Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®)

Fancy hearing an 80,000 word thesis explained in less than 180 seconds?

Research students from across the globe are doing just that in preparation for the Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®).

Established by The University of Queensland (UQ) in 2008, 3MT® is now held in at least 900 universities across more than 80 countries worldwide.

The Dean of UQ’s Graduate School, Professor Alastair McEwan, said 3MT® was designed to develop skills that will give students an important career advantage once they complete their studies.

3MT® provides a unique opportunity to profile and celebrate the innovative research conducted by postgraduate research candidates from around the world.

“It is a reality that many PhD students will need to communicate their ideas and results to people who may not necessarily have expertise in their field,” Professor McEwan said.

“3MT® develops the ability of students to communicate the significance and outcomes of their project in a short space of time.”

3MT is a competition that challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a general audience in just three minutes.

3MT® contestants must condense their research into a brief, engaging presentation for a non-specialist audience, using a single presentation slide.

More information about 3MT® is available at

Details about the 3MT® competition:

The 3MT® competition is an excellent opportunity for graduate students to showcase their research and its significance to a non-specialist audience in three minutes or less. It challenges their ability to communicate and present complex aspects of their research to a general audience in an engaging manner, using only one slide!

Rules for the 3MT®:

  1. A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or “movement” of any description allowed).
  2. The slide is to remain in view for the duration of the oration.
  3. No additional electronic media (e.g., sound and/or video files) are permitted.
  4. No props (e.g., costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment, phones, etc.) are permitted.
  5. Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum; competitors exceeding three minutes are automatically disqualified. Participants will be given a 30-second visual or audio warning.
  6. All presentations must be spoken (i.e., no poems, raps, or songs).
  7. Presentations are considered commenced when a presenter starts the presentation through movement or speech.
  8. The decision of the judges is final.

How to participate in the 3MT® Competition:

Internal Selection: Participating institutions are asked to hold an internal 3MT competition and select one finalist who will advance into the 3MT finals hosted at the CFIST summit. Finalists must be determined by their institution by April 21, 2022. Instructions for the evaluation of the participants are provided in the attached rubric.

CIFST Summit competition:
Step 1: The selected finalist from the institution must register online to confirm their entry into the 3MT finals hosted at the CIFST summit. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

Step 2: The finalists must also register to attend the conference. Registration information for the conference can be found online here.

Step 3: Finalists must attend the CIFST summit in person and bring with them a single PowerPoint slide with no slide transitions, animations, or “movement” of any description.

Final 3MT® Competition during the CIFST Summit:
The 3MT® final competition will be held on June 1st, 2022, from 10:30 am to noon.