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Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by the University of Queensland. First run in 2008, 3MT® has grown to become a global competition, with universities around the world holding their own events. The exercise challenges doctoral students to present a compelling talk on their thesis topic and its significance in just 180 seconds.

3 Minutes, 1 Slide…..Your Thesis!

A 50,000 word thesis would take 7 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.

Training will take place in person on Friday 26th April and the University of Oxford final will be held in person on Friday 24th May 2024. 

THE BENEFITS

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

The Oxford final will take place in person, on 24th May 2024 10am-12pm. 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 with their expenses paid to attend.

Up to 4 finalists will all be awarded a high street gift voucher prize:

  • 1st prize: £200
  • Runner-up prizes: £100

There are also prizes for winners in the national final: previous year’s winners were 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.

Watch the 2023 Vitae Final.

TRAINING

Specialist training is being provided to all to help you develop your pitch. You will be taken through the key ingredients to craft a compelling three minute presentation about your thesis work, and have the chance to get feedback on your presentations. 

Training Friday 26th April 2024 from 2-4pm, Careers Service

REGISTER for 3MT training 

HOW TO APPLY TO COMPETE - DEADLINE 3rd May

The final takes place on:

Friday 24th May | 10am-12pm | Careers Service

At the final you will deliver your Three Minute Thesis to a panel of judges.

The deadline for applications is 3rd May 2024. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 10th May 2024.  

By registering for the competition you confirm that you are available to attend the final and are eligible

APPLY for the Oxford 3MT final

 If you decide you no longer want to compete you can withdraw at any tiime by giving notice via email.

ELIGIBILITY

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. If you have already sat the Viva Voce examination you are not eligible. Post-doctoral Graduates are not eligible.

TIMELINE

  • Training: 2-4pm Friday 26th April 2024
  • Deadline to apply to the competition: 3rd May 2024
  • Oxford Final: 10am-12pm Friday 24th May 2024
  • Usually around July: national semi-finals 
  • Usually Mid-Aug: National finalists announced
  • Expected Sept: national final, location TBC

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

Comprehension and content

  • Did the presenter provide clear motivation, background and significance to the research question?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the research strategy/design and the results/findings?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the conclusions, outcomes and impact of the research?

Engagement and communication

  • Was the oration delivered clearly, with language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Was the PowerPoint slide well-defined and did it enhance the presentation?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research and capture/maintain the audience's attention?

 

Further links:

Read the FAQ for competitors

Read the competition rules

Read the competitor guide