2014 3MT Competition

The 2014 Three Minute Thesis competition is now well under way!

The  2014  U21 3MT competition is now online.  Participants from around the network have beaten off strong competition from others in their home institution and have now been put forward to represent their university in the network-wide final.

Alongside the prizes awarded by the judging panel (see below), there will be a People's Choice award, given to the presenter who is voted most popular by public vote.  Voting closed on Monday 20 October - results to be announced on 28 October.


Judging Criteria

At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the three judging criteria listed below. Please note that each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.



  • Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and aims of research?
  • Do you know what is significant about this research?
  • Did the presentation follow a logical sequence?


  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or dumb down their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their work?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
  • Would I like to know more about the speaker's research?


  • Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker use sufficient eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and a confident stance?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology that needed to be used, and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend the right amount of time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long or were rushed?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance, rather than detract from, their presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?



There are three prizes to be won in this year's competition:

  • Judges' First Place: Prizewinner will receive a bursary of US$2,500 to visit a U21 university of their choice, to benefit their research or on-going career development.
  • Judges' Highly Commended: Prize US$500
  • People's Choice: Prizewinner will receive US$300 plus the opportunity to have their presentation turned into an animated video by 99Scholars, creating an innovative way to share the presentation online and via social media.

Associate Professor Caroline Daley, Dean of Graduate Studies University of Auckland (and U21 DDoGS chair)

Phil Baty, Editor at large Times Higher Education

Dr Jani Brouwer, Director of Research and PhD Programs, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Dr Allan Goodman, CEO Institute of International Education

Dr Patrick Chu, Chairman of 99Scholars (an academic event platform for research scholars) and UNSW alumnus

Click on the download below to read the judges' biographies.


Timeline for the 2014 competition

6 October 2014: Videos online and open the People’s Choice Vote

20 October 2014: People’s Choice Closes

28 October 2014: Winners announced