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3 Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®): Northumbria University Competition In-Person

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition and Northumbria University are holding a 3MT® competition on the 23 May 2018, the winners of which will go on to the regional competition on the 12 June 2018, which wll be held here at Northumbria. 

The exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes in a language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.   

What is it?

  • It is an exercise in developing academic and research communication skills.
  • Doctoral students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

What it is not

  • It is not an exercise in trivialising or ‘dumbing-down’ research. The oration should engage the audience without reducing research to entertainment value alone.


  • 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 and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified (you will be advised when you have 20 seconds left).
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the front of the auditorium.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

 Judging Criteria

  1. Communication style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
  2. Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  3. Engagement: did the oration make the audience want to know more?

Who is eligible to enter?

PGRs who are in their second or third years (or part time equivalents)

Why do it?

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition supports the development of research students’ capacity to communicate ideas effectively to a range of non-specialist audiences and to the wider community.

  • Competitors commonly report the experience helped them ‘crystallize’ thoughts about their thesis and how they communicate their research.
  • Internal and external promotion of the value of doctorate research.
  • Can be mapped onto research degree skills development.
  • It’s a lot of fun and generates interest in what researchers do.

Expressions of interest in taking part in the compeition should be mae by email to researchsupport@northumbria.ac.uk by 11th May 2018. The single PowerPoint slide should be submitted to researchsupport@northumbria.ac.uk by 16th May 2018. 

Wednesday 23 May 2018
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Time Zone:
UK, Ireland, Lisbon Time (change)
CCE1-401 (TLT)
City Campus
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

Research Support

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