2023 Competition Details

  • The 2023 University of Adelaide 3MT Competition

    Faculty heat(s)

    Heats will comprise up to 10 participants. Should less than 10 students register for a faculty competition, all registrants will progress directly to the faculty final.

    Once all the heats for a faculty have been held, the Judges will select up to 10 candidates to progress to the faculty final.  

    Faculty 3MT finals

    At the faculty final, participants will present live to the judges and an invited audience comprising other HDRs and Faculty staff.

    A total of 10 faculty finalists will secure a place in the University 3MT final comprised of 3 ABLE, 3 HMS and 4 SET candidates selected by the judges.

    A people’s choice winner will also be selected for each faculty.

    The winners of each Faculty final and the People’s Choice award which is selected by the audience, will be announced at the event. Each Faculty’s People’s Choice award is generously sponsored by Mr Ron Seidel

    The University 3MT final

    The University 3MT Final will be held as part of the ‘Research Tuesdays’ series in celebration of the exciting HDR research being undertaken across all areas of research. Research Tuesdays are open to the public and School children (students) by invitation. The University of Adelaide 3MT winner, a People’s Choice winner and a Student’s Choice winner will be announced at the event.

    All University 3MT finalists will be required to submit a video recording of their presentation. The presentation for the University winner will be submitted for the Asia-Pacific final.

    The 3MT Asia-Pacific final

    The winner of the University competition will represent Adelaide in the 2023 Asia-Pacific Three Minute Thesis final. Due to the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Asia-Pacific competition will be in a virtual format (video submission) in the best interests of public health. The Asia-Pacific 3MT Final will bring together video submissions from across Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, North-East Asia and South-East Asia.

  • Progression

    In order to take part in the 2023 UoA 3MT Competition each participating faculty will hold its own live in-person 3MT competition to select finalists for the UoA 3MT Final.


    3MT progression 2023

    The winners of each heat or final are expected to represent their faculty/university at the next stage of the competition. If a winner is unable to attend the next round of the competition, the next placed contestant will proceed in their place.


    The format of the 2023 UoA 3MT Competition at all levels is to be a live in-person event and all competitors are required to be judged on a live in-person performance.

  • Eligibility

    • Active PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates who have successfully completed their Major Review by 16 June 2023, are eligible to participate in 3MT competitions at all levels, including the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition.
    • Master of Philosophy (Research) and PhD candidates who have not completed their Major Review by 16 June 2023 cannot go through to the University final, but are encouraged to participate at Faculty level.
    • Graduates are not eligible.
  • Rules

    The following rules apply to the live Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition in 2023. 

    All competitors

    • 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. 
    • One single static PowerPoint slide is permitted;
      • No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed;
      • The slide is to be presented from the beginning of your oration; and
      • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.

    University Finalists only

    All University Finalists must provide a video submission of their 3MT presentation. The video of the winner of the University competition will be submitted to the Asia Pacific 3MT final, and all videos will be hosted on the University website.

  • Judging criteria

    At every level of the 3MT competition, each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below:

    Comprehension and content

    • Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question. 
    • Presentation provided clear positionality* of the presenter to the research and research approach.
    • 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.

    *Positionality is the social and political context that creates your identity in terms of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability status. Positionality also describes how your identity influences, and potentially biases, your understanding of and outlook on the world.

    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.
  • Prizes

    The following prizes are on offer to successful competition entrants:

    Faculty Competition Prizes

    The following prizes are available to Faculty competition winners:

    Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics 
    $400 each for 3 finalists selected by the judges and $100 for 1 People’s Choice winner

    Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
    $400 each for 3 finalists selected by the judges and $100 for 1 People’s Choice winner

    Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology
    $400 for 4 finalists selected by the judges and $100 for 1 People’s Choice winner

    University Competition Prizes

    The University of Adelaide winner
    $3,000 grant to be used for specific travel in relation to higher degree by research e.g. attend a conference.

    The University of Adelaide runner up
    $1,500 grant to be used for specific travel in relation to higher degree by research e.g. attend a conference.

    People's choice winner
    $1,250 grant to be used for specific travel in relation to higher degree by research degree e.g. attend a conference.

    $100 voucher.

  • 3MT information and training sessions

    CaRST 3MT Information Session (all students)    

    Can you sell your thesis in just 3 minutes?

    The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an annual skills development activity that challenges Higher Degree by Research students to explain their research project to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes using a single PowerPoint slide. It is not an exercise in trivialising or ‘dumbing-down’ research; the oration should engage the audience without reducing research to entertainment value alone.

    This information session will provide information on the rules and requirements of the competition, the competition format and how to successfully sell your thesis in 3 minutes!

    3MT Training Session 1: Preparing for the 3MT: Everything you need to know by Hugh Kearns, Thinkwell (all students)

    You may have given other presentations about your research, perhaps a confirmation seminar, a mid-candidature review, or maybe even some conference presentations. The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is very different from these. In fact, many of the things you learned for these presentations you need to unlearn for 3MT.

    This workshop explains what the 3MT is and how it works. It describes the judging criteria, and provides strategies and suggestions to help you win over the judging panel. You will discover how to make your presentation stand out and be memorable, how to prepare and practice, what to do on the day itself, and importantly, strategies to cope with the inevitable anxiety.

    The workshop is designed for any research student who is thinking of participating in the 3MT competition, and includes a set of tools you can use to help you prepare for the 3MT.

    The topics covered will include:

    • Identifying your message
    • Understanding the audience
    • The judging criteria
    • Making it interesting
    • Developing your slide
    • How to deliver
    • Dealing with anxiety and nerves

    This session is bookable for all students in CaRST online and is eligible for 2.5 CaRST Credits in Domain D.

    3MT Training Session 2– Pitch preparation, delivery and practice with Talent Academy (faculty finalists)

    This session will provide faculty finalists with training on pitch preparation and delivery, and the opportunity to practice and receive feedback on their 3MT presentations and slides prior to the Faculty Final.

    Faculty finalists will receive an invitation to this session once confirmed. Attendees are eligible for 3 CaRST Credits in Domain D.

    Training Sessions 3 and 4 Honing your 3MT delivery with Jaklin Eliott (university finalists)

    In these sessions, university finalists will present their 3MT pitch, and receive coaching on presentation skills, specifically preparing to present in front of a large live audience prior to the University 3MT final. They will also receive feedback to work on after the first session, and have a chance to deliver their presentation again in the second session. Guidance for production of the video presentation will also be provided.

    Attendance is by invitation. Attendees are eligible for 4 and 2 CaRST Credits in Domain D for Session 3 and 4 respectively.

  • Resources for competitors

    3MT Title Slide template download here

    3MT Competitors Guide prepared by the University of Queensland

    This online guide aims to assist participants with preparing for the 3MT, creating their slide, and delivering their research with impact. View the 3MT competitor guide.

    3MT Video recording competitor guide prepared by the University of Queensland

    University finalists are required to submit a recording of their 3MT presentation in advance of the University final. This online guide provides guidance and technical advice for recording, editing and uploading their presentation. View the 3MT video recording competitor guide.

    Past 3MT finalist videos

    All competitors are encouraged to view past 3MT finalist presentations from students at the University of Adelaide and elsewhere around the world .

    3MT Tips for successget some tips for success in your 3MT

    Other Resources

In 2023, the University of Adelaide Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition will be held live.

The competition comprises three stages - faculty heats, faculty finals and the University final; the winners of each stage of the competition will progress to the next stage, with the winner of the University final progressing to represent the University of Adelaide at the 3MT Asia-Pacific final.