UoM Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition 2020 – now open

by | Feb 3, 2020

The national Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition challenges doctoral candidates to present a compelling spoken presentation on their research topic and its significant in just three minutes and with just one static PowerPoint slide.

3MT gives researchers the opportunity to develop their academic, presentation and research communication skills and to develop their ability to effectively explain their research to a lay audience.

In the UK, universities run their own competition and put forward one winner to the national 3MT final hosted by Vitae.

The University of Manchester Final will take place on Wednesday 20 May, 2-3.30pm in University Place, Lecture Theatre B. Registrations will open upon conclusion of the heats.


  • First place: £500 Amazon voucher
  • Runner up: £100 Amazon voucher
  • Audience favourtie: £100 voucher


3MT is open to all active second and final year PhD candidates, including candidates whose thesis is under submission, by the date of their first 3MT presentation in the heats. You must be able to attend at least one of the scheduled heats and, if successful, the University final on Wednesday 20 May.


To register to take part in this year’s 3MT competition, please apply for your Faculty heats via the appropriate link below:


  • All those who register to take part in the Faculty heats are invited to attend a 3MT training session on Tuesday 10 March 2020, 1-4pm.
  • Book to attend 3MT heat training.


  • How to Talk About Your Thesis in 3 Minutes – The Thesis Whisperer: This presentation by the Dr. Inger Mewburn (aka the Thesis Whisperer), provides some useful insights and practical exercises to get thinking about you can present your own thesis to others in just 3 minutes. We particularly like this top tip “Is there a story that you can use to talk about your research? Better still – can this story make us feel emotionally involved? Sometimes good stories are behind why we are doing the research in the first place.”
  • 3MT Student Handbook, The University of Queensland: This helpful guide (*) gives you low down on background to the competition, the rules, shared experiences from postgraduate researchers who have previously taken part in 3MT as well as top tips for writing, creating and practicing your presentation. We particularly like this top tip for slide design: “Less is more – Text and complicated graphics can distract your audience – you don’t want them to read your slide rather than listen to your 3MT.”
  • Making the Most of your Three Minutes – Simon Clews, University of Melbourne: This practical guide will help you think about the development of your 3MT presentation in two key phases – pre-production and performance. We particularly like this top tip “Every good performance – even the most spontaneous looking ones – is the result of a great deal of careful preparation and an enormous amount of rehearsal. You’ve only got three minutes …. so make every second count.”