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Three Minute Thesis

3 minute thesis logo.

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. JCU has a proud history of participating in the event.

Communicating your research simply and directly in ways that a wide range of non-experts can understand is increasingly understood as being intrinsic to research practice. Successful communication involves a lot more than mere dissemination of results but a thoughtful engagement with potential research users and audiences.

JCU will again participate in the 3MT in 2022. The winner of the 3MT competition's HDR category represents JCU in the Asia-Pacific 3MT final.


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students, and cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills.

At JCU, we think it is really important to encourage and showcase the research efforts of our higher degree research (HDR) candidates.

In 2022, the JCU 3MT Competition will be presented via a Zoom Webinar. Our 3MT competitors will be submitting their presentation in a prerecorded video format. There will be a great event host, an eminent judging panel, people’s choice voting and of course prize money!

More details about the event will be made available as they are finalised, so please check back here regularly for updates.

Happy creating!

Active PhD and Professional Doctorate Research (program composed of at least 2/3 research and eligible for RTP) candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under submission) by the date of their first virtual presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT competitions at all levels, including the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition. Graduates are not eligible.

Please note: Students enrolled in any of the following programs are not eligible to enter the Virtual Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition:

  • Masters (MPhil and coursework); and
  • Professional Doctorate (coursework).

HDR candidates:

  • One entrant per college (6 in total)
  • One from JCU Singapore
  • One from ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

AIMS@JCU students are eligible to participate as an entrant via their affiliated college

Each area putting forward participants for the JCU Final may do so by nomination, or by College / Divisional heats.

    Modifications to the 3MT rules have been made to accommodate the new virtual format.

  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech (timing does not include the 3MT title slide and commences from when the competitor starts speaking, not the start of the video).
  • Videos must meet the following criteria:
    • Filmed on the horizontal;
    • Filmed on a plain background;
    • Filmed from a static position;
    • Filmed from one camera angle;
    • Contain a 3MT title slide;
    • Contain a 3MT PowerPoint slide (top right corner/right side/cut to)
  • A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description). This can be visible continuously, or ‘cut to’ (as many times as you like) for a maximum of 1 minute.
  • The 3 minute audio must be continuous – no sound edits or breaks.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording. Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • Submissions via video format (only video link provided to Event Coordinators). Files sent in other formats will not be accepted.
  • Entries submitted for final adjudication to Wildcard or University Final are to be submitted from the School/ Faculty/Institute 3MT Event Coordinator. Competitors should not submit their videos directly to 3MT.
  • Please note: competitors *will not* be judged on video/ recording quality or editing capabilities (optional
    inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide.

    Please note: After each competition round competitors have the option to either submit their current presentation or rerecord and submit a new presentation for entry into the next round.

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 and significance to the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • 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?

Master of Ceremonies


Judging Panel

A/Prof Liz Tynan
Coordinator HDR Professional Development, Graduate Research School



ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies 3MT Competition

Student video submissions must be submitted to by 9am on the 26th August to be considered


CASE 3MT Competition

Event Coordinator: Dominique Sandilant (


CBLG 3MT Competition

Event Coordinator: Belinda Wilson (

Venue: Online via Zoom

Registration deadline: 5pm Friday 6 August 2021

Video submissions due by 4pm AEST Monday 15 August 2022

CHS 3MT Submission Date

Student videos must be submitted to by 4pm AEST Monday 15 August 2022


CMD 3MT Competition

Event Coordinator: Dr Emma Anderson
Venue:Tsv: 47-002 / Cns D3-003

Friday 26 August 2022 12pm - 2pm AEST

CPHMVS 3MT Competition

Event Coordinator: Tina Cornell ( / 4781 5335)

Venue: TSV 042-101 / CNS E005-101



CSE 3MT Competition

Event Coordinator: Melissa Norton (

Friday 26 August 2022

1-3pm SGT / 3-5pm AEST

JCU Singapore 3MT Final

Event Coordinators: Kevin Wang ( and Denise Dillon (

Venue: TBA

10am Monday 5 September 2022

Deadline to provide the Graduate Research School with your entrant's details:

  • Name
  • College/Institution
  • Thesis/Research title
  • 3MT Oral presentation Vimeo Link
  • 3MT PowerPoint (one slide only) – Download template here
  • Passport size photo (good quality)
  • Mobile/other phone number
  • Email contact
  • JCU Talent Release Form

Email to Emma Landy at


Entries Judged

Friday 9 September 2022

11am AEST (9am SGT)

JCU 3MT Final

Event Coordinators: Melissa Hines and Emma Landy (

Register to attend: TBA

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Friday 16 September 2022

Asia-Pacific 3MT Competitor Video Submission Deadline

Monday 26 September 2022

Asia-Pacific 3MT Semi-Final

Monday 10 October 2022

Asia-Pacific 3MT Final - Finalists Announced

Event Format: Online Showcase on 3MT website

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Time: 2pm - 3:30pm (AEST)

