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Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition – University of Reading

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Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

About the competition


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT©)* is a showcase for the research being carried out by doctoral researchers at the University of Reading. This competition highlights an important communication skill: the ability to describe research clearly and succinctly to a non-specialist audience. Participants have three minutes to give an engaging talk to a non-specialist academic audience on their thesis topic and its significance. The winner will be voted for by a judging panel of University of Reading staff. The winner will receive an award of £100 and will be put forward to the 2019 VITAE 3MT national competition. The winner of the People's Choice Award voted for by conference delegates will receive £50.

Eligibility - who can apply?

All current doctoral researchers including professional doctorates (EngD, DBA, Ed.D and DAgriFood) who have not graduated before 1 June 2019.

Competition guidelines

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are permitted).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, instruments (musical, laboratory etc)) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum. Competitors exceeding three minutes will be stopped from continuing.

Judging criteria

  • Communication style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist academic audience?
  • Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Engagement: did the presentation make the audience want to know more?

How to enter

  • Each student should submit a talk title and research summary (maximum of 200 words) that is inspiring and engaging to a non-specialist academic audience.
  • All entries will be considered by the Graduate School selection panel. Depending on numbers submitted, those selected by the panel will be invited to qualification heats on 1 and 8 May 2019. These heats must be attended in person; Skype is not permitted.
  • Shortlisted finalists must email their PowerPoint slides to the Graduate School by 3 June 2019.
  • The shortlisted finalists will be invited to deliver their presentation at the University of Reading Doctoral Research Conference on 19 June 2019.

Deadline for competition entry:

Friday 5 April 2019

Competition entry form:

Further information about the 3MT©

*The Three Minute Thesis (3MT©) Competition is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.


Three Minute Thesis Competition 2018

Willemijn Doedens from the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences was the winner of the Three Minute Thesis Competition in 2018

Three Minute Thesis Competition 2017

This was won by Oliver Wilson, a doctoral researcher in the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science. Watch Oliver's winning talk below:



Three Minute Thesis Competition 2016


The 2016 competition was won by Ioannis Zoulias, who is undertThree minute thesis winner 2016aking a PhD in Cybernetics. 

Ioannis's winning talk was entitled 'Owning a virtual you: How do you know that this is your body?' In his talk, Ioannis described his research into how the human senses become interlinked in the brain, to create new information and give rise to complex experiences.

The People's Choice award, voted for by conference delegates, was won by Ruth Barnes from the School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy. Her talk was entitled '"The Acid Test" targeted methods for disinfection'.


Three Minute Thesis Competition 2015


The winner of the Three Minute Thesis Competition 2015 was Bridget OgwPeoples choice award winner 2016ezi. Bridget is in the final year of a professional doctorate in the School of Construction Management and Engineering (TSBE Centre) and is funded by the EPSRC and BuroHappold Engineering. Bridget's research is concerned with reducing how much energy is used to provide comfortable conditions in buildings. Her winning Three Minute Thesis talk was entitled 'A naturally adaptable façade element'.

Bridget also won the People's Choice Award for her talk, a prize voted for by the Doctoral Research Conference audience.



Three Minute Thesis Competition 2014

The Three Minute Thesis Competition 2014 was won by Sarah Mitchell, a PhD researcher from Marketing and Reputation, Henley Business School.

Sarah's talk was entitled 'Exploring the role of brand in volunteer choice of charity'. Second place went to Sammie Buzzard (Meteorology) and the conference audience voted Shamala Sundaray (Psychology) the winner of the People's Choice Award.


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