Three Minute Competition (3MT)

Three Minute Thesis

You have 3 minutes. Create. Compel. Connect.


An 80,000 word thesis would take 9 hours to present. Your time limit.... 3 minutes.

You have three minutes to tell us what you are doing, how you are doing it, and how it relates to the real world.

For more information please email


Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland. The exercise challenges research higher degree students to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes.

3MT develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Competing in the 3MT

The winner of UNBC's 3 Minute Thesis competition will be nominated by the Office of Graduate Programs to go to the Western Regional 3MT competition. The 2019 Western Regional Competition will be held here at UNBC. The judges at the regional event will be (TBA).


(From the University of Queensland website)

"The first 3MT was held at The University of Queensland (UQ) in 2008 with 160 RHD students competing. Enthusiasm for the 3MT concept grew and its adoption by numerous universities led to the development of an international competition in 2010.

The inaugural Trans-Tasman 3MT was held at UQ in 2010 with 33 universities participating. In 2011, 43 universities were represented in the Trans-Tasman 3MT that was hosted by The University of Western Australia. Today students from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Hong Kong take part in their own regional events.

Following the success of Matt Thompson of UQ at the 2011 competition the 2012 Trans-Tasman 3MT event was again hosted by the University of Queensland. The winner of the 2012 3MT Trans-Tasman competition was Mr Paris and the University of Western Sydney has the right to host the prestigious international competition in 2013.

The event was a wonderful showcase for the quality and breadth of research that is taking place across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hong Kong."

Judging Criteria

Each of the three judging criteria has equal weight. Note what each criterion has in common: an emphasis on audience.

  • Communication style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Engagement: did the oration make the audience want to know more?


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description, 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 movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.