Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Three Minute Thesis Competition

3MT_Logo

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 Asia-Pacific 3MT final. We also have the opportunity to send the best Master's contestant to represent the University in the 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, and the presentation should be aimed at a non-specialist audience.

University of Otago Grand Final 2018

The 2018 Three Minute Thesis Competition final was held on Friday 3 August on the Dunedin campus - we are excited to share the winning participants' presentations below.

Tess Soulié

Congratulations to Tess Soulié, a PhD candidate from the Dean's Department, University of Otago Wellington, whose talk entitled The therapeutic crafting of love: journey to the core of the clinical encounter with patients at risk for suicide based on her PhD Clinical suicidologists: Exploration of representations and implications for therapeutic stance. Tess received a NZ$750 research grant courtesy of the University of Otago and will represent Otago at the Asia-Pacific Three Minute Thesis Competition at the University of Queensland on 27 September 2018. Her travel to this event has been generously covered by helloworld Dunedin, official sponsor for the University of Otago 3MT event.

Yasmin Nouri

The Master’s winner title, and a NZ$750 University of Otago research grant, went to Yasmin Nouri, a Master’s student from Genetics, Health Sciences with her presentation entitled Using 3D organoids to model hereditary stomach cancer. The University also sponsored Yasmin to represent Otago at the Master’s 3MT National Inter-University Challenge at the University of Canterbury on 23 August 2018 and we are delighted to announce that she was judged overall winner - congratulations Yasmin!

Emer Lyons

The PhD Peopleʻs Choice Award went to Emer Lyons, from English and Linguistics, Humanities for her presentation entitled Shaming the personal in queer lyric poetry based on her PhD A critical/creative comparison of queer poetics between Ireland and New Zealand. Emer received a NZ$200 research grant from the University of Otago, to add to the NZ$300 she received from the Division of Humanities for winning her Divisional Heat in July.

Christopher Kaldor

The Master’s People's Choice Award went to Christopher Kaldor, from Pathology, Health Sciences University of Otago Christchurch, for his presentation entitled NET-formation in the context of pneumonia. Chris received a NZ$200 research grant from the University of Otago, to add to the NZ$300 he received from the Dean's Office, University of Otago Christchurch, for winning his Divisional Heat in July.

Thanks again to all the 2018 competitors, event helpers and supporters – hope to see you next year!

View footage of the event

2018 Finalists

PhD Finalists

  • Alistair RichardsonChemistry, Sciences
  • Emer LyonsEnglish and Linguistics, Humanities
  • Jessica YoungDSM - General Practice and Rural Health, Health Sciences, Dunedin
  • Mark MillinEconomics, Commerce
  • Marshall LewisAnthropology and Archaeology, Humanities
  • Tess SoulieDean's Department, Health Sciences, University of Otago Wellington
  • Zoe WardMedicine, Health Sciences, University of Otago Christchurch

Masters Finalists

  • An NguyenMarketing, Commerce
  • Angel McNamaraHistory and Art History, Humanities
  • Christopher KaldorPathology, Health Sciences, University of Otago Christchurch
  • Kanon JatuworaprukMedicine, Health Sciences, University of Otago Wellington
  • Rossana BoniBioengineering, Sciences
  • Yasmin NouriGenetics, Health Sciences, Dunedin

Top of Page

2017 Final

The 2017 Three Minute Thesis Competition final was held on Friday 4 August in the Castle 2 lecture theatre on the Dunedin campus, and was also streamed live online.

Congratulations (again!) to Nicola Beatson, a PhD candidate from the Otago Business School, Accounting and Finance department, whose talk entitled ‘Confidence Matters’ based on her PhD ‘The role of self-efficacy beliefs in accounting education’. Nicola received a $750 research grant and airfares and accommodation to represent Otago at the Asia-Pacific Three Minute Thesis Competition at the University of Queensland on 29 September 2017, both courtesy of the University of Otago.

In 2015 Nicola won the 3MT Masters final at Otago and travelled to compete in the Inaugural Masters’ 3MT National University Challenge in Auckland.

