Three-Minute Thesis competition

Can you summarise your thesis in just three minutes?

Are you up for the challenge to summarise your thesis in just three minutes and explain it to a non-specialist audience?

The Centre for Academic and Researcher Development is organising a three-minute thesis competition. Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland. The exercise challenges research higher degree (PhD and MPhil) students to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes.

Why do it?

3MT develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students’ capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Winners will be awarded research funds to pay for research and conference trips, books and other research expenses.


  • Faculty winner: £200
  • University winner: £400
  • University runner-up: £200
  • University audience favourite: £100

How will it work?

We will have three faculty heats in February and the final competition on 22nd April with our Chancellor as one of the judges. The winner of the final will take part in the national semi-final.

I had the pleasure of being present at this year’s national final competition at the VITAE conference in September. The winning presentation can be seen below:

You can see further examples on Vitae’s Conference web pages.

Who is eligible?

Current Durham University Postgraduate Research students. You are still eligible if you have submitted your thesis by the date of your faculty heat, as long as you have not had your viva.

How do I apply?

  1. Fill in the 3-minute Thesis Application Form, including a short written summary of your research and its significance.
  2. Email the form to or post / deliver it to:

Carolyn McAlhone, Centre for Academic and Researcher Development, Palatine Centre, Stockton Road, Durham, DH1 3LE.

Deadline for applications: 14th January 2015