Three Minute Thesis Competition 30 May - sign up and come along to support competitors
30 April 2019
Public Engagement - training
3 Minutes, 1 Slide…..Your Thesis!
An 80,000 word thesis would take 9 hours to present; how about in just 3 minutes with the aid of a single slide?
We are inviting DPhil students to do just that. The 3 Minute Thesis competition challenges doctoral candidates to present a compelling spoken presentation on their research topic and its significance in just three minutes to a non-specialist audience.
The competition will help you to develop your communication skills, vital to raise awareness of your work, seek support and obtain funding. You will be able to develop ways of explaining complex ideas in a way that is accessible and engaging for a non-specialist audience, raise the profile of your work, enhance your CV, and network with like-minded researchers.
The Oxford Competition
Oxford will host a combined heat and final on 30 May. The winner of the Oxford final will be entered into the national semi-finals, and if they are successful they will go on to the national final in Birmingham, with their expenses paid to attend.
Up to 4 finalists will all be awarded a prize:
- 1st prize: £200
- Runner-up prizes: £100
There are also prizes for winners in the national final: last year’s winner was awarded a £3,000 grant to spend on public engagement activity, sponsored by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to promote their research and to enhance their professional development.
Register for the heat
At the heat you will deliver your Three Minute Thesis to a panel of judges. See rules below.
By registering for the heat you confirm that you are eligible.
If you don’t want to compete or want to invite your colleagues, please just show up.
Specialist training was provided in March.
Active DPhil 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. Post-doctoral Graduates are not eligible.
- 30 May: Heat
- 5 July 2019: national semi-finals (video judging)
- Mid-Aug: National finalists announced
- 16 September 2019: national final, Birmingham
- 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.
Comprehension and 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?
Engagement and communication
- 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?
What to read next
25 February 2019
This course will empower researchers to develop a personalised and proactive public engagement plan. It will take place on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge. Deadline to apply is 16 April.
The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement offers this professional development programme for early to mid-career level researchers with a passion for public engagement.
28 February 2019
Media Skills Training for Scientists from the Royal Society team – Screenhouse - with special guest, Alok Jha, newly appointed Economist science correspondent, former ITN News at Ten science reporter and writer for the Guardian