The Masters winner title and a $750 University of Otago research grant went to Deanna Beckett, a Master’s student from Preventive and Social Medicine, Health Sciences with her presentation entitled ‘Incorporating economic evaluation into oral health related quality of life measure for children'. The University also sponsored Deanna to represent Otago at the Inaugural Masters 3MT National Inter-University Challenge at Victoria, University of Wellington on 24 August 2017.

Deanna was chosen to receive a People’s Choice Award at the Wellington event.

Other PhD finalists were:
PhD Finalists
Adam Denny – Physiology, Health Sciences
Adeel Akmal – Management, Commerce
Andrew Mills – Psychology, Sciences
Chidimma Aham-Chiabuotu - Population Health, Otago University, Christchurch
Ellie-May Jarvis - Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Otago University, Wellington
Rafaela Costa Camoes Rabello – College of Education, Humanities
Sabarinath Prasad – Oral Sciences, Health Sciences

Masters Finalists
Alex Wilson - Music, Theatre & Performing Arts, Humanities
Josie Cairns – Geography, Sciences

Thanks again to all the 2017 competitors and event helpers. Hope to see you next year!

Footage of the 2017 final

2015 Final

The 2015 Three Minute Thesis Competition final was held on Wednesday 26 August in the Archway 4 lecture theatre on the Dunedin campus, and was also streamed live online.

Congratulations to Jenny McDowell, a PhD candidate from the Sir John Walsh Research Institute, whose talk entitled 'Time related taphonomic alteration to juvenile skeletal remains in a marine environment: The effect of seawater on bone preservation over time’ earned her the Supreme Award. Jenny received a $1000 research grant and airfares and accommodation to represent Otago at the Trans-Tasman Three Minute Thesis Competition at the University of Queensland on 2nd October 2015, both courtesy of the University of Otago.

Special mention must be made to Jenny who went on to win her heat at the Trans-Tasman competition at the University of Queensland, locking in her spot in the final, which also meant making the top ten of a total of 50 competitors - a tremendous achievement! Congratulations, Jenny!

The Masters winner title and a $1000 University of Otago research grant went to Nicola Beatson, a Master’s student from the Department of Accounting and Finance, whose presentation was titled ‘Motivation and Satisfaction at Work: Is it the Money or the Job? A study of IT professionals.' The University also sponsored Nicola to represent Otago at the Inaugural Masters 3MT National Inter-University Challenge in Auckland on 10 September 2015.

Gilles Marciniak, a PhD student from the Centre of Sustainability won the Crowd Favourite crown and a $500 research grant for his talk entitled 'Making the Intangible Tangible: Eliciting Landscape Values at a Community Level'.

Other finalists were:
Hana Cadzow, Geography
Emma Wade, Women and Children’s Health
Leon Mabire, School of Physiotherapy
Emanuel Kofler, Management
John Gray, Peace and Conflict Studies
Chris Larsen, Chemistry
Mayouri Sukhapure, Psychological Medicine (UOC)
For those of you who cannot attend, the final will also be streamed here.

More great stories and information about the 2015 3MT can be found on the Graduate Research School BLOG!

Thanks again to all the 2015 competitors and event helpers. Hope to see you next year!

^ Top of Page

2013 Final

The 2013 Three Minute Thesis Competition final was held on Friday 30 August in the Castle 1 lecture theatre on the Dunedin campus, and was also streamed live online.Daniel Wee

Congratulations to Daniel Wee, a PhD candidate from the Department of Philosophy, whose talk entitled ‘Talking to oneself: Is it still a language if only one person understands it?’ earned him the Supreme Award. Daniel received an Apple iPad, and airfares and accommodation to represent Otago at the Australasian Three Minute Thesis Competition at the University of Western Sydney on 18th October 2013, both courtesy of the University of Otago.

Second place and a Samsung Galaxy tablet sponsored by OfficeMax went to Helen Alderson, a Master’s student from the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, whose presentation was called ‘Geochemically sourcing the architectural basalt of Nan Madol.’

David Barton, a Master’s student from the Department of Psychology won the Schools’ Favourite prize of a $250 book voucher courtesy of the University Book Shop, for his talk entitled ‘What’s in a Name?’ This was voted by Dunedin high school students who were invited to attend the final.