Virtual Asia-Pacific 3MT - Final Livestream

Event Format: Video Viewing / Meet the Finalist Q&A / People Choice Vote / Announcement of Winners (Zoom Webinar)

To provide just a little incentive, JCU will award the winners with the following prizes:

  • 3MT Winner: $1,000
  • 3MT Runner Up: $500
  • 3MT People’s Choice: $500

The GRS offers coaching sessions to help HDR candidates create the sort of presentation that will make a good impression on 3MT judges. Sessions are conducted by Associate Professor Liz Tynan from the GRS, an experienced 3MT coach. Learn about the particular requirements of the 3MT competition, some of which may move researchers out of their 'comfort zone'. This year, the sessions will be conducted by Zoom, and there is a strict limit of 10 participants per session. The emphasis in these sessions will be on practical advice to achieve a polished and clear presentation.

Presented by Associate Professor Liz Tynan, Co-ordinator GRS Professional Development, Graduate Research School

Tuesday 26 July 2022 at 1pm - 3pm AEST / 11:00am to 1:00pm SGT
Thursday 28 July 2022 at 1pm - 3pm AEST / 11:00am to 1:00pm SGT

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 600 universities across more than 65 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 South-East Asia and North-East Asia. This competition is now called the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition.

2021 Event

In 2021, the 3MT highlighted the innovative research conducted by Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates.

The JCU final was held on Monday 13 September via a Zoom webinar. The audience enjoyed ten 3MT video presentations and the Advisor of the Year awards were announced.

Jodi Thomas

ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies

3MT Title: Listen Up

Josephine Nielsen

College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences

3MT Title: Temperature variability impacts coral performance

Jesus Romo Rico

College of Science and Engineering

3MT Title: Plasma polymers from oregano secondary metabolites for wound healing applications

First Name 3MT Title Vimeo Link
Selina Taylor LISTEN UP
Cindi Davey Environmental History of Wongi Forest 
Ding Xu Behind Tourist Scams
Sandra Infante Villamil The origin and dynamic of the farmed prawn microbiome and its link to productivity 
Danica Lennox-Bulow Stonefish: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Vanessa Sparke The complex nexus of life, beliefs and disease: how we achieve true balance
Naomi Clark-Shen Forget-me-not stingrays

Advisory Panel of the Year

This award is for engagement in high quality team supervisory practice. The 2021 winning panel is from the College of Medicine and Dentistry:

  • Prof Sarah Larkins
  • Dr Robyn Preston (Adjunct)
  • Prof Edward Strivens
  • Dr Sefanaia Qaloewai (external to JCU)

Primary Advisor of the Year

This award is for engagement in high quality supervisory practice. The 2021 winner is from the ACR Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies:

  • Prof Morgan Pratchett

Highly commended for Service as an Advisor

Nominated advisors show a strong commitment to advisory practice and research education. The 2021 winner is from the ACR Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies:

  • Dr Jennifer Donelson

Watch the JCU 3MT Final 2021

The JCU 3MT Final webinar was held on Monday 13 September 2021. You can view all 10 competitor presentations here.

2020 Event

In 2020, the JCU 3MT Competition was very different to previous years.  For the first time, the JCU 3MT Competition was held as an online event.  Rather than present live to an audience, our 3MT competitors submitted their presentation in a prerecorded video format.

The final was held on 9 September via a Zoom webinar. The audience enjoyed ten 3MT video presentations and Dean's Awards and Advisor of the Year awards were announced.

Judith Rafferty

College of Business, Law and Governance

3MT Title: Justice for Rape Survivors

Rebecca Webb

College of Public Health, Medical and Vet Sciences

3MT Title: Reverse Genetics... it's a piece of cake


3MT Title

Link to video

Elizabeth Smyth

Saving the Farm

Hina Sheel

Screening for a Happy Childhood in India

Kunal Pratap

Algae Tackles Allergy: A Natural Way

Peter Hartin

Nurse, I’m being pecked on!

Rachel Spinks

Fathers help offspring in a warming ocean.

Riana Phillips

Fight or Flight? Optimising the stress response during adolescence

Tegan Beveridge

How to Date a Dinosaur

Tess Hill

Can climate change CHANGE species interactions on coral reefs?

2019 Event

In 2019, 3MT highlighted the innovative research conducted by Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates and early career researchers (ECRs).

The final was held on 5 September at The Science Place in Townsville and video-conferenced to Cairns and Singapore. The audience enjoyed nine 3MT presentations and the overall winner of Visualise Your Thesis.

Alexandre Siqueira (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)  for ‘A Tale of Fish T(h)rees’. Alexandre will be representing JCU at the Asia-Pacific Final in Brisbane on 4 October.

Rebecca Webb (CPHMVS) for ‘It Isn't Easy Being Green’

Kevin Crook (CSE) for 'Assessing the functional roles of batoids in coastal sandflats'.

Visualise your Thesis is a national competition for HDR candidates hosted by the University of Melbourne. Entrants must use a common PowerPoint template and AV material limited to 60 seconds.