The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a skills development activity that challenges Higher Degree by Research students to explain their research project to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.

3MT® celebrates the exciting research conducted by PhD students. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the exercise cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Participation in 3MT supports competitors to:

  • Communicate their ideas effectively to the wider community;
  • Describe their research findings to a non-specialist audience;
  • Crystalise their thoughts about your thesis;
  • Increase their profile among the University research community, staff and wider community; and
  • Network with other HDR students.


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 multinational event was developed, and the Inaugural TransTasman 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2010.

Since 2011, the popularity of the competition has increased worldwide, and 3MT competitions are now held in over 900 universities across more than 80 countries. 

2016 brought an expansion of the Trans-Tasman 3MT competition to include universities in South-East Asia and North-East Asia.  This regional event is now called the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition, which the University of Adelaide participates in annually.

Want to know more? You can visit the Three Minute Thesis website for further information.