What is 3MT?

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition for research students, challenging them to present their research to a non-specialist audience and giving them the opportunity to practice their public engagement skills.

Anyone who is active in a PhD, MPhil or MRes or any other research programme (at any stage, including thesis under submission) is eligible to participate in 3MT, as long as the degree is at least two-thirds research. 

Participants present their research verbally in just three minutes with related content presented on a single PowerPoint slide. One winner and two runners-up from each of the heats go through to the final.

In their presentations, participants should explain:

  • What their research is about
  • How they intend to carry out their research
  • Why their research matters or/and who it affects.

The competition was initially developed at the University of Queensland, Australia and has since spread to other universities, with Glasgow's being the longest-running version of the competition in Scotland. 

Why should I take part?

This event gives an opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills which are necessary within academia and outside, such as speaking in front of an audience and communicating complicated ideas in a clear, understandable, and engaging manner. It provides participants with an opportunity to think creatively about how to communicate their research.


The winners and runners-up of each heat win a small prize and everyone who takes part receives a certificate. The overall winner of the competition wins a £1000 research travel grant, while the runner-up wins £500, again for research travel purposes. The audience also votes for its favourite presentation which receives a people's choice award of a £100 voucher.

Also, by winning in the Final round, you will be invited to represent the University in the next stage of the 3MT competition hosted by Universitas 21 (U21) – a network of leading global universities. You will compete with winners of other universities' 3MT competitions, and you will be invited to record a professional video with your presentation (with the help of 3MT organisers at UofG, see 2023 entries). At the U21 Three Minute Thesis Competition, not only you will be able to showcase your ideas to a wider audience, gain international recognition as a researcher, and extend your academic network, but you will also be able to compete for the 1st Prize of $2,500.

How do I take part?

The 3MT registration period is open until 19 Feb 202411:59 pm (extended!). Please register via Moodle, where you will find all the information about the competition, including the event's format, rules, judging criteria, eligibility, prizes, dates & links, and other.

3MT 2024 competition days

  • Heats will take place on:
    • 7 Mar (Thu), 3 - 4:30 pm
    • 8 Mar (Fri), 3 - 4:30 pm
    • 11 Mar (Mon), 3 - 4:30 pm
    • 12 Mar (Tue), 3 - 4:30 pm
  • The Final will take place on 28 Mar 2024 (Thu), at 2 - 4 pm

Everyone in the UofG community and beyond is welcome to join the 3MT events as a virtual audience to listen and support our PGRs sharing their research and ideas.

How can I prepare myself for the competition?

The Information Session on 30 Jan (Tue), at 1 pm, organised for anyone interested, will allow you to clarify anything about the competition and hear from previous 3MT winners and runners-up sharing their experience and tips on slide design and speech delivery. No registration required. 

Also, potential applicants can register for the 3h-workshop "Lasting Impressions for 3 Minute Thesis":

  • Session for STEM students: 31 Jan, 2024, 9:15 am - 12:15 pm
  • Session for SHAPE students: 1 Feb, 2024, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Where can I check examples of 3MT presentations?

You can find brilliant examples of 3MT slide design & delivery of presentation from the following sources:

  • Video-recordings presentations of previous editions of UofG 3MT competition - see below in our 3MT archive.
  • Researcher Development YouTube channel 3MT playlists (2024202320222021)
  • U21 3MT web pages (2023).


What about 3MT 2025?

Stay tuned and keep an eye on the PGR newsletter around mid-January 2025, when we will open the registration for the UofG 3MT competition 2025.

3MT Archive