ACU theologian wins 5RP finals

Published: Wednesday 12th November 2014

Dr Michael P. Theophilos is celebrating after winning the Five Minute Research Pitch (5RP) final with his presentation Oxyrhynchus: Recovering Lost Manuscripts from the Ancient World.

Dr Theophilos is a Lecturer in Biblical Studies and Ancient Languages from ACU’s Faculty of Theology and Philosophy. 

Similar to the national Three Minute Thesis, 5RP is an exciting opportunity for researchers to showcase their work to a national audience and win up to $7000 towards their research. 

Competitors have just five minutes, and three powerpoint slides, to present their current research in a way that is easily understood by a non-academic audience.  This year, the event was hosted at Victoria University with competitors from Victoria University, ACU, Edith Cowan University, Federation University and Southern Cross University taking part.

Dr Theophilos’ research focuses on the corpus of Greek papyri, ostraca and tablets that are able to illuminate the historical, social and linguistic context of the New Testament and the broader ancient Mediterranean world.

“My research involves translation and recovery of documents which have essentially been buried in the ancient rubbish dumps of Oxyrhynchus (Egypt) for 2000 years. What is absolutely fascinating within this area of study is that, in addition to the discovery  of great literary texts, one also has thousands upon thousands of documents of everyday life – receipts, tax returns, petitions, sales documents, leases, wills, shopping lists, and private letters,” Dr Theophilos said.

Dr Theophilos said that being able to recover and examine these documents gives us a broader definition of how the ancient Mediterranean world was operating economically, politically and socially within the early centuries of the first millennium CE.

As well as being the overall winner, Dr Theophilos was also awarded first place in the Social Sciences and Humanities Group.

There was more success for ACU as Ms Simeon Dale, Faculty of Health Sciences, was awarded first place in the Science and Health Group for her presentation The Quality in Acute Stroke Care (QASC) Implementation Project.

Professor Wayne McKenna, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) said ACU’s success is further evidence the University is developing a strong research culture. 

“Our strong performance at 5RP demonstrates that ACU is positioning itself to become a leading research university and highlights our commitment to supporting and developing excellence in research,” he said.

Dr Ross Clark, Faculty of Health Sciences, also took part in the Science and Health Group with his presentation Limited Translation: Can recent advances change this? 

Dr Peter Koval, also from the Faculty of Health Sciences, took part in the Social Sciences and Humanities Group with his presentation Managing Emotions.

The 2015 5RP final will be held at ACU – watch this space for further details.

To find out more about 5RP, please visit