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.

3MT 2024

In a challenge against the clock, our 10 finalists will have just three minutes to explain 'The Power Of' their research.

Join us for the live final of Three Minute Thesis 2024, taking place on Saturday 8 June 2024 as part of the York Festival of Ideas. The winner of York 3MT goes on to compete at the national 3MT final. Who will it be? And who will get the People's Vote? 

About our 2024 finalists


Congratulations to all who took part and to our 2024 winners! 

  • 1st place: Jack Stenning (Biology) - Catching Cancer Resistance with Calling Cards
  • 2nd place & people's choice: Minahil Khan (School of Physics, Engineering & Technology) - Keeping Liquids Free From Bacterial Contamination
  • 3rd place: Nicola O'Donnell (Health Sciences) - Through Their Eyes: Life After Retinoblastoma

Why should I apply?

3MT is a fantastic public engagement opportunity, where you can develop your presentation and research communication skills. Our 10 finalists will receive bespoke training, and the opportunity to hone their skills at our review session. 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!


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

Key Dates

  • Friday 1st March 2024 - Applications open
  • Tuesday 2nd April 2024 - Applications close (17:00 BST)
  • Friday 5th April 2024 - Shortlisted applicants informed
  • Friday 26th April 2024 - Auditions (on campus, all day)
  • Tuesday 30th April 2024 - Successful applicants informed
  • Tuesday 14th May 2024 - Training session (on campus, 10:00-13:00)
  • Friday 24th May 2024 - Review/practice session (on campus, all day)
  • Saturday 8th June 2024 - 3MT live final (on campus, all day)

Who can participate?

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

The rules

  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or movement) and is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • 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