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3 Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®)

Matariki 3MT®


We are delighted that the 2021 Matariki 3MT® event included presentations from all seven member institutions for the very first time! Students from right across the network battled it out to impress the international judging panel, in an effort to win one of the generous cash prizes on offer! This year’s winners are as follows:

First Place: Moritz Koch (Tübingen) – “Using metabolic engineering strategies to improve phototrophic cyanobacteria for the production of sustainable, biodegradable bioplastics” (Microbiology)

This year’s Matariki 3MT winner; Moritz Koch

Runner-up: Samantha Twietmeyer (Queen’s) – “Scared of what’s behind you – Negotiating a double minority dilemma” (Political Studies)

Many thanks to everybody who voted in this year’s People’s Choice vote which ran alongside the formal competition. The presentation which received the most votes was:

Patrick Boudreau (Otago): “The optimal state for adventure sports” (Tourism)

You can watch all of this year’s entries here.

Huge congratulations to all of our extremely talented finalists!


This year’s student presentations came from Durham University, University of Otago, Queen’s University and University of Western Australia and were of an extremely high standard. The judges had a hard time deliberating the winners, but ultimately decided the following:

  • 1st place – Sean Marrs (Queen’s) – “City of Spies” (History)
  • Runner-up – Olivia Johnston (UWA) – “Teacher, I care that you C.A.R.E.” (Education)

The general public was also invited to vote in our People’s Choice award between 16th-25th October. We received well over 1,000 votes and the winner was crowned as follows:

  • Victoria Purdy (Otago) – “Fingerprinting New Zealand Hops: Can we expand the NZ hop industry?” (Food Science).

Well done to all of our contestants and thank you to everybody who took part in our People’s Choice vote!

 You can watch all ten videos here


First developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, the Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT®) challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.

The Matariki Network’s 2019 inaugural 3MT® contest is now complete and was a huge success! Students from Dartmouth College, Durham University, Queen’s University, University of Otago and University of Western Australia competed in a virtual competition which was judged by a panel of experts from across the network. After much deliberation and discussion, the winners have been confirmed as follows:

  • 1st place (£1,000) – Katarina Doughty (UWA) – “Reducing global food waste through insect farming”
  • Runner-up (£250) – Nevena Martinovic (Queen’s) – “Acting your age – Gender & age on the 18th century stage”

The wider Matariki community also had chance to have its say with the “People’s Choice” online poll – Thanks to all who voted! The student who received the most votes and is therefore crowned as the 2019 People’s Choice winner is:

  • Cassie Stylianou (Otago) – “Unravelling the genetic variants underlying inherited endometrial cancer risk”

The videos have all been uploaded to the Matariki YouTube channel and can be viewed here – congratulations to all our finalists!

Read our 2019 news article here.

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