Massey University 3MT Competition - Doctoral


Entries this year are open to doctoral candidates undertaking research. Doctoral candidates must have successfully passed their confirmation milestones. Doctoral candidates whose thesis is under examination are eligible to compete; graduates are not eligible. Finalists will be required to agree to media exposure for their presentation and research as the finals will be filmed. 

Massey University 3MT Prizes

  • Winner: $5000 into a research account (conference or research related expenses), plus travel and accommodation to represent Massey University in the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition.
  • Runner Up: $2000 cash
  • Peoples' Choice $1000 cash 

Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition

The Massey University PhD final winner will participate in the 2019 Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition taking place on Friday, 4th October, at the University of Queensland, Brisbane.  He or she will receive one-on-one training with Massey University's top public speaking experts.  For more information please visit the following webpage.


  • Winner: $5000 research travel grant
  • Runner Up: $2000 research travel grant
  • People's Choice: $1000 research travel grant

2019 Winner - Clare Ladyman

Ms Ladyman from the Sleep/Wake Research Centre won the doctoral heat.  In her presentation, entitled Is sleep the ‘black box’ to pregnancy and post-natal depression, Ms Ladyman spoke about her analysis of the sleep and depression patterns of 856 women from late pregnancy to three years post-birth – New Zealand’s first study of this kind.

She will be heading to Brisbane in October to battle it out at the international competition at the University of Queensland.  We wish her all the best!

Past Winners

2018 Winner - Meghan Keck

Meghan Keck - A 3rd year PhD candidate from School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, taking out the top honour at the 2018 Massey University 3MT final.  Meghan’s presentation ‘Cheesy Maths – An engineer’s guide to the transport of salt & whey in cheese’: based on her PhD thesis looking to utilise mathematical modelling to improve the consistency of cheese.


"I had the pleasure of competing in the 2018 Massey 3MT after my supervisor encouraged
me to participate. It proved to be a great opportunity to not only communicate the
interesting research I was doing, but to practice communicating to a non-expert audience.
This experience helped me to learn how to actively engage and find succinct ways to
describe the work I do and its value to the wider community. It was incredibly useful to
learn about different communication styles and the importance of distilling the most
important information to key points, and I look forward to being able to apply those
techniques in my future career in coordination with interdisciplinary groups."

Meghan Keck - 2018 PhD Finalist and Winner

2017 Winner - Sherina Holland

PhD breast cancer researcher Sherina Holland won the Massey 3MT finals for 2017, held at the Speirs Centre, with her research on the “cross-talk” between breast cancer cells and immune cells that could lead to new understandings of and targeted treatment for the disease. 

2016 Winner - Mark Roberts

Veterinary researcher, Mark Roberts beat 10 other finalists to win the PhD finals of the 2016 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition with his research on dog protein requirements.  Mark Roberts took home the $5000 first prize.


Contact: Julia Rayner or 
Alexis Boniface @

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) - Training Sessions

Please find a number of recorded training sessions below to help you prepare for the next Massey University 3MT competition.

Massey University 3MT Information Session

What is the 3MT competition and why participate? What are the eligibility & judging criteria?  Who can attend?, etc.  This session will cover all the basics about why you would want to participate, how the competition is set up, and what to expect if you are competing.

Recording is available for viewing HERE

Developing your 3MT Presentation

This session will provide some helpful hints and tips on:

Developing your narrative for the 3MT competition; this is not easy given the short time period and often complex subjects. How do you meet the judging criteria in three minutes?, and how to design a slide with impact and a clear message.

Recording is available for viewing HERE

3MT - Writing a Great Speech

Learn top techniques for writing your three-minute speech and five common mistakes speakers make in the competition. Dr Heather Kavan lectures in Speech Writing and will share with you the tips and strategies she wishes she'd known when she was a PhD student explaining her research. When you've finished the session, you'll be on your way to writing a winning speech. Heather has been assisting with 3MT training for a number of years and this is an invaluable workshop for anyone looking to participate.

Recording is available for viewing HERE

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