Woman giving a presentation

Festival of Doctoral Research

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

Three Minute Thesis®

We are delighted to invite you to compete in the 2022 Graduate School Three Minute Thesis® competition (3MT). We have a grand total of £300 to award to our PGRs who are ready and able to excite us about their research.

Three Minute Thesis® is an academic competition that challenges postgraduate researchers to use their very best communication skills to enthuse a non-specialist audience about their work and its significance. The catch? You have only three minutes and one static PowerPoint slide in which to do it.

Check out some of our 2019 entrants on our Graduate School YouTube channel, including overall winner Debbie Parker Kinch, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, with her 3MT title "Bessie Parkes Belloc: the forgotten feminist pioneer".


Thursday 7 July 2022.


Eldon Building 1.11 and online via Zoom. At the festival, you will be expected to present your 3MT to a live in-person and online audience on the day. If your registration is successful, we will provide further information and guidance to support you with this.

Presenters may choose to deliver face to face or online. Online presenters must make themselves available for a rehearsal the week before to ensure appropriate technical support is available.

Guidelines - what we need from you

To apply, please complete the application form by 12.00pm on Friday 17 June. You will need to submit the following:

  • Your presentation title.
  • Your presentation slide - this must only be one slide. No title slide is required.
  • A three minute video of your 3MT presentation - please note that you will not be judged on the quality of the video itself so you do not need to go to great lengths when filming your presentation to enter the competition. Possible methods of recording your 3MT entry include:
    • Using the ‘Record Slide Show’ function in PowerPoint (see here for more details on how to do this).
    • Using the video camera or audio notes function on your smartphone to record your presentation (this does not need to include your PowerPoint slide, which can be sent to us as a separate file).
  • Completed consent form.

Submit your three minute thesis application

Who can apply?

All current doctoral and MRes research students, including those undertaking professional doctorates, who have not graduated before 1 June 2022.

How will the competition run?


The judging panel will review each submitted 3MT presentation against the judging criteria, and shortlist a maximum of 10 finalists. Successful entrants will be notified two weeks before the event.


All finalists will be invited to compete at the University 3MT final at the Festival of Doctoral Research on Thursday 7 July 2022. Each presentation will be assessed by a panel of judges who will award a prize for first, second and third place.

Judging criteria

(as per the University of Queensland Three Minute Thesis® guidelines).

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?


The panel will comprise professors from across the University.


First place - £150

Second place - £100

Third place - £50