Three Minute Thesis

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 2021. The winner of the 3MT competition's HDR category represents JCU in the Asia-Pacific 3MT final.

Overview

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 2021, 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:

  • Four required from each Academic Division - DTHM (4) and DTES (4)
  • 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.

  • 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 (at beginning);
    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.
  • 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.

See the 3MT Virtual Competitor Guides for more information on how to prepare for your presentation.

Download the PDF Virtual 3MT Handbook.

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

Professor Stephen Naylor
Chair of Academic Board. JCU

Judging Panel

Professor Abishek Bhati
Campus Dean and Head of Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement, JCU Singapore

Professor Andrew Krockenberger
Dean of Research, JCU

Emeritus Professor Helene Marsh
Vice President and Secretary, Biological Sciences

Mr Cam Charlton
Director/Founder of Kleinhardt Business Consultants

Ms Alyssa Budd
2017 3MT Asia-Pacific Runner-Up

Friday 27 August 2021 at 12pm

ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies 3MT Competition

Student video submissions must be submitted to maria.nayfa@jcu.edu.au by 9am on the 26th August to be considered

Monday 30 August 2021 at 10am

CASE 3MT Competition

Event Coordinator: Dominique Sandilant (Dominique.sandilant@jcu.edu.au)

Monday 30 August 2021 at 3pm

CBLG 3MT Competition

Event Coordinator: Belinda Wilson (CBLGReserach@jcu.edu.au)

Venue: Online via Zoom

Registration deadline: 5pm Friday 6 August 2021

TBC

CHS 3MT Competition

Friday 6 August 2021 at 12pm

CMD 3MT Competition

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

Friday 13 August 2021

CPHMVS 3MT Competition

Tuesday 10 August 2021 at 2pm

CSE 3MT Competition

Event Coordinator: Melissa Norton (Melissa.norton@jcu.edu.au)

Friday 27 August 2021

JCU Singapore 3MT Final

COB Wednesday 1 September 2021

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

  • Name
  • Division/College/Institution
  • Thesis/Research title
  • 3MT Oral presentation Vimeo Link
  • 3MT PowerPoint (one slide only) – winner will also need to provide a wide screen format to UQ)
  • Passport size photo (good quality)
  • Mobile/other phone number
  • Consent and release deed
  • Email contact

TBC

Entries Judged

Wednesday 15 September 2021 at 11am AEST (9am Singapore)

JCU 3MT Final

Event Coordinators: Melissa Hines and Emma Landy (grs@jcu.edu.au)

Register to attend here

Venue: Zoom Webinar

17 September 2021

Winner details provided to UQ for Asia Pacific Finals

Monday 27 September 2021

2021 Virtual Asia-Pacific 3MT Semi-Final

Wednesday 20 October 2021

3MT Asia Pacific Competition Final

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

DateRoom
Thursday 12 August 2021 at 1:00pm to 3:00pm AEST / 11:00am to 1:00pm SGTZoom - details provided in CareerHub
Tuesday 17 August 2021 at 1:00pm to 3:00pm AEST / 11:00am to 1:00pm SGTZoom - details provided in CareerHub

Register via CareerHub.

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.

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

https://vimeo.com/453518408

Rebecca Webb

College of Public Health, Medical and Vet Sciences

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

https://vimeo.com/451712701

Name

3MT Title

Link to video

Elizabeth Smyth

Saving the Farm

https://vimeo.com/453511024

Hina Sheel

Screening for a Happy Childhood in India

https://vimeo.com/452962654

Kunal Pratap

Algae Tackles Allergy: A Natural Way

https://vimeo.com/446362734

Peter Hartin

Nurse, I’m being pecked on!

https://vimeo.com/451353885

Rachel Spinks

Fathers help offspring in a warming ocean.

https://vimeo.com/453160438

Riana Phillips

Fight or Flight? Optimising the stress response during adolescence

https://vimeo.com/450381516

Tegan Beveridge

How to Date a Dinosaur

https://vimeo.com/453199339

Tess Hill

Can climate change CHANGE species interactions on coral reefs?

https://vimeo.com/453139113

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.

https://youtu.be/pWqK93W4yzw

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

https://youtu.be/OB78Ug16r-4

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.