3MT® (Three Minute Thesis) competition 2017

See our results page for the winners of 2017's 3 Minute Thesis competition

3MT® returns to York on 13 June 2017

The following ten University of York research students have just three minutes each to communicate the impact of their research to an audience made up of school pupils, teachers, university staff, members of the general public and industry:

L Meghan Dennis, Department of Archaeology
Frances Drachenburg, Department of Biology
Naomi Gildert, Department of Electronic Engineering
Maria Lopez Romero, Department of Education
Joy Ogbemudia, Centre for Women's Studies
Carol Robinson, Department of Sociology
Jet Sanders, Department of Psychology
Viswadeep Sarangi, Department of Electronic Engineering
Katherina Walper Gormaz, Department of Language and Linguistic Science
Sophia Whitlock, Environment Department

The first, second and third placed students will receive a prize and the first place winner of the York 3MT® 2017 final will be given the opportunity to enter the UK 3MT® 2017 semi-final (online) and, if successful, go through to the UK 3MT® 2017 final (being held at the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference in September 2017).

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 and, especially in the case of high school learners, perhaps even inspire them to attend a research-rich institution in the future.

Who can participate?

University of York PhD students.

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, instrruments, 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 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?

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? Did they maintain a steady pace and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation? Was it clear, legible and concise?


In association with:

       3MT logos

Join the audience

The University of York 3MT 2017 final will take place on Tuesday 13 June 2017 at the National STEM Centre.

Free tickets are available to University staff and members of the public by registering through Eventbrite.


How do I enter?

Please note that the closing date for entries was 3 April 2017.

3MT 2017 Information for Applicants (PDF  , 321kb)

Timeline 2017

  • 16 January: Competition opens
  • 17 February and 22 March: Preparing for 3MT information sessions (bookable via SkillsForge)
  • 3 April: Closing date for entries
  • 4-6 April: Shortlisting
  • 10 April: Shortlisted applicants informed
  • 19 April: Auditions
  • 3 May: Successful applicants invited to final
  • 26 May: Training session 
  • 12 June: Rehearsal
  • 13 June: University of York 3MT 2017 Final
  • 15 June: Falling Walls training
  • 23 June: Falling Walls Lab York
  • 7 July: Video entry for 3MT online national semi-final
  • Mid-July: 3MT online semi-final deliberation
  • Mid-August: National 3MT finalists announced by Vitae
  • 11 September: National 3MT Final
  • September: PGR Induction Event

For further information, you can view previous finalists:

University of York 3MT® 2016
University of York 3MT® 2015
University of York 3MT® 2014
University of York 3MT® 2013