The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition
The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland. The exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes in a language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience. The 3MT is held each year during September and October.
More competition information and resources are available from The University of Queensland.
The 3MT competition provided me with a great opportunity to share my research with a wide audience, and to receive feedback from people with a whole range of expertise.
Emily Cock 2012 University of Adelaide Winner
It is an exercise in developing academic and research communication skills.
Research higher degree (PhD and Masters) students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.
It is not an exercise in trivialising or ‘dumbing-down’ research. The oration should engage the audience without reducing research to entertainment value alone.
What does the competition and a winning presentation look like?
- a single PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions are permitted)
- no additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted
- no additional props (e.g. costumes, instruments [musical, laboratory etc]) are permitted
- presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum. Competitors exceeding 3 minutes will be disqualified
- the decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
- Communication style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
- Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
- Engagement: did the oration make the audience want to know more?
HDR students who are actively enrolled in a PhD or Masters by Research program* (including thesis under submission) at the University of Adelaide. Competitors must also have completed their Major Review. Graduates are not eligible.
* Note: degree must be at least two thirds research (definition drawn from
Grant Guidelines 2006 for Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003).
The Three Minute Thesis Competition supports the development of research students’ capacity to communicate ideas effectively to a range of non-specialist audiences and to the wider community.
- Competitors commonly report the experience helped them ‘crystallize’ thoughts about their thesis and how they communicate their research
- Internal and external promotion of the value of PhD and MPhil research
- Can be mapped onto PhD and MPhil progress/skills development
- It’s a lot of fun and generates public and media interest in what researchers do.
- The University of Adelaide Winner: a $2,000 grant to be used for specific travel in relation to higher degree by research e.g. attend a conference, and free travel and accommodation to attend the finals competition hosted by the University of Queensland.
- People’s Choice Winner: a $1,000 grant to be used for specific travel in relation to higher degree by research degree e.g. attend a conference
- All finalists: a $100 bookshop voucher
The University of Adelaide competition
- Registrations open 2 April and close 17 June 2013: late entries may be considered at the discretion of the Faculty Competition Coordinators.
- July- August 2013: School and faculty heats (with 2 finalists from each Faculty to go through to the University final event)
- Faculty of Health Sciences heats - Tuesday 2 July & Wednesday 24 July at 2pm Hone Lecture Theatre
- Health Sciences 3MT Information Session Monday 24 June 3-4pm Barr Smith South room2066
- Faculty of Sciences heats - Tuesday 20 August 6pm Braggs Lecture Theatre Final
17 June School of Animal & Veterinary Sciences heat, others TBA
- Faculty of Professions heats - Thursday 25 July
- Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences heats - TBA
- Faculty of Engineering, Computing & Mathematical Sciences heats - Tuesday 30 July venue TBA
- 10 September 2013: University final (10 competitors) , National Wine Centre. The final is to be held in as part of Research Tuesdays.
- The University of Western Sydney will host the Australia and New Zealand Three Minute Thesis competition in 2013.
- The winner of our University competition will represent the University of Adelaide at the Australia and New Zealand Three Minute Thesis competition finals on 18 October.
- There is a first prize of $5000, a runner-up prize of $2000 and a people’s choice prize of $1000.
- The University whose competitor wins will host the Australia and New Zealand finals in the next year.
- Registrations open 2 April 2013. ONLINE REGISTRATION
- Following registration your faculty's competition coordinator will confirm your entry into the competition and provide you with the date and details of your school (or equivalent) / faculty heat.