Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT)

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Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT)


Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, which challenges research higher degree students to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance in just three minutes in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. For more information about the background and history of the 3MT®, please visit the 3MT website.

Important dates
3 Minute Information Session

Thursday 30 May 2019
Building E, room G.13

Heat 1

Candidates from USC Business School, School of Creative Industries, School of Education, and School of Health and Sport Sciences

Monday 24 June 2019
Lecture Theatre 7

Heat 2

Candidates from USC Law School, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, School of Science and Engineering, and School of Social Sciences

Tuesday 25 June 2019
Lecture Theatre 7

Please note: registration for the heats will open on Thursday 30 May 2019.

USC Final

Monday 29 July 2019
Lecture Theatre 7


UniBank is proudly sponsoring USC's prizes.

  • Heats: Winner A$200, Runner-up A$100, and People's Choice A$50
  • Final: Winner A$1,000 and Runner-up A$500

* Prize money will be put toward the HDR candidate's budget/ research project.

Eligibility and conditions
  • Active PhD and DCA 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 the 3MT competitions at all levels, including the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition. Graduates are not eligible.
  • Finalists will be required to agree to media exposure for their presentation and research.
  • The winner is expected to be available to represent USC at the Asia-Pacific 3MT® Competition.
  • 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 (eg sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (eg 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 (eg 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 presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • 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?
FAQs – Students

Visit the 3MT website for frequently asked questions and other information. Click here to access UQ's 3MT Student Handbook.

Queries regarding USC's 3 Minute Thesis competition can be directed to

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