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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 timeline

  • Monday 28 June 1.30pm
    University of Otago Christchurch 3MT® competition, Beaven Lecture Theatre, Christchurch campus.
  • Tuesday 29 June 1pm
    University of Otago Wellington 3MT® competition, Small Lecture Theatre, Wellington campus.

Note: the Christchurch and Wellington competitions feed into the Health Sciences Divisional heat, other Division candidates located in Christchurch/Wellington can present at these events and be judged as part of their Divisional heat.

  • Tuesday 6 July 10am
    Humanities Division 3MT® heat, Moot Court, Richardson Building, Dunedin campus.
  • Wednesday 7 July 2pm
    Health Sciences Division 3MT® heat, Barnett Lecture Theatre, Dunedin Hospital.
  • Thursday 8 July 10am
    Commerce Division 3MT® heat, Otago Business School Lecture Room 1.17, Dunedin campus.
  • Friday 9 July 10am
    Sciences Division 3MT® heat, Mellor Laboratories Seminar Room 2.02, Dunedin campus.

Heat winners progress to the Grand Final (see below).

  • Thursday 5 August 5pm
    University of Otago 3MT® grand final, Burns 1 Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, Albany Street.

Grand Final winners progress to further national/international competitions:

  • Master’s, Tuesday 31 August.
  • Doctoral, September/October.

Competition rules

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

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

Best Doctoral presentation 2019

Cassie Stylianou

Health Sciences
Topic: Unravelling the genetic variants underlying inherited endometrial cancer risk

Cassie went on to win the People’s Choice Award in the Matariki Network of Universities 3MT® Competition 2019.

Best Master’s presentation 2019

Jonah Belk

Sciences
Topic: Modelling the passive dynamics of spider locomotion through robotic design

Jonah went on to win the People’s Choice Award in the NZ Inter-University 3MT® Master’s Final 2019.

People’s Choice Award 2019

Jeff Doherty

Sciences
Topic: The “suicidal” cricket and the hairworm