Structured research is good research. Formulating a sound research question, identifying key papers, and mapping out the bones of your project are fundamental requirements for publishable material. A template enables you to quickly assess the worth of your proposed project, and enables you to pitch it to your supervisor before they lose interest. If you’re already working on your project, the template is a good way to `check in' with your original research goals and stay on track.
The simple answer is, you don’t. If you’re happy with how you’ve organised your project, keep at it. We’re not here to boss you around. This aim of this template is to provide a means for new researchers to concisely whittle down their potential project into something concrete. It’s also for supervisors looking to skilfully and efficiently guide their students into worthwhile areas of research.
I’m glad you asked. If you’re a researcher, you can submit a pitch based on our template for consideration in our series of `pitch day' competitions. Simply engineer a pitch based on your current research, download it as a PDF document using the `download' button, then email the document to Robert Faff at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be hosting several competitions throughout the course of 2015. Not only will you get to show off your research and meet other researchers like you from around the world, we’ll be throwing some serious prizes into the mix too. If you’re one of the top three, we’ll also feature your research on our website. Not bad, huh? Check out the `Pitch Day' Competitions page for information on upcoming events.
Good question. We don’t see the two ideas as mutually exclusive, but rather complementary. 3MT is aimed at PhD researchers who are well advanced in their project, and want to communicate their goals to a generalist audience. It’s a great vehicle for researchers who are up to their elbows in exciting results. We love it. The pitch template is completely different. It’s primarily focused on researchers right at the beginning of their research journey. When you’re choosing a research avenue to pursue, the 3MT competition probably isn’t on your radar. But the pitching template should be. In one of our `pitch day' competitions, we’ll give you fifteen minutes to get your ideas across. It’s not about physical research results like 3MT, although results are awesome. It’s about starting a conversation about your research idea with your potential supervisor, peers and interested parties. It’s about starting a feedback process that will see you through your entire research project. It’s a process that ensures your work will have academic impact when you’ve advanced to the point in your research that the 3MT becomes a possibility.
The journal article is at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acfi.12116/abstract and the companion article is available on SSRN at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2462059.