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3MT® (Three Minute Thesis) competition 2018

The results are in!

Ten University of York research students went head to head to communicate the impact of their research, in just three minutes, to an audience made up of university staff, members of the general public and industry, hosted by Greg Dyke and held at King's Manor.

The Winners

1st place - Jamie Khoo, Centre for Women's Studies

2nd place - Giampaolo Pitruzzello, Department of Physics

3rd place - Stephen Thorpe, Department of Biology

Peoples Choice Award - Nicola Farthing, Department of Mathematics and Physics

Watch the presentations.

3MT winners 2018

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 research students to engage and enthuse a range of learners about their research.

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 judges

Professor Ama de Graft Aikins - Dean of International Programmes and Professor of Social Psychology - University of Ghana

Saffron Townsend, Senior Policy Manager - Public Engagement with Research - UKRI

Philip Carpenter - Advisor and Board/Council Member - Publishing and Higher Education

Jet Sanders (2017 3MT winner) - Department of Psychology - University of York

Professor Tom Stoneham - Dean of the York Graduate Research School - Universty of York

Dr Karen Clegg - Director of the Research Excellence Training Team - University of York (Chair)

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.

How do I prepare for 3MT®?

RETT offer sessions on Preparing for 3MT and Public engagement of Research, bookable through Skillsforge.

You can view finalists from previous years here.


How do I enter 3MT?

Complete the online 3MT Entry Form, which must include a proposal title and a short lay summary (500 words) describing your research and its potential impact on the economy/society.

The closing date for entries is 13 April 2018.

20 applicants will be invited to audition on 2 May 2018 with a 3 minute presentation and a slide representing their message, and 10 finalists will be selected to participate in the final on 12 June 2018.

3MT 2018 Information for Applicants (PDF  , 541kb)

Timeline 2018

  • 12 February: Competition opens
  • 27 February: Preparing for 3MT information sessions (bookable via SkillsForge)
  • 06 March: Public Engagement of Research workshop
  • 13 April: Closing date for entries
  • 20 April: Shortlisted applicants informed
  • 02 May: Audition event
  • 04 May: Successful applicants informed
  • 18 May: Finalists' Training session 
  • 12 June: University of York 3MT® 2018 Final
  • 06 July: Video submission to the UK 3MT® semi-final (online)
  • July & August: UK 3MT® 2018 semi-final (online)
  • 17 September: UK 3MT® 2018 Final