Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

3 Minute Thesis

3 Minute Thesis founded by University of Queensland

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.

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.

See the University of Queensland's 3MT(c) page for more information.

How do I get involved?

When registrations open you can register you interest.

CSU 3MT registration form: and attend a preparation workshop.

Winning the Three Minute Thesis:

A preparation session will be available for anyone who is entering the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. We will look at real examples of successful Three Minute Thesis presentations and talk about the features of a winning 3MT. We will practice some techniques you can use to focus your talk and engage the audience and there will also be plenty of opportunity to discuss your ideas and ask questions or get feedback. 

Practice and feedback session for your Three Minute Thesis presentation

This session is organised for anyone who is entering the Three Minute Thesis competition to practice your presentation and get feedback or ask questions about ways to develop or improve it. The session will be ONLINE so all participants need to have a camera and microphone (preferably headset or earphones) set up and working, to take part. 

Useful links:

What does a winning presentation look like?

View some examples of previous 3MT winning presentations.


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 are 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.

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • 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?
  • 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 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.

Here is a testimonial from Dr Tessa Daffern, a previous 3MT winner at CSU about what participation in the 3MT meant to her:

"Telling the story of my research in only 3 minutes, without using scientific jargon, is an important skill that I was able to develop through my participation in the 3MT.

The 3MT experience enabled me to concisely share some of the most pertinent findings of my research to an audience of people outside my discipline. This then opened up new opportunities for me to disseminate my research to several media outlets across Australia, and also engage with various education institutions at a professional level.

My research was made possible by the willingness of school principals, teachers and students to take part in the research. As I recognised the need to share my research findings with the participants in the study, the 3MT was also the perfect opportunity for me to de- trivialise my research and share it with these critical stakeholders.

While early career researchers are strongly encouraged to publish their research findings in peerreviewed journals and other scholarly manuscripts, I believe it is also ethical that we communicate new and significant knowledge to the broader community using highly accessible modes of communication. The 3MT permits doctoral candidates to achieve this".

We look forward to your involvement in this exciting initiative, if you would like further information please contact CSU's 3MT organisers

Congratulations to 2015's participants!

Congratulations to all participants in CSU's 2015 Three Minute Thesis competition.

Winning the Judges' Choice and Peoples' Choice Award was Luisa Perez Muijica from the Faculty of Science/Institute for Land, Water and Society. Luisa will represent CSU at the Trans-Tasman Finals at the University of Queensland in October 2015.

Luisa won with a presentation about her research into people's opinions of the rehabilitation of the Winton Wetlands in north-east Victoria, which is part of her doctoral project on the sustainability of nature-based tourism with a system dynamics approach. Read more at CSU News.

Presenter3MT title
Carmen Huser, EducationEthical spaces for researching children" s="" perspectives="" of="" play<="" td="">
Muhammad Shoaib Tufail, ScienceVillage-based forage seed enterprises (VBFSEs) through farmer participatory research
Mahmut Kare, ScienceThe Secret Lives of Grapevine Roots
Craig McNulty, ScienceOxygen use during exercise: pushing for a better understanding
Luisa Perez Mujica, ScienceShow me your mental models: using simulation and stakeholder participation for engaging in conversations
Sarah Masso, EducationUsing a caterpillar to identify children at risk of literacy difficulties
Xiaocheng Zhu, ScienceNovel Weapon-The success of invasive species
James Purkis, EducationIs social software really all that engaging?