Three Minute Thesis competition

Three Minute Thesis competition

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition for research students, challenging them to present their research to a non-specialist audience, 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) will be eligible to participate in 3MT, as long as the degree is at least two thirds research. Taught postgraduate students and graduates are not eligible.

Participants present their research verbally in just three minutes with related content presented on one PowerPoint slide. Heats take place in each of the four colleges and one winner and two runners-up from each of the four heats go through to the Grand Final. In their presentations, participants should explain:

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

The competition was initially developed at the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia and has since spread to other universities, with Glasgow's being the longest running version of the competition in Scotland. 3MT will return to UofG in 2019, with the Heats taking place 4th-7th March and the Grand Final 15th March. Registration will open via the 3MT Moodle during the 2018/19 academic year. 

Why take part?

This event gives an opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills which are necessary within academia and outside, such as, presenting, speaking in front of a public, communicating complicated ideas and concepts in an understandable manner. It provides an opportunity to think creatively about how to communicate your research and to learn from the approaches of other participants.

Format and prizes

The winners and runners-up of each heat win a small prize and everyone who takes part receives a certificate. The 12 finalists then perform their presentations at the Grand final to a wide-ranging audience, including invited guests and alumni, thus showcasing the wide diversity of ground-breaking research taking place at the University of Glasgow. The overall winner of the competition wins a £1000 travel/research grant, while the runner up wins £500, again for travel/research purposes. The audience also votes for its favourite presentation so that one finalist receives a People's Choice Award of a £100 book voucher.