Three minute thesis

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a global academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.

About the competition

What is it?

  • The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students. 3MT 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.
  • Initial rounds of the competition are organised by schools and faculties. The finalists from each faculty/institute will go through into the University final.
  • The Deakin winner will receive $3000, with $2000 going to the runner-up and $500 going to the People's Choice awarded by the audience.
  • The winner’s virtual presentation will represent Deakin in the 2022 Virtual Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition. The Asia-Pacific winner will receive $5000.

Why do it?

We are sure many of you have learned by now, it is always handy to be prepared when faced with the inevitable "so what is your thesis about?" questions from curious family and friends (who usually want the three minute version, not the extended one). More particularly, you might get asked the same question in a future job interview!

The 3MT is an invaluable opportunity to practise your communication skills in a supportive environment and it gives you the chance to distil the essence of your research into a succinct and engaging sound bite. Participation in 3MT is recognised as an AHEGS-worthy training in your Individual Learning Plan.

And of course, there will be some extremely generous prizes and travel opportunities on offer as mentioned above.

Who is eligible to enter?

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:

  • Competitors must be active PhD candidates and must have successfully completed confirmation of candidature.
  • Previous first place winners of the Deakin 3MT event are NOT eligible to enter again.
  • Students enrolled in any of the following programs are not eligible to enter the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition: Masters (MPhil and coursework) and Professional Doctorate (less than 2/3 research).

Judging criteria

At each stage 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 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

2022 finals results

The nine 3MT finalists who presented in person at the grand final in Peter Thwaites theatre, Waurn Ponds campus on 18 August 2022 – Hao Zheng, Mikayla Milanovic, Dr Jessica Costa-Pinto, Li Pei, Azra Sourjah, Adrian Urbano, Henrique Bastos,  Sumudu Mallawaarachchi and Asher Charles Winter

The Deakin finals were held as an in-person and live streamed event in conjunction with the Visualise Your Thesis competition on August 18, 2022.

We thank all students for their entries this year and congratulate our winners:

Winner: Sumudu Mallawaarachchi (Faculty of Health)
Time's up! Moving beyond time towards understanding the context of mobile screen use in early childhood’

Runner-Up and People's Choice Winner: Jessica Costa-Pinto (Faculty of Health)
‘Reducing hospital admissions among preschool-aged children with Recurrent Wheezing Illness’

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