Three Minute Thesis

Three Minute Thesis logo & strapline

Call for entries

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition for doctoral research students. The very first 3MT® competition was held at the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2008. Since 2008, the popularity of the competition has greatly increased and more than 200 universities worldwide host the competition annually. The competition challenges PhD students to demonstrate their research and its importance/significance in three minutes.

Are you equal to the challenge of communicating the complexity and relevance of your research to a non-specialist audience, verbally, in just three minutes? Can you limit yourself to just one presentation slide? Of course you are/can.

Finalists will go on to represent the University at the National Final. Last year, the judges' choice winner received a £3K grant to spend on public engagement activity, sponsored by Research Councils UK (RCUK). 

Why enter?

  • To develop public speaking confidence
  • To develop public engagement and communication skills
  • To develop an accessible language to talk to non-specialists about your research
  • Share your ideas with a wider Aberystwyth audience
  • Exciting prizes - A prize of £100 to the winner of the Aberystwyth competition and two runners up prizes of £50.
  • Networking opportunities

Eligibility to Enter the 3MT Competition

  • To enter, you must be currently enrolled on the 2nd year or above of a doctoral programme at Aberystwyth University. You must not have had your viva before the date of the final on 6th June 2017.
  • What are the judges looking for? Don’t submit your video without carefully reading the Rules of Entry and Judging Criteria

Key dates and how to enter

  1. By Monday 17th April 2017 - Email the Graduate School ( to register your interest. You will then be registered on the Three Minute Thesis module on Blackboard.
  2. Before Monday 8th May 2017 - Upload onto blackboard, a simple three minute “talking-head” style video, together with a 200-word research summary. Don’t worry about production values – a simple video recorded on your phone is perfectly acceptable.
  3. Monday 22nd May- Finalists announced.
  4. Tuesday 6th June 2017 - Live Aberystwyth finals in IBERS 0.33.
  5. July 2017: Online national semi-final. If selected for the national final, you will need to be available to travel to the competition venue (TBC) for the evening of 11 September 2017. Travel costs will be covered.

Useful links