Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition challenges research higher degree students to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance in just three minutes in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Why take part?

The 3MT competition will be held on Wednesday 1 May 2024 and is a great opportunity to focus on the message of your research. It will allow you to consolidate your ideas and crystallise your research discoveries. Communicating your research to a non-specialist audience will challenge you to think in a fresh way about your ideas and develop your presentation skills. Taking part in the competition will help you to:

  • improve your public speaking skills
  • build your confidence
  • share your passion for research

How the competition works

Entrants have three minutes to present their thesis to the panel of judges and the audience. The judges are academic and professional services staff from the University. The panel of judges choose the winner and the audience choose an ‘audience’s choice’ winner.


  • Judges' Winner £200.
  • Judges' Runner-Up £100.
  • Audience's Choice Winner £100.

The winner, runner-up and audience choice winner will be invited to showcase their presentations at the PGR Celebration Event on 30 May 2024.


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

Judging criteria

At every level of the competition 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

  • Presentation provided clear motivation, background and significance to the research question.
  • Presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research.
  • Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes and impact of the research.

Engagement and communication

  • The oration was delivered clearly, and the language was appropriate for a non-specialist audience.
  • The PowerPoint slide was well-defined and enhanced the presentation.
  • The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention.

How to enter

If you would like to take part, you will need to submit a 300-word summary of your research to The deadline for submitting your summary is Tuesday 2 April 2024.

The most informative and engaging summaries will be selected and those students will be invited to speak in the University finals. You will be informed of the outcome by Tuesday 9 April 2024.

If you're shortlisted you will be offered additional training prior to the competition to help you prepare your presentation.


To be eligible to enter this competition, you need to:

  • be a doctoral student
  • have had your registration status confirmed as PhD
  • have not yet had your viva at the time of the local competition

2023 Judges’ Winner

In May 2023, nine students from across our University were selected to take part in the competition and shared their enthusiasm and commitment to their research areas.

The winner of the competition was Norman Riley, from the Department of Sociology, with their presentation entitled A working-class vegan is something to be? Perceptions of veganism in a Northern town.

Further information

For more information about the competition taking place at the University, please contact

3MT® is an academic competition developed by the University of Queensland, Australia. Its success has led to the establishment of local and national competitions in several countries.

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