3 Minute Thesis

Want your research to change the world? Try explaining it in just 3 minutes!

The Asia-Pacific Three minute Thesis Competition (3MT ®) is an annual competition where research candidates present their research topic in 3 minutes, using only one slide, to an audience of people who are mostly outside their discipline.

The 3MT competition is an excellent way to develop skills for communicating research ideas in ways which are precise, concise, engaging and accessible for people from various disciplines. It is an opportunity to bring your research to a broad audience, demonstrate your presentation skills, and win some great prizes.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. For more information and take at look at previous 3MT events.

I really want to be involved! What next?

Registration for 2020 is now closed.

The 3MT Competition Final was held on 1st July 2020.

Information Sessions/Workshops

The Research Office hosted an information session for those participating in 3MT® early May 2020.

View some examples of previous 3MT winning presentations.

Useful links:

Competition Rules

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.

Judging Criteria

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.


From Michelle Toutounji, the 2018 CSU 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. If you would like further information please contact CSU's 3MT organisers via CSU3MT@csu.edu.au.

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.

Presenter 3MT Presentation

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

Further Information

Please contact CSU's 3MT organisers via CSU3MT@csu.edu.au

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