National Universities 3MT Masters Competition

6.00pm, Friday 22 October 2021

Watch the National Universities 3MT Masters Competition

This year the Three-minute thesis is being hosted by the University of Waikato.

Watch Live

6.00pm, Friday 22 October 2021

Event details

The University of Waikato is proud to host the 2021 National Universities 3MT Masters Research Competition. The 3MT master’s winners from each competing New Zealand university will have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance in just three minutes in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.


$1000 Cash prize

Runner Up

$500 Cash prize

3MT Logo

The purpose of the 3MT Masters Competition is to encourage students to develop and demonstrate their ability to communicate about the research they are undertaking and the wider social, community, political, scientific and/or economic value of that research. It also provides an opportunity to disseminate the research findings to audiences who might otherwise not even become aware of projects being undertaken.

This year's event is hosted by the University of Waikato and will take place online, with presentations by video submission.

Event schedule

6.00pm Karakia
6.05pm Introduction from MC, Associate Professor Kirstine Moffat
6.10am Welcome from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor Bryony James
6.15pm 6 entrants present
6.45pm Judges provide feedback
6.50pm MC announces winner and runner up
6.55pmKarakia and event concludes

Judges and MC

Kirstine Moffat


Associate Professor Kirstine Moffatt

Kirstine was born in Scotland and arrived in New Zealand at the age of 7. She was educated at the University of Waikato and Victoria University of Wellington. Teaching is one of Kirstine’s passions, and she is the proud recipient of a 2012 and 2019 University of Waikato Teaching Excellence Award and a 2020 Te Ako Aotearoa TertiaryTeaching Excellence Award.

Her research speciality is nineteenth and early twentieth century New Zealand literary and musical culture. She is the author of Piano-Forte: Stories and Soundscapes from Colonial New Zealand, which was funded by a Fast-Start Marsden Research Grant, and is currently researching the performance history of Gilbert and Sullivan in Australia and New Zealand.

Rachel Karalus


Rachel Karalus, K’Aute Pasifika Trust

Rachel Karalus is the Chief Executive of K’aute Pasifika Trust. K’aute Pasifika Trust is a charitable trust providing health, social, education and other wellbeing services to people from all backgrounds using Pacific models of care. Rachel’s background is in law having practiced as a litigation lawyer for many years in Auckland, Wellington and in the Waikato Region.

Rachel is also presently a member of the board for Habitat for Humanity, Child Matters (a charitable trust providing education, advice, support and advocacy for the prevention of child abuse), Pacific Business Trust (an economic development agency supporting Pacific businesses), and St Joseph’s Primary School, Hamilton.

Rachel is of Samoan descent with strong roots in the Waikato and Taranaki Regions. She lives in Hamilton with her husband and her three young boys.

Kahl Betham


Kahl Betham, Gallagher Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director

Kahl Betham is Gallagher’s CEO & Executive Director. With a deep understanding of business strategy and strong business acumen, Kahl has held many senior roles with the company since 1997.

Kahl leads the Group Executive Leadership team comprising Security, Animal Management, Operations, R&D, IS, Risk, Finance, Legal and People & Brand. A people focussed leader, Kahl is passionate about encouraging diverse thinking and customer focussed ingenuity, ensuring the pioneering spirit upon which Gallagher was built continues to thrive.

His focus is on embedding a culture that nurtures a growth mindset, tapping into the collective potential of everyone and building a high performing organisation that cares about having a positive impact on their employees, customers and communities long into the future. Kahl is a member of Gallagher’s Board of Directors and a Director to the majority of the Gallagher Group entities.

Nancy Caiger


Nancy Caiger, University of Waikato Sponsor

Nancy Caiger has been a permanent resident in New Zealand since 1993, and is a sponsor and friend of the University of Waikato. Nancy held a career in the financial sector in Singapore and England, covering markets from foreign exchange, gold, money markets to bonds.

Nancy is also principally involved in residential properties and share markets investments. Nancy has significant involvement in the not-for-profit charitable sector, holding various governance roles. Nancy is passionate about the arts sector, chairing Mesh Sculpture Hamilton for over 12 years, and being a trustee with Boon Street Art for 3 years.


  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech (timing does not include the 3MT title slide and commences from when the competitor starts speaking, not the start of the video).
  • Videos must meet the following criteria: videos must meet the following criteria:
  • Filmed on the horizontal;
  • Filmed on a plain background;
  • Filmed from a static position;
  • Filmed from one camera angle;
  • Contain a 3MT title slide (at beginning);
  • Contain a 3MT PowerPoint slide (top right corner/right side/cut to)
  • A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description). This can be visible continuously, or ‘cut to’ (as many times as you like) for a maximum of 1 minute.
  • The 3 minute audio must be continuous – no sound edits or breaks.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • Submissions via video format (only Vimeo link provided to Event Coordinators). Files sent in other formats will not be accepted.
  • Entries submitted for final adjudication to Wildcard or University Final are to be submitted from the School/Faculty/Institute 3MT Event Coordinator. Competitors should not submit their videos directly to 3MT.

Judging Criteria

At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below. Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.

Comprehension and Content

  • Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question
  • Presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research
  • Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes and impact of the research

Engagement and Communication

  • The oration was delivered clearly, and the language was appropriate for a non-specialist audience
  • The PowerPoint slide was well-defined and enhanced the presentation
  • The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention

Kay Weaver presenting at 3MT

Information for competitors

Competing in the University of Waikato 2021 National Universities 3MT Masters Research Competition?

Download a copy of our event overview for important dates and tips on filming your video submission

Download PDF

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