About 3MT®

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by PhD candidates.

Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the exercise cultivates students' academic, presentation, and research communication skills.

The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

The first 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 Research Higher Degree students competing. In 2009 and 2010 the 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew.

Due to its adoption in numerous universities, a multi-national event was developed, and the Inaugural Trans-Tasman 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2010.

Since 2011, the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in over 600 universities across more than 65 countries worldwide.

In November 2013, the first Universitas 21 (U21) 3MT competition was held with several universities from around the world competing in a virtual competition.

2016 brought an expansion of the Trans-Tasman 3MT competition to include a South-East Asia and North-East Asia. This competition is now called the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition.

In 2020 3MT is held in over 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide.

Active PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research)* candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under submission) by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT competitions at all levels, including the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition. Graduates are not eligible.

*Professional Doctorate (Research) program composed of at least 2/3 research and funded via the Research Training Program.

Please note that Australian candidates enrolled in any of the following programs are not eligible for the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition:

  • Masters (MResearch and Coursework);
  • Professional Doctorate (Coursework).
TO ENTER

Video submissions for the UTAS wide Virtual 3MT Competition are now OPEN.

Entries accepted until 5pm AEST, FRIDAY 20 AUGUST 2021.  Register here.

Email your PowerPoint slide and entry (as a link to your video on Vimeo) to the 3MT Coordinator at Graduate.Research@utas.edu.au (refer to 'Rules and Recording' for instructions).

 
JUDGES
 

A panel of experts from different disciplines within UTAS will judge entries across two heats (dependent on number of entries received).

 

The winners from each Heat will progress to the UTAS Finals. The winner will then represent UTAS at the Asia Pacific Final.

Judging Criteria
1.  Comprehension & Content
  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • 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?

2.  Engagement

  • 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?
 
FINALS & PEOPLES CHOICE COMPETITION
Friday 3 Sept.Finalists notified
Tuesday 7 Sept.Finalist video submission entries close
Wednesday 8 Sept.

Audience viewing for UTAS finalists opens, to vote for People's Choice award

Friday 10 Sept.

The UTAS Community will be asked to vote (via an online forum) on who they thought gave the most convincing 3MT presentation (based on their understanding of the judging criteria outlined above). Details of the finalist will be provided to the audience via power point and using an online voting form will be asked to select the number which corresponds to their favourite presenter. It is possible to win a place (First or Runner-Up) and win the People's Choice award.

SeptemberUTAS winners announced and People's Choice awarded
 
ASIA-PACIFIC FINAL
Friday 17 Sept.                        Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition closes for the UTAS finalist submission
Wednesday 20 Oct.

The Virtual Asia-Pacific Final will be hosted by University of Queensland via Zoom (viewing link and registration details still to come)

Registrations for the UTAS 3MT competition are now open!

REGISTER HERE and submit your entry to the UTAS competition by Friday 20 August 2021

2021 University of Tasmania Final 
  • Winner: $1,500 and the opportunity to represent UTAS at the Virtual Asia-Pacific 3MT event hosted by the University of Queensland
  • Runner Up: $1,000
  • People's Choice: $500
2021 Asia-Pacific 3MT Final
  • Winner: $5,000 research travel grant
  • Runner Up:  $2,000 research travel grant
  • People’s Choice: $1,000 research travel grant
Rules
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech (timing does not include the 3MT title slide and commences from when the competitor starts speaking, not the start of the video).
  • Videos must meet the following criteria:
    • Filmed on the horizontal;
    • Filmed on a plain background (if possible);
    • Filmed from a static position; and
    • Filmed from one camera angle.
  • Optional inclusions in video (if editing with any video editing platform you are familiar with, Kapwing is a suggestion only)
    • 3MT title slide
    • 3MT PowerPoint slide (top right corner/right side/cut to)
  • A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description). This can be visible continuously, or ‘cut to’ (as many times as you like) for a maximum of 1 minute or submitted via email if not included in the presentation.
  • The 3 minute audio must be continuous – no sound edits or breaks.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • Submissions as a Vimeo video format, emailed to Graduate.Research@utas.edu.au (only video link provided to UTAS Event Coordinator). Files sent in other formats will not be accepted.

Please note:

  • Editing of videos to include a 3MT title slide and 3MT PowerPoint slide are optional and will not be scored negatively if this step is not completed. However please provide both the 3MT title slide and 3MT PowerPoint slide upon submission of video.
  • Competitors will not be judged on video/ recording quality or editing capabilities. Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide.
  • After each competition round competitors have the option to either submit their current presentation or rerecord and submit a new presentation for entry into the next round.

What is 3MT?
  • The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition is a skills development activity that challenges Research Higher Degree students to explain their research project to a non-specialist audience in three minutes.
Am I eligible to compete in 3MT?
  • Active PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research)* candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under submission) by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT competitions at all levels, including the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition.
  • Graduates are not eligible.
  • Please note that Australian candidates enrolled in any of the following programs are not eligible for the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition:
    • Masters (MResearch and Coursework);
    • Professional Doctorate (Coursework).
I am a MResearch or Professional Doctorate (Coursework) candidate; can I compete in 3MT?
  • MResearch, Professional Doctorate (Coursework) and pre-confirmation PhD candidates can participate in the 3MT competition up to the University Semi-Finals, but cannot advance to the University Finals or the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition.
I am doing a PhD but I haven't gone through confirmation; can I compete in 3MT?
  • See answer above.
My thesis is under examination; can I compete in 3MT?
  • Candidates whose thesis is under examination on the date of their first presentation are eligible to compete in the 3MT at all levels, including the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition.
  • Graduates are not eligible to compete.
What format should my PowerPoint slide be?
  • All slides must be provided as Widescreen-sized (16:9) PowerPoint files.
What is allowed on my PowerPoint slide?
  • One single static PowerPoint slide is permitted.
  • Slide transitions, animations, sounds or movement are not permitted.
  • Remember that 'less is more' and it does not have to include text.
  • Visual cues are very effective in assisting the presenter's explanation of their research.
How do I Record? Edit? Upload?
Can I include a quote from a poem or song?
  • Although presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs), you can include a quote from a poem or song if it is relevant to your thesis topic.
  • Poetry and song lyrics are not permitted to be used to present the entire 3MT presentation and their use should be very limited.
Can additional props be used during my presentation?
  • No, additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are not permitted during a 3MT presentation. Laser pointers are allowed, however not encouraged (your slide should be simple enough that you do not need to emphasise elements to the audience).
Can palm cards or speech notes be referred to during my presentation?
  • Yes, however this option may detract from the delivery of the 3MT and is not recommended.
Can sound or video be used during my presentation?
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) is permitted during a 3MT presentation.
Can I change my slide and/or title between presentations?
  • A slide may be refined between heats and the Final, however your title must remain the same.
Is there a dress code?
  • There is no stipulated dress requirement. Some contestants have worn suits with ties, others t-shirts and jeans.
  • Please wear whatever is comfortable for you, however no costumes are to be worn (including hats, masks, Dame Edna specs, etc.).
Can I win more than one category?
  • Yes, it is possible to win a place (First or Runner-Up) and win the People's Choice award.
Who do I contact for further information?

For more information about 3MT please contact the UTAS 3MT Coordinator at Graduate.Research@utas.edu.au