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Three Minute Thesis Competition


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by doctoral candidates. It cultivates candidates’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports candidates’ capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience

  • Rules


    • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description; the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration)
    • No additional electronic media (eg sound and video files) are permitted
    • No additional props (eg costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted
    • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum and competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified
    • Presentations are to be made using the spoken word (no poems, raps or songs)
    • Presentations are to commence from the stage
    • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech
    • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final
  • Judging criteria

    Each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below. Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.


    Comprehension and Content

    • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
    • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
    • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
    • Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
    • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
    • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation-or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?


    Engagement and Communication

    • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
    • Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or generalise their research?
    • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
    • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
    • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
    • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation-was it clear, legible, and concise?


  • Who is eligibile to enter?

    Active doctoral candidates who have been confirmed in their candidature by the date of their 3MT Heat presentation are eligible to participate in all levels of the Competition, including the Asia-Pacific 3MT. Doctoral candidates whose thesis is under examination are eligible to participate.

  • Why do it?


    • Develop critical communications skills to ‘sell’ your research project
    • Gain a wider audience for your research
    • Counts as a work-in-progress activity (refer to Section 17 of the Research and Professional Doctorate Degree Regulations)
    • Generate interest from key stakeholders, including media
    • Present before an esteemed panel and obtain valuable feedback
    • Win great prize money
    • A chance to represent ACU at the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition
  • Sponsor

    Co-op Limited

    Sponsor of the “Winner”  and “Runner-up” prizes for the Three Minute Thesis Competition ACU Final.

2018 3MT

  • 2018 Dates and Venues

    The dates and venues for the 2018 3MT competition will be available in late April/start of May.

    For any questions, please contact

Previous years