About 3MT

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition that challenges HDR candidates to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience. The 3MT is held at many universities across Australia, New Zealand and Asia, culminating in an Asia-Pacific 3MT Final. The competition aims to professionally develop the presentation and research communication skills of all participants, honing their ability to effectively explain their research in a language that can be understood by a non-specialist audience.

In 2020, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the entire competition was completed online. See below the 2020 contestants' presentations and results. The 3MT competition will be run again in 2021, so stay tuned for more information!

Winners of the 2020 Three Minute Thesis Glycomics Heats

2020 Three Minute Thesis Glycomics Contestants

1. Vimbaishe Chibanga

I am a final year PhD candidate, supervised by Professor Mark von Itzstein AO, Dr Larissa Dirr and Dr Patrice Guillon. I am investigating the mechanisms involved in human parainfluenza virus infections. These viruses cause mild to severe chest infections, and there are currently no licensed drugs to treat infected people. I hope that my research findings will provide valuable insights for future antiviral drug development. In addition to my research, I enjoy science communication and participating in community outreach and engagement programmes. I also have a keen interest in policy development, focusing on gender equality and equity in STEM.

2. Eugene Madzokere

I am a PhD candidate in the Herrero Lab at the Institute for Glycomics at Griffith University. I am supervised by Dr Lara Herrero and Professor Yaoqi Zhou. I am studying two groups of RNA viruses called Alphaviruses, using computational and evolutionary methods. One of these two groups of alphaviruses is non-lethal and causes debilitating arthritis and inflammation of the joints; the other group is mostly lethal and causes inflammation of brain tissue – a condition called encephalitis. My research helps to further our understanding of alphaviruses and contain their spread in endemic areas.

3. Tiago Oliveira

I am a PhD student at the Institute for Glycomics, currently being supervised by Associate Professor Daniel Kolarich (main supervisor), Professor Nicolle Packer, and Professor Mark von Itzstein AO. I am originally from Portugal where I completed my bachelor's and master's degrees in Biochemistry in two different institutions. The focus of my PhD is to understand the importance of glycans (sugars) and proteins in the development and progression of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), which is a type of blood cancer, mainly using a technology called Mass Spectrometry.

4. Zachary Phillips

I work with Dr John Atack and Professor Michael Jennings at the Institute for Glycomics at Griffith University.  My PhD looks at phase-variable genes in Streptococcus Pneumoniae and Haemophilus Influenzae.

5. Olivia Tan

I am currently a third-year postgraduate student undertaking a PhD at the Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University. My current research is focused on human parainfluenza virus type 1 (hPIV- 1), which is a respiratory virus that is responsible for causing croup and commonly requires patient hospitalisation in severe cases. Despite ongoing research efforts, there are no antiviral drugs or vaccines that have been clinically approved to treat hPIV-1 infections to date, thus, reinforcing the urgency for developing novel therapeutic approaches. My supervisors are Professor Mark von Itzstein AO, Dr Larissa Dirr, Dr Thomas Ve and Dr Patrice Guillon.

6. Jackie Wang

I am a second-year PhD student at the Institute for Glycomics, supervised by Professor Michael Jennings, Dr Lucy Shewell and Dr Christopher Day. I work in the interdisciplinary field of glycobiology and cancer biology. My research project is to investigate whether cancer cells produce a typically non-human sugar, Neu5Gc, under certain conditions. Decoding the 'bitter sweet' sugar language of cancer cells could provide a fundamental molecular basis for the development of using Neu5Gc as a universal cancer biomarker for early detection and monitoring.


Active PhD candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under submission) by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT competitions at all levels, including the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition.

There are some great prizes on offer for the Glycomics Heats:

  • 1st Prize - $800 gift voucher
  • 2nd Prize - $400 gift voucher
  • People's Choice Prize - $250 gift voucher


The 2020 Institute for Glycomics 3MT virtual competition will take place in the following stages:

Monday 3 - Friday 7 August

Participants' videos live for public viewing

On Monday 3 August, the video links will be uploaded to the Glycomics website, and announcements will be sent via our Institute for Glycomics social media channels to invite colleagues, supporters, friends and the general public to view the videos.  The videos will be able to be viewed for the week.

Friday 7 August

Judges to make their decisions

The Judges will view the videos during the week, and will make their decisions by Friday 7 August.

Friday 7 August, 10 - 11 am

People's Choice voting

Voting for People's Choice will open for one hour on Friday 7 August from 10 - 11 am.

Friday 7 August, 2 pm

Announcement of the winners

Winners (1st, 2nd and People's Choice) will be announced in the Institute for Glycomics across our social media channels on Friday 7 August, at 2:00 pm.


Modifications to the 3MT rules have been made to accommodate the new virtual format.

  • 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:
    • Filmed on the horizontal;
    • Filmed on a plain background;
    • Filmed from a static position;
    • Filmed from one camera angle;
    • Contain a 3MT title slide;
    • Contain a 3MT PowerPoint slide (top right corner/right side/cut to).

Find out more

Previous Glycomics student 3MT finalists

Joanna Musik

2019 Finalist

Olivia Tan

2019 Finalist

Vimbaishe Chibanga

2018 Finalist

Barbara Hadley

2017 Finalist