3 Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition that showcases UNSW’s innovative PhD candidates, who have just 3 minutes to explain their world-changing research and why it is important.


We are excited to announce our 2022 3MT Finals will be back in-person this year. 

Join us on 31 August at Leighton Hall, and hear the best and brightest UNSW PhD candidates pitch their world-changing ideas.

Date:  Wednesday, 31 August

Time:  4pm – 7pm

Venue:  UNSW Leighton Hall, The John Niland Scientia Building (G19)

portrait picture of Liza Mare Syron
What an exciting time for research in Australia. So many amazing thesis projects. The passion of our researchers to provide innovative responses to societal challenges shows me that we are in the hands of competent and thoughtful future leaders.

Liza-Mare Syron

Scientia Senior Lecturer

Portrait picture of Robyn Williams
It’s always a privilege to hear tomorrow’s intellectual talent. The science is there, and so is the passion. But there is also the argument, WHY this is important! From the politics of energy to the understanding of the sense of touch, from veggies on verges, to the handling of E-waste.

Robyn Williams

Science journalist

2021 Winners

First Place: Jodie Pestana, A Mother’s Brain: A Lifelong Journey

Runner Up: Josephine Helen Dwan, The Rise of Initmate Devices: Australian Law and Technology

Joint Third Place: Gwendolyn Foo, E-waste is like a box of chocolates and Shuo Yang, Reforming corporate governance laws of Chinese non-profit nursing homes

ASPIRE Winner: Kristina Ulm, Veggies in verges - Growing food on footpaths awarded by Liverpool Boys High School

People’s Choice: Shuo Yang, Reforming corporate governance laws of Chinese non-profit nursing homes

Highly Commended: Hui (Helen) Pang, Can Investor-State Arbitration Compel States to Mitigate Climate Change? and Praveen Indraratna, TeleClinical Care


Watch all the 2021 3MT talks.

Our 2021 Judges

Liza-Mare is currently an Indigenous Scientia Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts and Media at UNSW. She is widely published in the field of Indigenous performing arts, and her current research project focuses on the role of theatre in the revitalisation of native languages. She is a founding member of Moogahlin Performing Arts, and as a key member of the company’s Artistic Directorate for over ten years has recently been appointed Senior Artistic Associate. Her work history includes; Indigenous Research Fellow at Macquarie University, Senior Aboriginal Cultural Development Officer for Arts NSW, and Head of Theatre Performance at the Eora College for Aboriginal Studies, Centre for Visual and Performing Arts in Redfern. 

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Science journalist and broadcaster Robyn Williams presents ABC Radio National’s The Science Show (since 1975) and Ockham’s Razor. He has conducted countless interviews with scientists on ABC TV on programs such as Quantum and Catalyst, narrated the Nature of Australia series and appeared in World Safari with David Attenborough.

Outside the ABC, Robyn has served in various capacities, including president of the Australian Museum Trust, chairman of the Commission for the Future, and president of the Australian Science Communicators. In 1997, he was proclaimed a National Living Treasure.

In 1993, Robyn was the first journalist elected as a Fellow Member of the Australian Academy of Science. He was appointed AM in the 1988 Australian Bicentenary honours list, then AO in this year’s honours. He has seven honorary doctorates from Australian universities,

He is deputy chair of the Australian Science Media Centre.

Robyn has written more than 10 books, the latest being TURMOIL, Letters from the Brink (2019). 

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Dr Sarah Pearce has been with CSIRO for 10 years as the Deputy Director of CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science.

She became the third female Chief Scientist of CSIRO in January 2021.

After completing her PhD in Physics, Dr Pearce was a senior science advisor in the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, where she gained an understanding of how science can come together with policy to create impact.

At CSIRO, Dr Pearce led engagement in the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project and was Australia’s science representative on the negotiating team for the SKA Treaty.

In 2020, she was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, was named NSW Business Woman of the Year, and Executive of the Year at the 2020 Australian Space Awards.

She is a Superstar of STEM and an advocate for women in science and technology. 

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