Graduate Student Association

GSA Three Minute Thesis Competition 2020

3 Minute Thesis Competition

Information Session:
Wednesday, February 19, 3 pm in JAH M61

Training Workshop:
Friday, March 13 OR Monday, March 16, 4 pm in JAH M61

Note: The training session is mandatory for those who wish to enter the competition but it is open to everyone who wish to polish their communication skills. Points towards the Science Communication Certificate can be earned.

Preliminary Heats of Competition:
Tuesday, April 21 and Wednesday, April 22, 4 pm in JAH M61

3MT winners


Friday, May 8, 4 pm in Foerderer Auditorium, College Building

The event is open to the public and free to attend with a Reception to follow.

Email with inquiries.

What is 3MT?

Did you know that an 80,000 word PhD thesis would take nine hours to present? What would you say if you only had three minutes?

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT ®) competition was developed in 2008 by The University of Queensland (UQ) and has gained national and international recognition as a competitive research competition. 3MT showcases the exciting research being done by Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students while fostering students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition challenges students to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Why Do 3MT?

Participating in the Three Minute Thesis competition is a fun and challenging opportunity that will help you hone your presentation and science communication skills. These skills are directly transferable to future research presentations, grant applications, networking events, job interviews, and outreach opportunities.

Furthermore, being able to communicate your research to a general audience is essential for the future of science. An audience that can understand the research you do can engage with science and ultimately advocate for its support.

As a participating student not only will you be competing for the top prizes, but you will also receive detailed feedback on your presentations during the preliminary heat. These presentations will be recorded, so you will have a copy of your presentation for your personal use to add to your CV, LinkedIn, personal/lab website, YouTube channel, or any other social media platform.


Any PhD student who has passed their qualifying exam but who has not graduated yet (they can have defended)

Any MD/PhD student who has passed their qualifying exams but who has not started their third year of medical school

Competition Rules

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description, 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 movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Judging Criteria

A diverse panel will evaluate student presentations and students will be judged on comprehension, content, and engagement

3MT Resources