Three Minute Thesis

Three Minute Thesis 2014 

The 2017 3MT final will be held on Friday July 21st
Time: 5:30- 7:30pm  |  Location: Building 67.107

Register to attend


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition celebrates the exciting 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 with the assistance of one power point slide.

The UOW 3MT final will feature two students chosen from each Faculty. Each student will deliver a presentation on their thesis topic in just three minutes. Prizes will be awarded for the winner, runner-up and people’s choice, which is voted for by the attendees on the evening. After the presentation, audience members will be invited to stay for refreshments and award presentations

The winner of the UOW Three Minute Thesis Competition will then go on to (3MT®) Asia-Pacific final Competition which will be held at The University of Queensland on Friday, 29th September 2017. For more information about the Three Minute Thesis Asia-Pacific competition click here.


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 multi-national event was developed, and the Inaugural Trans-Tasman 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 170 universities across more than 18 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 select number of Asian universities. This competition is now called the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition.


Active Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidates who have successfully passed their research proposal review 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.
Master of Philosophy and pre-confirmation PhD candidates who are actively enrolled in their degree will still be eligible to participate in the competition up to Faculty/Institute finals but can NOT advance to the national 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) 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 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?
- Were 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?


- UOW Winner will receive $1,500
- UOW Runner-up will receive $750
- UOW People’s Choice winner will receive $750

Further Information

Please contact the Graduate Research School on 4221 5452 or email graduate-research-school@uow.edu.au

Previous winners

Winner: Ika Damayanti (SOC): From Storytelling to Story Writing: A Learning Journey of English Language Learners in Indonesia
Runner-up: Chen Shen (EIS): Wire-Arc Additive Manufacturing Process: The More Advanced Metal Printer
People's Choice: Thomas Simnadis (SMAH): Novel Grains for the Australian Food Supply

Watch the winning presentation 

Winner: Frederick Steven Wells (AIIM): Slow-mo Superconductors
Runner-up: Claire Wright (LHA): Occupying the Interdisciplinary Space
People's Choice: Fredy Munoz (EIS): A drug delivery system for capsule robots

Watch the winning presentation

Winner: Colin Cortie (SMAH): Of Mice, Pigs and Men: The fats of long life
Runner-up: Katherine Caldwell (SMAH): Falvonoids for thought: A cherry on top brings memory benefits
People's Choice: Tongfei Tan (EIS): Safer high-performance electrolyte for electric vehicle batteries

Watch the winning presentation

Winner: Melinda Waterman (SMAH): BryoFight Club
Runner-up: Joel Kennedy (EIS): Distribution system protection schemes in a modern grid embedded with renewable energy resources
People's Choice: Ming Li (EIS): Lab-on-a-chip modrodevices for manipulation and separation of microparticles

Watch the winning presentation

Winner: Kevin Loo (EIS): Brachy View: In-body imaging for cancer treatment

Watch the winning presentation

Winner: Jen Hawksley (Faculty of Arts): Bereft: The extremities of wartime bereavement among Australian parents
Runner-up (shared): Janine Delahunty (Faculty of Education): Learning from a distance: Getting connected...feeling connected & Jennifer Heath (School of Informatics): A secondary use of medical data model informed by consumer privacy preferences
People's Choice: Damian Kirchmajer (Faculty of Science): Gelatin for tissue engineering

Watch the presentations

Winner: Mr Cameron Ferris (IPRI): Printed patches for a broken heart
Runner-up: Ms Van Tran (Faculty of Education): They are to blame, not us: the authoritative voice in quality issues of postgraduate education in Vietnam
People's Choice: Jie Yang (ICT-R): Can we help Google search?

Watch the winning presentation

Last reviewed: 18 May, 2017
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