Postgraduate researchers have just three minutes to communicate the impact of their research.

What is 3MT®?

3MT® competitions challenge participants to explain their research effectively and concisely to a non-specialist audience in three minutes, helping to develop their presentation and research communication skills.

Communicating to different audiences helps demonstrate the contribution that research makes to wider society and the economy. The University of York 3MT® is a chance for our PGRs to engage and enthuse an audience about their research.

Updates on 3MT 2024 will be published here in due course.

3MT 2023

York 3 Minute Thesis 2023 marked our 10th anniversary running this exciting event!

In a challenge against the clock, our 10 finalists had just three minutes to explain how their research is helping society to Rediscover, Reimagine & Rebuild the future.

Applications are now closed for our 2023 competition - many thanks to everyone who has applied!

The York 3MT final took place on Wednesday 14 June 2023 as part of the York Festival of Ideas. The winner of York 3MT goes on to compete at the national 3MT final.


Why should I apply?

3MT is a fantastic public engagement opportunity, where you can develop your presentation and research communication skills. If you are successfully shortlisted and invited to audition on 19 April, you will receive a professional headshot photo. Our 10 finalists will also receive bespoke training, and the opportunity to hone their skills at our review session on 2 June. There are prizes available for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (decided by our professional panel of judges) as well as an additional prize for the People's Choice winner, as voted for by the audience.

The overall winner will also go on to represent York at the national 3MT finals. Many of our 3MT finalists have gone on to achieve great things, and being a finalist looks fantastic on your CV, both for academic and non-academic roles. Our final is also recorded, so you'll have a video which you can share with potential employers!

Prizes - 2023, TBC for 2024

1st place - iPad
2nd place - £150 voucher
3rd place - £75 voucher
People's choice - £75 voucher

Key Dates - 2023, TBC for 2024

  • Wednesday 1st March 2023 - Applications open
  • Friday 31st March 2023 - Applications close (5pm BST)
  • Wednesday 5th April 2023 - Shortlisted applicants informed
  • Wednesday 19th April 2023 - Auditions (on campus, all day)
  • Friday 21st April 2023 - Successful applicants informed
  • Tuesday 16th May 2023 - Online training session (AM only)
  • Friday 2nd June 2023 - Review/practice session (on campus, all day)
  • Wednesday 14th June 2023 - 3MT live final (on campus, PM & evening)

Who can participate?

University of York PhD students, who have passed their first formal review of progress, and have not yet completed their viva.

The rules

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound or video) or props (e.g. costumes, artefacts, instruments, etc.) are permitted
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes will be disqualified
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs)
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage and are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final

The judging criteria

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

Past events

See who took part - and won - in previous events.

Three Minute Thesis