Breadcrumbs

3MT event puts PhD research centre-stage at Waikato

17 August 2021

Isaac McIvor 2
Isaac McIvor was the winner of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Doctoral Final at the University of Waikato last week.

A speech on the development of ancestral Waikato pā using both a mātauranga Māori and archaeological approach won the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Doctoral Final at the University of Waikato last week.

Isaac McIvor, a PhD student from Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao - Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies, was one of 10 PhD students who were challenged to present their doctoral research in less than three minutes using only one slide, to a large crowd gathered at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.

The 29-year-old spoke about the ‘ancestral places at the interface of mātauranga Māori (traditional Māori knowledge) and archaeology’, and how that dual approach can provide researchers with a deeper understanding of these sites.

For his PhD research on Waikato pā, Isaac has been speaking face-to-face with members of iwi and hapū across the Waikato region and consulting written sources of information including kōrero tuku iho (oral narratives), whakataukī (proverbs) and pēpehā (tribal sayings).

His work is within a broader Marsden-funded project that is using archaeological techniques such as surveying, excavations, dendrochronology (tree ring dating) and radiocarbon dating to understand when and why pā were constructed in Waikato and how they influenced the development of Māori culture.

The 3MT competition, now in its 12th year at Waikato, is open to all PhD and higher degree research students at the University.

“PhD students are the engine house of University research. Over their three-year programme they learn to think deeply, to formulate and answer important questions, to manage their time effectively and many other skills that add to the actual research project they are driving forward”

Professor Bryony James, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research.

“One of the most critical skills of all is communication, and the 3MT competition refines this in the crucible of public scrutiny. Under the spotlights, with just three minutes to tell their research story, our students leant into the challenge, and gave us the equivalent of 10 short TED talks that traversed the breadth of world-leading research here at Waikato,” says Bryony.

Ten finalists were whittled down from a series of heats.

Isaac was awarded the Professor John D. McCraw Memorial Trophy for outstanding oratory and $1000 to put towards his research.

The Runner Up was Te Huataki Waiora School of Health PhD student Sana Oladi, who spoke about ‘landing safely from accidental falls’. She received $500 to put towards her research.

A Highly Commended award was given to So Hyun Park, PhD student from Te Huataki Waiora School of Health, who talked about her research into ‘the effect of uniform colour in sports’. She received $250 for her research.

Audience members also voted on their favourite speech, with the People’s Choice Award and the $500 cash prize going to PhD student Simon Connolly from Te Aka Mātuatua - School of Science for his presentation, ‘sexual cannibalism in New Zealand nurseryweb spiders’.

Winner and judges
L-R: Dr Keaka Hemi, So Hyun Park, Isaac McIvor, Sana Oladi, Simon Connolly, Dr Alan Goodey and Raewyn Kirkman.

The presentations were judged on engagement and communication, and comprehension and content.

The three judges were Dr Keaka Hemi, Assistant Vice-Chancellor Pacific, Dr Alan Goodey, Medical Trustee from the Braemar Charitable Trust and Raewyn Kirkman, Chief Executive of the DV Bryant Trust.

Dr Hemi said it was a very difficult decision for the judges, due to the very high standard of presentations.

“We heard from some wonderful orators who spoke confidently, who drew us in and spoke with passion for their subjects, and made us laugh. There is a lot of passion for the research and a lot of good research is going on at Waikato.”

The 3MT is one of many ways the University of Waikato nurtures and supports emerging researchers.

The winner’s trophy, named for the University’s founding professor of Earth Sciences, Professor John McCraw, recognises the importance of communicating science and research to a wide audience. The trophy, a tiki wānanga, was hand-carved and donated by Wiremu Puke (Ngāti Wairere, Ngāti Porou), who also spoke at the event.

Isaac will represent the University of Waikato in the Asia-Pacific Virtual 3MT Competition semi-finals on September 27 hosted by the University of Queensland.

The evening was hosted by Associate Professor Mark Houlahan, and sponsored by Hamilton-based accounting and business advisory firm, Barraclough & Associates.


Latest stories

Related stories

New research puts Pacific climate crisis on the agenda for tangata whenua

New research by the University of Waikato has started important conversations with tangata whenua around…

Designing an inclusive citizenship model guided by Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Rapidly growing ethnic communities are projected to be about 30% of the population of Aotearoa…

Behind 200-year old Te Rā: the last Māori sail

After 200 years in residence in a British Museum storeroom, Te Rā has arrived home…

Research leader and Antarctica expert to join Waikato as Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research

The University of Waikato has announced the appointment of Professor Gary Wilson to the role…

Walking into the future with eyes fixed on the past

Professor Tangiwai Rewi, newly appointed Te Amokapua (Dean), Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao, is…

University of Waikato researchers receive record-level Marsden funding to explore bold ideas for the future

The University of Waikato is celebrating its most successful Marsden funding round yet.

Dr Rebecca Lawton Rutherford Discovery Fellow

Prestigious Rutherford Discovery Fellowship awarded to Dr Rebecca Lawton for marine kelp research

Dr Rebecca Lawton, Senior Lecturer in Marine Science and Aquaculture at the University of Waikato…

Dr Tangiwai Rewi

Waikato alumna to lead Māori & Indigenous Studies

The University of Waikato’s Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao, Faculty of Māori and Indigenous…

Dr Jason Mika

Significant funding boost for University of Waikato research

The University of Waikato has achieved significant results in the latest funding round from the…

Dr Haki Tuaupiki and Associate Professor Maui Hudson

Waikato researchers tapped for US$30m Centre for braiding Indigenous knowledge and science

Two University of Waikato researchers have been shoulder-tapped as investigators within the newly launched NSF…

3MT group photo 2023

Captive kiwi management researcher takes out tight competition

Te Aka Mātuatua School of Science animal behaviour researcher Rebecca Connor won the University's 3…

IDI Lab sign

Newly refurbished Waikato IDI Lab a catalyst for fostering academic-industry collaboration

The University of Waikato re-opened its newly refurbished Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) Lab; a catalyst…