanical metamaterial, consisting of bi-beams, that has been shown to possess rate-dependent compression behaviour. Material characterisations, impact tests, and finite element simulations will be used to assess the material’s potential as a liner in ice hockey, wider sports, and industrial helmets.

Diane Rodgers, Culture and Creativity Research Institute

Wyrd TV: Folklore, folk horror and British 1970s Television

Where do our ideas and beliefs about ghosts, witchcraft, UFOs and other areas of folklore and contemporary legend come from? Why do these themes resurface in popular culture and how do they shape societal attitudes? My research, combining folklore studies and screen studies, draws upon original interviews with two generations of creators of film and television (older participants having worked in the 1970s and younger participants working in present-day media) to consider how folklore is communicated from one era to the next. In a society increasingly influenced by the media it consumes (which often reinterprets, adapts and creates its own folklore and contemporary legend, including fake news and conspiracy theory), looking at how supernatural folklore is communicated by television can help understand both positive and negative impacts on viewers of all ages in shaping popular belief, political attitudes and even our behaviours.