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Three Minute Thesis Competition

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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. We also have the opportunity to send the best Master's contestant to represent the University in the online New Zealand Masters 3MT® National Inter-University Challenge.

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 – see below for more on eligibility and rules.

Eligibility

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. The University of Otago overall winner will be entered in the Asia-Pacific 3MT® final. Pre-confirmation PhD candidates who are active in programme are eligible to participate in heats, but cannot advance to the University of Otago Grand Final.

Master’s thesis (90 points of research or more) candidates who are active in programme (including candidates whose thesis is under examination, but not graduates) are eligible to participate in all levels of the 3MT® competition. The overall winner will be entered in the New Zealand Masters 3MT® National Inter-University Challenge.

Competition rules

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

2021 Final

Grand Final

After a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19 the annual 3MT® competition was back for 2021. The Grand Final was held on 5 August 2021, with the Burns Lecture Theatre nearing full capacity.

This year the competition saw 12 finalists go head-to-head to capture the audience’s attention and convey their research in three minutes.

Congratulations to all our 2021 finalists for their amazing presentations.

Pradeesh

Congratulations to Pradeesh, a PhD candidate from the Department of Computer Science. Pradeesh’s talk was titled “Detecting the target of sarcasm is hard: Really?”.

Pradesh won two awards on the night. Firstly, taking 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 be held virtually in 2021.

Pradeesh also took home the People’s Choice Award and a prize of $250 courtesy of the Graduate Research School.

 

Giverny Forbes

Congratulations to Master’s candidate Giverny Forbes from the Department of Zoology who took home the Best Master’s 3MT® award for her talk titled ‘Living with leopard seals’.

Giverny took home a prize of $500 courtesy of the Graduate Research School and will be representing the University of Otago at the New Zealand Universities 3MT® Master’s Competition to be held virtually later this year.

 

Patrick Boudreau

Congratulations to PhD candidate Patrick Boudreau from the Department of Tourism for winning the Runner-up Doctoral award for his talk titled ‘The optimal state for adventure sports’.

Patrick took home a $250 prize courtesy of the Graduate Research School and will be representing the University of Otago at the Matariki Network of Universities 3MT® Competition to be held later this year.

 

2021 Finalists

PhD Finalists

  • Patrick Boudreau
  • Phoebe Heenan
  • Cassandra Joseph
  • Pradeesh
  • Fathimath Shiraani
  • Hayley Stent
  • Lucy Thomsen
  • Kavindra Wijenayake


Master’s Finalists

  • Gray Baldwin
  • Giverny Forbes
  • Yi Zhen Tan
  • Hannah Van Der Woude

Previous winners

Have a look at past years' events on our archive page.