Our other finalists were:

  • Shobhit Eusebius – Marketing
  • Jessica Leov – Psychological Medicine, DSM
  • Oliver Watkins – Chemistry
  • Rebecca Gray – Public Health, UOW
  • Andrew Das – Pathology, UOC
  • Sophia Cameron-Christie – Women’s and Children’s Health, DSM

Footage of the 2013 final can be viewed elsewhere on our website.

^ Top of page

2012 Final

The 2012 Three Minute Thesis Competition final was held on Friday 31 August in the Dunedin College of Education Auditorium, and was also streamed live online.

Congratulations to Andrew Filmer from the Department of Music, whose talk entitled ‘String Retunings: Modern Approaches to a Lost Art’ earned him the Supreme Award. Andrew received a $1500 study grant, and airfares and accommodation to represent Otago at the Australasian Three Minute Thesis Competition at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, which will be held on 11th October 2012.

Second place and a $750 study grant went to Allamanda Faatoese from the Department of Medicine at the University of Otago’s Christchurch campus, whose topic was "Why are Maori dying earlier of heart disease?"

Hemakumar Devan from the School of Physiotherapy was awarded third place and a $500 study grant for his presentation 'Amputation, Asymmetry and Low Back Pain.' Hemakumar also won the $250 prize for best presenter as voted by Dunedin high school students who were invited to attend the final.

Our other finalists were:

  • Tim Crawford – Biochemistry, OSMS and Botany
  • Rebecca Cooke – Human Nutrition and Medicine, DSM
  • Rebecca Van Amber – Applied Sciences
  • Neil Vallelly – English and Linguistics
  • Wiebke Finkler – Tourism

View the Footage of the 2012 final.

^ Top of page

2011 Final

The 2011 Three Minute Thesis Competition final was held on Wednesday 31 August in the Dunedin College of Education Auditorium, and was also streamed live online.

Congratulations to Jack Rivers from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, whose talk on medical marijuana earned him the Supreme Award. Jack received a $2000 study grant, and airfares and accommodation to represent Otago at the Australasian Three Minute Thesis Competition at the University of Western Australia in Perth, which was held on 29 September 2011. Jack also gave an impressive performance at this event, taking out the People's Choice Award, and his winning presentation can be viewed here.

Second place and a $1000 study grant went to Kirsten Walsh from the Department of Philosophy, whose topic was 'Experiment and Mathematic in Newton's Natural Philosophy.'

Jordana Norrish from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics was awarded third place and a $500 study grant for her presentation 'The Language of Mathematics: Lost in Translation?'

Our other finalists were:

  • Jonathan Foo - Pathology and Molecular Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington
  • Azrina Md Ralib - Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch
  • Yanwei Tan - English
  • Travis Monk - Zoology
  • Hongjun Shi - Pathology and Molecular Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington
  • Carla Jellum - Tourism

^ Top of page

2010 Final

In 2010 we had ten finalists who presented their PhD research to a large and enthusiastic audience - as well as a television crew from Invercargill-based station Cue TV - in the Dunedin College of Education Auditorium on 19th August.

Our Supreme Award Winner was Carol Wyvill from the Department of English, with her presentation 'Mirror of a Medieval Monk.' Carol's fantastic performance at the Australasian final can be viewed here: 'The Mirror of a Medieval Monk.'

The Audience Favourite Award was shared between Evan Tan from the Department of Women's and Children's Health at the Dunedin School of Medicine, and Daniel Hutchinson from the Department of Chemistry. Evan's presentation was on 'Sleep - A new tool against childhood obesity?' and Daniel's was called 'Chemistry in Action.'

Our other finalists were:

  • Trudy Sullivan – Economics
  • Jordana Norrish – Mathematics and Statistics
  • Tracy Melzer – Medicine, UOC
  • Moira Smith – Public Health, UOW
  • Jacqueline Kao – Chemistry
  • Patty Towl – Education
  • Kristen Steslow – Bioethics, DSM

Our supreme award winner received a $2000 conference/travel grant, as well as a trip to Brisbane to compete in the Australasian final at the University of Queensland in September, with each finalist each receiving a $250 study grant. In addition to this, the presenter voted the audience favourite, won a $1000 conference/travel grant.