An 80,000 word PhD thesis would take 9 hours to present. Your time limit... 3 minutes 

Three minute thesis logoThe Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition celebrating the exciting research conducted by doctoral candidates. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the competition cultivates your academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Presenting in a 3MT competition increases your capacity to effectively explain your research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Competitors are allowed one PowerPoint slide, but no other resources or props.

Active PhD and Professional Doctorate Research candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under examination) by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT competitions at all levels.

Students enrolled in a Masters program are not eligible to enter the 3MT Competition:

Graduates and graduands are not eligible.

Skills development for research candidates

Participating in 3MT develops academic, presentation and research communication skills, while developing research candidates’ ability to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Building research culture in universities

3MT provides a valuable opportunity for HDR candidates to come together (live or virtually), get to know one another and talk about their research. It also provides a supportive environment in which schools, institutes and universities can provide presentation skills training.

Building external relations for the university

3MT winners may go on to represent their university at national and international 3MT competitions which provides an excellent networking and professional development opportunity. Previous 3MT finalists have benefited from invitations to a variety of other networking events following their participation in the competition.

Winner of the 2014 UQ 3MT Dr Megan Rossi talks about how the 3MT competition helped her career.

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 and content

  • Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question
  • Presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research
  • Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes and impact of the research

Engagement and communication

  • The oration was delivered clearly, and the language was appropriate for a non-specialist audience
  • The PowerPoint slide was well-defined and enhanced the presentation
  • The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention

View the 3MT Competition Judging Rubric Here

Virtual Competition Rules

  • 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 or submitted via email if not included in the presentation.
  • 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 for the University Final are to be submitted from the ACU 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.

Please Click Here for the complete 3MT video recording competitor guide (collated by UQ)


2022 3MT

ACU is once again participating in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT).

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, increasing social distancing measures and restrictions on public gatherings and travel, ACU has made the decision to participate in this year's 3MT Competition in a virtual format (i.e. video submission).

ACU 3MT Final 2022

The ACU 3MT Final will be held online on the Monday 12 September @ 12:30pm.
We will announce the ACU 3MT Final Winner, Runners up and the People's Choice Award. 

ACU 3MT Finalists 2022: 

Jordan Hinton (Runner up and Winner of the Peoples' Choice)
Watch Jordan's presentation

Thae Oo Khaing
Watch Thae Oo's presentation 

Adrien McCrory (ACU Winner)
Watch Adrien's presentation

Geetanjali Rogers
Watch Geetanjali's presentation

Emily Subara-Zukic
Watch Emily's presentation

Katrina Wilhite
Watch Katrina's presentation

Registrations to attend the ACU 3MT Final are now open. Register Here
Please direct any questions to the team at


  1. ACU 3MT Heats: Each faculty will select a panel to review the initial 3MT video submissions from within their faculty and nominate up to 3 finalists to represent them in the ACU 3MT Final. 
  2. ACU 3MT Final: Finalists from each faculty will compete to determine this year's ACU 3MT Winner, Runners Up and People's Choice Award.  
  3. Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition: The ACU 3MT Winner will then have the opportunity to represent ACU at the prestigious Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition hosted by the University of Queensland later in the year.  

Key Dates

  • Monday 11 July: Registration Closes 
  • Monday 25 July: Deadline for 3MT Video Submissions for the ACU 3MT Heats
  • Wednesday 10 August: ACU 3MT Heats - each Faculty Panel to select up to 3 Finalists for ACU 3MT Final
  • Monday 12 September (12:30pm to 1:30pm): ACU Virtual 3MT Final 
  • Friday 16 September: Asia-Pacific 3MT Competitor Video Submission Deadline

ACU (Virtual) 3MT Final

  • Date: Monday 12 September (12:30pm to 1:30pm)
  • To register, click here

2022 (Virtual) Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition

  • Monday 26 September - Asia-Pacific 3MT Semi-Final: Online Showcase published on the 3MT website
  • Monday 10 October - Asia-Pacific 3MT Final: Finalists announced / Online Showcase published on the 3MT website
  • Wednesday 19 October - Virtual Asia-Pacific 3MT Final: Video Viewing / Meet the Finalist Q&A / People Choice Vote / Announcement of Winners (Zoom Webinar) 

ACU Virtual 3MT Final Prizes

Winner: $3,000 plus entry in the 2022 Virtual Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition Final 
Runner-up: $2,000 
People's Choice: $1,000 

3MT Videos

ACU Winner 

Adrien McCrory
Watch Adrien's presentation

Runner Up and Winner of Peoples' Choice 

Jordan Hinton 
Watch Jordan's presentation


Thae Oo Khaing
Watch Thae Oo's presentation 

Adrien McCrory
Watch Adrien's presentation

Geetanjali Rogers
Watch Geetanjali's presentation

Emily Subara-Zukic
Watch Emily's presentation

Katrina Wilhite
Watch Katrina's presentation

ACU Winner

Geetanjali Basarkod
Watch Geetanjali's presentation

Runner up

Naomi Paine
Watch Naomi's presentation

Winner of Peoples' Choice

Bobby Shamim
Watch Bobby's presentation


Zachary Conway
Watch Zachary's presentation

Mathew Pfeiffer
Watch Mathew's presentation

Christopher Swain
Watch Christopher's presentation

Geoffrey Warman
Watch Geoffrey's presentation

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