Three Minute Thesis

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Three Minute Thesis

Everyone is welcome to come and watch the Final Round of the 3 Minute Thesis this Friday 17 August 12pm Hunter Council Chambers. Followed by a catered lunch in the Hunter Common Room.

Three Minute Thesis is an event that celebrates innovative new research conducted by PhD students from around the world. Register now online by filling in this form. Victoria University 3MT accepts Honours, Masters and PhD students in the University faculty and final rounds. Our winner and representative in the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition must be a PhD student.

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition celebrates theexciting research conducted by Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
students. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ),3MT cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non specialist audience.

The first 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 Research Higher Degree students competing. In 2009 and 2010 the 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew. Due to its adoption in numerous universities, a multinational event was developed, and the Inaugural TransTasman 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2010.
Since 2011, the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in over 600 universities across
more than 65 countries worldwide. In November 2013, the first Universitas 21 (U21) 3MT competition was held with several universities from around the world competing in a virtual competition. 2016 brought an expansion of the Trans-Tasman 3MT competition to include a South-East Asia and North-East Asia. This competition is now called the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition.


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.


  • 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) is permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum and competitors exceeding three 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 judging panel is final.

Judging Criteria

  • At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below. Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience. 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 nonspecialist 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 & 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?

The doctoral winner will be flown over to compete in the prestigious 3MT Asia-Pacific Competition, hosted by The University of Queensland on 27th September 2018. This regional competition features competitors representing over 50 universities from across Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, North-East Asia and South-East Asia on a global stage. Watch some of the finalists here including Victoria University winner Jennifer Soundy – “Aptabiotics: fighting resistant bacteria with nanosilver.”

At the Victoria University Final on the 17th of August we will announce the winners of:

1st prize: $3000 (and travel to the Trans-Tasman Grand Final)
2nd prize: $1000
3rd prize: $500
Vic International prize: $250
People’s Choice Award
Honours Prize: $250
Resilience & Sustainability Prize: $500


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