3 Minute Thesis

26 - 28 June 2018



Information about 3MT

If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter...

We’ve all heard this famous quote - it’s much easier to give a long explanation of a complicated topic than to strip it down to its essentials and use language that’s intelligible to the layman. The Three Minute Thesis competition challenges postgraduate research students to do just that!

Test yourself in this research communication competition to showcase your research topic and its significance in an engaging way – in no more than three minutes!

The competition is open to all higher degree by research candidates. This includes Masters by Research, as well as all doctoral candidates. Unfortunately honours students are not permitted to compete.

You can get further information from the 3MT website. Why not grab some tips from the videos of finalists from around the world here and review the rules here.

All candidates are welcome to compete in the open heats listed below, regardless of whether they’ve entered a Faculty heat. Faculty heat finalists progress straight to the final round on 3rd August 2018.


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.


The competition winner will be awarded $2500 research travel grant.

There are also two runner-up prizes of $500 each.

All competitors will receive a certificate acknowledging their participation.

Must follow the Rules!

  • A 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 the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


Judging criteria


  1. Comprehension & Content
  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation - or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?


  1. Engagement
  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or generalise their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?


Students who participate in Faculty heats and were not listed as finalists cannot compete again in the Open heat rounds. Faculty heat finalists may progress straight to the 3MT Final heat on Friday 3rd of August.



Event details

  • 26 - 28 June 2018

  • New Law Lecture Theatre 106

  • FREE

  • For any enquiries contact Atchana Santhirathas dvc.gradresearch@sydney.edu.au

registrations closed