Three minute thesis competition

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 $3,000, with $2,000 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 a $5,000.

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).

Virtual competition rules

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;
  • Filmed from a static position;
  • Filmed from one camera angle;
  • Contain a 3MT title slide;
  • Contain a 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 via video format (only video link provided to Event Coordinators). Files sent in other formats will not be accepted.

Other

  • Entries submitted for final adjudication to Wildcard or University Final are to be submitted from the School/ Faculty/Institute 3MT Event Coordinator. Competitors should not submit their videos directly to 3MT.

Please note: competitors *will not* be judged on video/ recording quality or editing capabilities (optional inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide.

Please note: 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.

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

Develop your skills

3MT resources

Online courses

  • "Driving compelling communications" via Professional Skills Uplift online courses in your ILP
  • "Advancing your scientific presentations and Narrative tools for Researchers" via Nature Masterclasses Online
  • Access relevant learning such as "Develop your presentation skills and Create and deliver engaging presentations" pathways via LinkedIn Learning using your Deakin email and password

Workshops

The Graduate Research Academy will be offering workshops to develop your communication and presentations skills. Register for a workshop via our Workshops and webinars page.

How to enter

Please complete the Deakin 3MT 2022 entry form (PDF, 178.7KB) and submit via email to your Faculty Coordinator. Please ensure you contact your Faculty early.

Initial Rounds

Faculties will conduct their own heats at designated times in the first half of 2022. Please consult your designated coordinator as listed below for details and dates of the initial rounds of the 3MT competition in your area.

Finals

Each Faculty and Institute's 2022 winner and runner-up will progress to the Deakin 3MT competition final. The Deakin 3MT final will be held in conjunction with the Visual Your Thesis competition on August 18, 2022. The winner’s virtual presentation will then represent Deakin in the 2022 Virtual Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition.

If you have any further questions please contact Deakin Researcher Development team.

Deakin University 2021 3MT competition results

  • First prize winner: Catia Freitas - "Using Children's Literature to Teach Marine Science Concepts"
  • Second place runner-up: Gina Howland - "Turning off the taps for PTSD - Diet Matters!"

Presentations
Visit the Deakin Research YouTube Channel to view all the 2021 finalists presentations.

Not for you?

Not interested in the Three Minute Thesis competition....have you met my friend Visualise Your Thesis?

  • A 60-second, eye-catching, audio-visual digital display
  • Use a pre-supplied template that can include animations, sound, graphics and the like.
  • Prizes awarded
  • Visit the Deakin Research YouTube Channel to view all the 2021 VYT finalist's presentations.
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