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Three Minute Thesis logo, depicting '3' followed by capitals 'M' and 'T'. Bottom text is: 'Founded by the University of Queensland'.

This entertaining event gives thesis students the chance to present their research to a large audience while competing for a number of generous prizes, with the overall University of Otago Doctoral winner going on to participate in the online Asia-Pacific 3MT® final. There may also be an opportunity for the best Master's contestant to represent the University at an online New Zealand Masters 3MT® National Inter-University Challenge. The overall Doctoral winner and runner up will be entered in the online Matariki Competition in October.

The competition is open to both thesis Master's and Doctoral students, who must communicate their research in no more than three minutes, with the help of only one static slide, with the presentation aimed at a non-specialist audience.

3MT® 2024

Entries for 2024 are now open.

3MT® Entry Form

Divisional heats 2024

Divisional heats will be held on the following dates:

  • University of Otago Christchurch (Rolleston Lecture Theatre)
    Tuesday 25 June 1:30pm
  • University of Otago Wellington (Room D.06)
    Wednesday 26 June 1:00pm
  • Humanities Divisional Heat, Dunedin (Burns 7)
    Tuesday 2 July 10:00am
  • Health Sciences Divisional Heat, Dunedin (Otago Business School Room 1.17)
    Wednesday 3 July 10:00am
  • Commerce Divisional Heat, Dunedin (Otago Business School Room 1.17)
    Thursday 4 July 10:00am
  • Sciences Divisional Heat, Dunedin (Room G.02, St Davids Lecture Theatre Complex)
    Friday 5 July 10:00am

Note: there is no provision for candidates to compete via ZOOM and you must be able to attend your heat in person.

University of Otago Grand Final prizes 2024

Date: Thursday 15 August, 5:00pm
Venue: TBC

  • Best Doctoral presentation $750 grant to assist with research
  • Best Masters presentation $500 grant to assist with research

Prizes will also be awarded for the Doctoral runner-up, and the people's choice.

For more information, please contact:

Graduate Research School


Active PhD and Professional Doctorate candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under examination, but not graduates) by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in all levels of the 3MT® competition.

Master's thesis (90 points of research or more) candidates who are active in a programme (including candidates whose thesis is under examination, but not graduates) are eligible to participate in all levels of the 3MT® competition.

Competition rules

The University of Otago 3MT® competition follows the official rules of the founder, the University of Queensland.

Read the full competition rules

Previous winners

2023 Final

2023 3MT grand finalists standing in a group. Cheese!

The 2023 annual 3MT® grand final was held on Thursday 3 August, at the Burns 1 lecture theatre full of enthusiastic supporters.

Best Doctoral Presentation

Tyla Alexander

Tyla Alexander, grand final winner, standing with her certificate. Well done.

Congratulations to Tyla Alexander, a PhD candidate from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology who’s talk was entitled “Home Invasion”.

Tyla won the Best Doctoral 3MT® award comprising a prize of $750, provided by the Graduate Research School and the opportunity to compete in the Asia-Pacific 3MT® Competition and Matariki Network of Universities 3MT® Competition, both to held virtually in September and October in 2023.

We are thrilled to announce that Tyla was the overall winner of the Matariki 3MT® Competition, taking away a prize of £750.

View Tyla’s video presentation

Doctoral Runner-up Presentation

Hwei Ng

Hwei Ng, runner up, standing with her certificate. Good job!!

Congratulations to PhD candidate Hwei Ng, from the Department of Tourism, for winning the Runner-up Doctoral award for her talk, titled: “From Ordinary to Extraordinary:  Exploring Unique Grain Fibre Bread for Gut Health and Beyond”.

Hwei took away a prize of $250 on the night from the Graduate Research School.

We are thrilled to announce that Hwei was the winner of the People’s Choice Award at the Matariki 3MT® Competition, taking away a prize of £250.

View Hwei’s video presentation

Best Master's Presentation

Finn Dobbie

Finn Dobbie gives his 3 minute thesis. Go team!

Finn Dobbie, Masters candidate from the Genetics  Mātai Ira Teaching Programme, won a $500 study grant from the Graduate Research School for his presentation entitled:

“A genomic analysis of sequestrate and mushroom forming fungi -The DNA behind being a ball, or being an umbrella.”

People’s Choice Winner

Ian Herbert

Ian Herbert, people's choice winner, being handed his certificate. Glory still counts!

Ian Herbert, a Doctor of Business Administration candidate in conjunction with the Department of Management, took away the People’s Choice award, winning a $250 prize,  for his presentation entitled:

“International Trade Biodiversity Finance”

Doctoral finalists

  • Tyla Alexander
  • Ian Herbert
  • Jekope Maiono
  • Zara Mansoor
  • Hwei Min Ng
  • Sarathadevi Rejendran
  • Megan Southorn
  • Jai Whelan

Masters' finalists

  • Efe Çelik
  • Finn Dobbie
  • Louis Martin

Archive of Otago's 3MT® winners

Have a look at our archive page to see past winners

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