The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students.
Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the exercise 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.
For more general info visit: http://threeminutethesis.org/about-3mt
Watch winning 3MT® presentations from around the globe:
Registration closes 6th April 2018
3MT registration form
3MT Registration 2018
Participating in Kent's University wide Three Minute Thesis Competition will allow us to raise the profile of our thriving doctoral researcher community.
Participating in the competition will allow you to develop your academic, presentation and research communication skills, and ability to explain your research to a non-specialist audience. You will have the chance of representing Kent at the UK's competition and have the chance to win a prize.
Please note all those who participate in the University Final will be filmed and the winner's video will be used to represent Kent in the UK semi-final in July, competing against doctoral researchers from other participating universities. If the winner of the University competiiton is successful in the semi-final stage, they will be in the final on 17th September 2018 at the Vitae Conference.
Rules and Criteria
Active PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates (including candidates whose thesis is under submission but who have not had their viva by the date of their first presentation) are eligible to participate. Graduates are not eligible.
Please note all those who go through to the University Final will be filmed and the winner's video will be used to represent Kent in the UK Semi-Final
- 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.
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 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 & 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?
Competition timeline and important dates
- Kent registration deadline: 6th April 2018
- 3MT Training day: 21st May 2018 (10 -1pm or 2-5pm)
- University initial stage: 11th June 2018
- University final at Postgraduate Festival, Monday 18th June 2018
- UK Semi-Final - July/August 2018, date to be confirmed (video judging)
- UK Final - 17th September 2018, Vitae Conference, Birmingham
Please note all those who participate in the University Final will be filmed and the winner's video will be used to represent Kent in the UK semi-final in July/August 2018, competing against doctoral researchers from other participating universities.
If the winner of the University competiiton is successful in the semi-final stage, they will be in the final on 17th September 2018 at the Vitae Conference.
Frequently asked questions
Can my presentation be more than 1 slide?
- No, only 1 static slide is permitted, which should be presented from the beginning.
What happens if I cannot attend the Final?
- The winner of each heat or final is expected to represent their Faculty/University at the next stage of the competition. If the winner is unable to attend the final, the runner-up will proceed to the next round of the competition.
Can sound or video be used during a presentation?
- No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) is permitted during a 3MT presentation.
Can palm cards or speech notes be refered to during a presentation?
- Yes, palm cards and/or speech notes are acceptable, however this option may detract from the delivery of the 3MT and is not recommended.
Can additional props be used during a presentation?
- No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted during a 3MT presentation.
Can I present my oration via Skype?
- No, unfortunately as an important aspect of the competition is audience engagement, anyone who would choose to present via conferencing facilities would be at a disadvantage compared to other competitors.
What happens if my presentation lasts longer than 3minutes?
- If a presenter continues speaking after the 3 minute timer has ended, they will be automatically disqualified.
Will my 3MT presentation be recorded?
- At minimum the University finalists will be recorded.
Kent's 2016 finalists
"An 80,000 word thesis would take 9 hours to present.
Your time limit... 3 minutes"