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Three Minute Thesis (3MTⓇ)

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) celebrates the exciting research conducted by Higher Degree by Research candidates. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the exercise cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The challenge? To present their thesis to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes, with only one PowerPoint slide.

Watch our past finalists on our YouTube 3MT playlist to find out more.

Why participate in the 3MT?


  • Step outside of your comfort zone. 3MT is a fantastic opportunity to challenge yourself, have fun and win prize money for your research!
  • The ECU winner will compete at the Asia -Pacific 3MT Competition Finals.


  • You will receive expert training and step-by-step support from ECU staff to help you to focus on the issues and outcomes of your thesis and communicate your research to new audiences.


  • You can use these transferable skills to share your research with the ECU community, make valuable connections with researchers in other fields, and contribute to improving the research culture at ECU.
  • Taking part in the 3MT competition can generate public and media interest in your research, and may lead to new and exciting opportunities!

Support and Training

Three core workshops will be provided to support you in developing transferable skills and preparing your presentation. Offered from June to September, these workshops will assist you in selecting and structuring appropriate content, developing presentation skills, making the most of your PowerPoint slide, and preparing for audience and media questions. We strongly recommend attending at least two training workshops, and one practice session. Registration and training schedule for next year's competition will be available from May 2019.

Competition details

Comprehension & 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 & 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?

Participants must be:

Active PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT competitions at all levels, including the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition. This includes candidates whose thesis is under submission. Graduates are not eligible.

ECU Specific Eligibility:

Active Master by Research, pre-confirmation PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates are welcome to compete up to and including ECU finals.

  • 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.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (eg. no poems, raps or songs).

School Semi-Finals Prizes

  • Winner: $250
  • Runner Up: $150
  • Third place: $100

ECU Final Prize Money

  • First Prize: $1500 and an all expenses paid trip to University of Queensland (UQ) to represent at ECU at the 2017 Asia-Pacific Competition.
  • Runner Up: $1000
  • Third prize: $500
  • People’s Choice award: $250

Asia - Pacific 3MT Prize Money

  • First Prize: $5000 research travel grant
  • Runner Up: $2000 research travel grant
  • People’s Choice: $1000 research travel grant

Register via this online form.

If you have any queries about 3MT please contact:

Graduate Research School
Sharon Smart, Project Officer
Phone: +61 8 6304 2802

Past winners

YearWinner Second Place Third Place People's Choice

Simmone Pogorzelski, School of Education

The role of book type in the reading development of beginning readers

Fleur Sharafizad, School of Business and Law

The Careers of Female Academics: Bottlenecks in the Academic Pipeline

Navid Mousavi, School of Engineering

A cleaner renewable energy solution

Georgios Mavropalias, School of Medical and Health Sciences

The Missing Element


Amelia Roscoe, School of Education

Children’s perspectives of childhood.

Russell Thom, School of Arts and Humanities

Complex Wheelchair Seating.

Georgios Mavropalias, School of Medical & Health Sciences

The Eccentric Pill.

Georgios Mavropalias, School of Medical & Health Sciences

The Eccentric Pill.


Catherine Properzi, School of Medical and Health Sciences

A fatty liver could break your heart.

Julie Sartori, School of Medical and Health Sciences

Such is life!

Marcin Lipski, School of Medical and Health Sciences

All in one exercise.

Albert Amankwaa, School of Business and Law

Albert Amankwaa, School of Business and Law

Leadership styles, employee turnover intentions and innovative work behaviour.


Monique Garcia, School of Medical and Health Sciences

Idiopathic early onset scoliosis.

Sarah Booth, School of Education

Teaching our missing histories.

Angela Genoni, School of Medical and Health Sciences

The Paleo diet: Long term.

Monique Garcia, School of Medical and Health Sciences

Idiopathic early onset scoliosis.


Philippa Vojnovic, School of Business

Managing mental health and suicide among fly-in/fly-out workers.

Tracey Cooke, WAAPA

Investigating the registers of the female voice.

Marcin Lipski, School of Exercise and Health Sciences

Easy eccentric exercise.

Lucy Hands, School of Education

Gifted education.


Sian Teague, School of Communications and Arts

Writing myself into wellness.

L-A Shibish, School of Business

Indigenous tourism development in parks – What’s it’s place in joint management?

James Brooks, School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Video game expertise:Improving sustained attention and multi-tasking abilities.

Clinton Carpene, School of Computer and Security Science

Assessing methods for effective IPv6 host enumeration.


Kitty-Rose Foley, School of Exercise and Health Sciences

Transition from school to adulthood for young adults with Down syndrome.

Anna Urbanowicz, School of Exercise and Health Sciences

Communication: How do females with Rett syndrome perform this activity?

Gemma Foxall, School of Education

Pre-service teacher training methods.

Phillip Everall, WAAPA

Examining extended techniques for bass clarinet.


Graduate Research School
Project Officer
Sharon Smart
Telephone: (61 8) 6304 2802

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