3 Minute Thesis
The curtain opens…
Enter the call for 2021 Charles Sturt University 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) entrants end February. CSU advertises the 3MT competition, the training, and the upcoming Heats run as part of DocFest21! Over 30 entrants register across all faculties for 3MT and get ready for the drama ahead.
Act 1: The training
Enter stage right…
In March, the entrants join the initial 3MT information sessions advertised by the CSU Research PD team. This includes a panel of past 3MT winners to share their experiences of preparing for and participating in 3MT.
In April, entrants register for the Training Café program facilitated by Dr Emmaline Lear and Dr Peter Copeman. This offers the opportunity to get out of academic mode and embrace their inner storyteller and absorb some basic performance craft.
Peter was a special addition to the training program this year, and he brings his understanding of drama as a theatre director, playwright and vocal coach to hone the entrant’s pitching skills.
Exist stage right!
Act 2: The Heats
Enter stage left…
Two 3MT Heats are run during DocFest21! via zoom 26 and 27 May. This is an event celebrating over three months of hard work and training to prepare for the 3-minute pitches. The Heats are an excellent showcase of the great research happening across the University. The participants translate their thesis from 80,000 words into a 3-minute research story for a lay audience using only one PowerPoint slide. What a task!
18 pitches over two days highlight research innovation in education, medicine, vet and marine science, medical and health science, economics, business & entrepreneurship, and more! Their research topics range from mental health issues, corporate strategy linking to sales performance, conflict zone journalism, dung beetles, parasites and improving breads and meats, to name just a few.
The judges are there too! And wow, do they have a hard job in choosing the eight finalists from both the Heats. After much deliberation it is decided.
Exit stage right!
Act 3: The Finals
The curtain rises…
CSU looks forward to welcoming the finalists to Wagga on 23 June 2021 1.00pm - 3.00pm at the Charles Sturt University Riverina Playhouse.
A warm congratulations to all the participants in this year’s 3MT competition… And very best wishes to all our finalists... The winner of the 3MT Final will go on to represent Charles Sturt University at the Asia-Pacific final, which is held in October 2021.
Heat 1 winners:
- Claudia Macleay (Sci) for Learning from the past to predict the future
- Pieter-Willem Hendriks (Sci) for Wheat that outcompetes its weeds
- Megan Porter (Sci) for Parasites - the winners in a changing environment?
- Borkwei Ed Nignpense (Sci) for Let's get cereal about polyphenols
Heat 2 winners:
- Jessica Houston (Sci) for How do young people in regional and rural New South Wales, Australia access mental health systems and what are the implications of this?
- John Edwards (BJBS) for Linking Sales Performance to Strategy-Making Process, Corporate Entrepreneurship Climate, and Entrepreneurial Sales Actions.
- Mark Layson (BJBS) for It's not about the trauma: A new perspective on First Responder wellbeing
- Van Tran (A&E) for Imagine losing your heart language
Curtain falls. The entrants go backstage to refine their pitches. We wait in anticipation to see who the CSU Final’s winner will be.
We look forward to seeing you in Wagga in June for this exciting event!
2021 Charles Sturt University 3MT Competition - Final
An 80,000 word PhD thesis would take 9 hours to present. We are giving our doctoral candidates just three minutes to explain their research topic. Hard to believe right…
The 3MT Final was held on 23 June 2021 at the Charles Sturt University Riverina Playhouse in Wagga Wagga.
The recording is now available to view.
What support was available in preparation
The Academic Literacy Coordinator and the Professional Development team from the Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies ran a series of workshops this year to help interested persons prepare for their 3MT presentation pitch and slides.
Here is a brief summary…
3MT – A panel of finalists share their experience
Research Pitching Skills
3MT Training Cafes
These workshops are for people who registered for the 3MT competition to hone their presentation and presentation skills.
Here is a brief summary…
3MT Training Café 1 – Create a winning pitch
3MT Training Café 2 – Pitch to persuade
3MT Training Café 3 – Scripts in progress
3MT Training Café 4 – Presentations in progress
- 3MT@CSU Homepage
- Watch examples of 3MT presentations from around the world
- Official 3MT page
- The Thesis Whisperer – How to win the 3MT - Google doc/slide show
From Michelle Toutounji, the 2018 Charles Strut 3MT winner about what participation in the 3MT meant to her:
“Today, there is growing scepticism of science. Scientific progress has allowed us to live longer and more comfortable lives, but amazingly a large proportion of the public has a negative perception of science. As scientists, we need to do a better job of promoting ourselves and our work. The three-minute thesis (3MT) competition is all about effective scientific communication and building trust in scientists.
As a predominantly detail-oriented person, this competition gave me the opportunity to exercise my right brain. While I was writing my speech, I was able to take a good step back and see the big picture impact of my research. This helped me articulate how my research can help the everyday person. I can’t stress how much easier it is to answer a friend or family member when asked what my PhD project is all about.
I highly recommend participating in the 3MT competition. I was a last minute sign up and didn’t think I would get very far. But with enthusiasm and lots of practice, I got to represent CSU in the Asia-Pacific Finals. I’m now more confident with public speaking and the whole experience was really fun”.
We look forward to your involvement in this exciting initiative.
Please contact the Charles Sturt 3MT organisers via CSU3MT@csu.edu.au
Candidates MUST have had their candidature confirmed/passed their endorsement of candidature milestone to be eligible to enter.
- One PowerPoint slide only (no animations or slide transitions allowed)
- No additional media is allowed (e.g. audio or video files, paper hand-outs)
- No additional props are allowed (e.g. costumes, instruments, tools or equipment)
- Presentations are strictly limited to 3 minutes maximum. Presentations over 3 minutes will be disqualified.
At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the two judging criteria listed below. Please note that each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.
Comprehension and 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 and 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?
Judging criteria taken from the official 3MT(c) handbook.
Congratulations to 2020's finalists!
Congratulations to all finalists in Charles Sturt University 2020 Three Minute Thesis competition.
Winning the Judges’ Choice was Jennifer Schwarz from the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences / School of Psychology and who will compete at the UQ final in Brisbane.
Jennifer Schwarz - School of Psychology
Understanding and supporting adults who ask ‘Am I Autistic?’
Mandy Cooke - School of Education
It’s not just physical: Understanding risk-taking in early childhood education
Tabita Tan – School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Saving the goats: Why we need an outbreak response plan for Q fever
Debra Metcalf - School of Psychology
Defining our foods for the future
Jonathan Hewis - School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health
Surviving the tunnel: The lived experience of distress in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Mitchell Kunnen – School of Exercise Science, Sport & Health
Determining psychological readiness after ACL injury