Congratulations to 3MT competition winners

Thursday 09 July 2020

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition celebrates the research done by Higher Degree by Research (HDR) and Honours students.

Students present their research in three minutes, to a non-specialist, academic or research background audience, in hope of effectively communicating the importance and significance of their research.

This year marks the 13th year of the competition, created by the University of Queensland.

Now a staple in the research student community, this year saw the largest support of students competition from Mater Research—18 HDR and 7 Honours students.

While competition was fierce, Jemima Walker (picture left) has claimed the dual titles of Honours student 3MT winner and People’s Choice Awardee. Her win has also been celebrated by her supervisor Associate Professor Samudragupta (Sam) Bora.

Jemima’s presentation was called Shining the Light on Preemie Fathers’ Experiences, where she showcased how the father’s experience of premature birth, while not the same as the mother’s, needs to be considered.

“This is based on the simple fact that ‘dad’s need love too’ and that dads can feel overwhelmed with a lack of control, concern of their partner and their child’s health,” Ms Walker said.

“My research challenges the current spotlight on mothers, and challenges it to shift direction to include dads.”

In the HDR 3MT competition, under the supervision of Dr Jake Gratten, Chloe Yap (pictured right) claimed the overall title of winner for her work, From molecules to the mind: autism biology from big data.

“I work in autism, where we know there is a strong biological basis, but we have no idea how we get from molecular and genetic pathways, to how we behave and interact with each other,” Ms Yap said.

“Autism is very multifactorial – it’s like trying to find metaphorical needles in a multi-dimensional haystack. I’m using big data to understand how millions of biological markers relate to each other and contribute to autism.”

The HDR 3MT runner up, also supervised by Associate Professor Bora, was Ben Austin for his work, Born in the USA? The role of work engagement in the NICU and Selwin Samuel was awarded the HDR 3MT People’s Choice for his work, Sow Germs... Grow Bones!!!

Ms Walker and Ms Yap will represent Mater Research in the upcoming virtual UQ Faculty of Medicine HDR Final.

For the first time, due to the current environment, presentations were done virtually, which allowed more friends and families to offer their support.

Missed the live stream or want to relive the highlights? View their virtual presentations below.

Honours student 3MT and People’s Choice Award winner – Jemima Walker Shining the Light on Preemie Fathers’ Experiences:


HDR 3MT winner – Chloe Yap, From molecules to the mind: autism biology from big data:

HDR Runner up – Ben Austin, Born in the USA? The role of work engagement in the NICU:

HDR People’s Choice Award – Selwin Samuel, Sow Germs... Grow Bones!!!:


Honourable mentions

Third place HDR 3MT – Grace Fitzallen, Traumatic, Life-Changing, Inspiring: A Parent’s Journey to Flourishing:

Fourth place HDR 3MT – Robin-Lee Troskie, The Walking Dead - Zombie Genes: