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.

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.

The JCU 3MT Final was held on Friday 8 September 2023 via a Zoom Webinar, hosted by Associate Professor Victoria Kuttainen. The audience enjoyed ten 3MT video presentations with the runner up and winner announced by the JCU Chancellor, Professor Ngiare Brown.

Rhys Gillman
College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences

Synthetic Lethality: Therapeutic Roadblocks for Cancer

2023 JCU 3MT Webinar Recording

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).

Up to 10  entrants, with at least one from each college.

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

Associate Professor Victoria Kuttainen

Victoria Kuttainen is an Associate Professor in the College of Arts, Society and Education at James Cook University in the field of English and Writing. She holds a BA Honours and Masters of Arts from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and a PhD in postcolonial literature from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.  In 2018, as part of her exploration of the nexus between secondary and tertiary education, she completed a Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary) at James Cook University.

Judging Panel

Professor Ngiare Brown

Professor Ngiare Brown is the first female and first Indigenous Chancellor of James Cook University. She was elected as the sixth Chancellor of the University in January 2023, commencing in April 2023. She is also the second member of the University’s alumni to take up the role. A proud Yuin nation woman from the south coast of NSW, Professor Brown is a senior Aboriginal medical practitioner with qualifications in medicine, public health and primary care, and has studied bioethics, medical law and human rights.

Professor Jenny Seddon

Professor Jenny Seddon is the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research at James Cook University. Jenny graduated with a BVSc from the University of Sydney in 1988. After a few years in mixed practice in NSW, she undertook a MSc and PhD in population genetics and held post-doctoral fellowship positions in the UK and Sweden. She returned to Australia in 2004 to take up a teaching and research position at the School of Veterinary Science at The University of Queensland. Jenny has won a UQ Faculty of Science Teaching Excellence Award and led an OIE Veterinary Education Twinning Project to improve veterinary education at a vet school in Viet Nam. Jenny has an international research reputation in conservation genetics of wildlife and has worked with a range of species, most recently ticks, koalas and dugongs, with >90 peer reviewed publications. Jenny gained leadership experience in various roles, notably in a 5-year term as Deputy Head of the UQ School of Veterinary Science and 4 years as the Associate Dean Research and Deputy Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science at The University of Queensland.

Richard Davis

Richard Davis is a media professional with more than 25 years’ experience working in journalism and public relations. Richard is Head of Media and Communications at James Cook University, where he has led the University’s strategic communications and media promotion since 2014. Prior to his appointment, Richard was a journalist for 18 years, working for Australia’s public broadcasters SBS and the ABC. From 2005 to 2014, he was a senior Political Reporter for SBS, based at Parliament House in Canberra. Before joining SBS, he worked for the ABC as a TV and radio journalist from 1995 to 2005. During his journalistic career he was based in Sydney, Hobart and Canberra and filed stories from around the world.

COB Thursday 31 August 2023

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

Email to Emma Landy at

2023 TBA

Entries Judged

Friday 8 September 2023 at 1-2pm AEST

JCU 3MT Final 

Format: Zoom webinar. Entrant videos played and winners announced.  There will be a People's choice award voted via a Zoom poll.  Advisor of the Year Awards announced

Event Coordinators: Melissa Hines and Emma Landy (

Friday 15 September 2023

Asia-Pacific 3MT Competitor Video Submission Deadline

Monday 25 September 2023

Asia-Pacific 3MT Semi-Final

Monday 9 October 2023

Asia-Pacific 3MT Final - Finalists Announced

Event Format: Online Showcase on 3MT website

Wednesday 18 October 2023

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 20 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 25 July 2023 at 1pm - 3pm AEST via Zoom
Tuesday 1 August 2023 at 1pm - 3pm AEST via Zoom

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.

College 3MT Competition Dates

Event Coordinator
A/Prof. Louisa Tomas Engel
07 4781 6117

Date: Friday 11 August 2023 at 1pm - 2pm AEST

Password: 307952

Event Coordinator: Prof Gianna Moscardo (

Date:  Thursday 17 August 2023 - time TBC

Venue: TBA

Event Coordinator: Dr Ylona Chun Tie, Associate Dean, Research Education (

Date: Monday 14 August 2023 at 4pm AEST

Venue:  Zoom TBA

Event Coordinator: Dr Rebecca Evans & Donna Caine (

Date: Wednesday 16 August 2023 at 10am - 12pm AEST

To attend in person:
Cairns: D003-054
Mackay Clinical School:  MBH-005

Or join via the Zoom link below:
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 86226228837
Password: 486581

Event Coordinator:

Date: Friday 18 August 2023 at 2:30pm - 4pm AEST

Townsville: 042-104
Cairns: E2-223
Meeting ID: 821 0902 6119
Passcode: 997037

Event Coordinator: Mohan Jacob (

Date:  Thursday 17 August at 1-4pm AEST

Venue: 142-111 (TSV) and D003-003 (CNS)

Register your interest here by 4 August.

Event Coordinator: Dr Denise Dillon and Belinda Lee (

Date: Friday 25 August 2023

Venue: C2-15, Sims Drive Campus

For more information and to register please visit the JCU Singapore website

2022 Event

In 2022, the 3MT highlighted the innovative research conducted by Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates.

The JCU final was held on Friday 9 September via a Zoom webinar hosted by Professor Jodie Rummer. The audience enjoyed ten 3MT video presentations with the runner up and winner announced by Professor Simon Biggs, Vice Chancellor. The Dean's Awards for Excellence and the Advisor of the Year awards were announced by Professor Christine Bruce, Dean Graduate Research.

Phoebe Arbon

College of Science and Engineering

3MT Title: Food for thought: Disease in prawn farming

Casey Toft

College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences

3MT Title: What rapid antigen test is the best and on what basis?

Emenike Okonkwo

College of Science and Engineering

3MT Title: Waste: what does it mean to you?


3MT Title

Vimeo Link

Febrio Lunardo

Cancer! Blast Them!

Alexis Harerimana

That is not a sales chart on the medical monitor; it is your blood pressure!

C Keerthigha

Helicopter Parenting Through the Lens of Reddit  

Swapna Chaudhary

Pharmacists in Transgender Healthcare

Rebekah Lisciandro

Challenging Health Injustice Through Diversity

Nguyen (Calla) Thi Thanh Kieu

“Love me or Leave me?”: A story of host-tourist interactions in the Central Highlands, Vietnam

Bethan Lang

Monsters under the bed: Crown-of-thorns starfish and climate change

Watch the JCU 3MT Final webinar recording.

The JCU 3MT Final was held via Zoom webinar on Friday 9 September 2022.