Loughborough Doctoral College

Training and events

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3 Minute Thesis

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ).

You have three minutes (and a single slide) in which to present a compelling oration on your thesis and its significance. 3MT is not an exercise in trivialising or ‘dumbing-down’ research, but challenges you to consolidate your ideas and research discoveries so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience.

3 Minute Thesis: 2016/17 Competition

Apply now to take part in this year's 3MT competition! The final will take place at the 2017 Summer Showcase on the morning of 22nd June; all applicants must be able to take part in the final if necessary. If there are sufficient entries, there may be a number of heats scheduled ahead of the final, these will be arranged once applications have closed.

The winner of the Loughborough University final will receive an iPad, with two runners-up receiving £50 vouchers, and a £20 voucher for the people's choice award.

You can apply to enter the competition and speak at this event, or you might prefer just to come along and watch (although there are no prizes for just watching!).  

How to enter

The competition is open to all PhD and EngD students, but to be eligible for the national final students must not have sat their viva before 22nd June 2017. The deadline to enter the competition is 2pm on Monday 3rd April 2017. To apply for the competition you should fill in the online entry form; you must include a summary of your research that is 150 words or less and which should be aimed at a non-specialist audience; this summary may be used to select participants.

Online entry form for 3MT competition 2017

Rules of the Competition

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description, 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 (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations must be delivered without reference to notes or cue cards.
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final. 

A look back at previous years's competitions

2016 final:

The Three Minute Thesis final was the main event of the Summer Showcase on 22nd June 2016. Featuring the winners and runners-up from both of the preliminary heats, this tense competition required entrants to explain their doctoral research using in just three minutes with just one static slide!

All seven competitors did exceptionally well and managed to keep within the time limit. Our overall winner was Joe Ford (School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences) who won an iPad mini as well as an entry into the national competition.  Winta Satwikasanti (Design School) was placed second, as well as receiving the Delegates’ Choice award, and Emma Blundell (School of Science) placed third. 

2015 final:

The 2015 Loughborough University final was held at the Graduate School Summer Showcase on 17th June 2015.

Congratulations to Joanna Turner of Computer Science, who was crowned winner of the Loughborough University title 2015 for her presentation "Robots to the Rescue!". Runners up were Samuel Adema of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering and Paul Brack of Chemistry; Samuel was also recipient of the "People's Choice" award. Joanna's victory has earned her the chance to represent Loughborough in the national 3MT competition - good luck Joanna!

You can watch Joanna's competition-winning performance below: