Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition

3MT (Three Minute Thesis) Founded by the University of Queensland

The Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®) is an annual research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland and is open to all Australian universities. The competition challenges research students to present a compelling oration on their thesis in just three minutes, using language appropriate to a non-specialist audience of other students, University staff and the general public with the aid of one slide.

3MT 2016 VU Final

The Victoria University 3MT Final held on 26 August 2016 saw eight doctoral research candidates battle it out to present their research in a nail biting 3 minutes. 

Mary Woessner from the College of Sport & Exercise Science won the University’s 3 Minute Thesis Final for her presentation: BEET Heart Failure. Mary also won the People’s Choice Prize and will go on to represent Victoria University at the 3MT Asia Pacific Final at the University of Queensland on 30 September 2016. Congratulations Mary and our hearty best wishes for the Asia-Pacific Finals in September!

For the first time we had two runners-up and we congratulate both of them too:

  • Cara Timpani from College of Health & Biomedicine for her presentation: Metabolic Therapy as a Superhero Treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
  • Ghofran Al-Nasiri from College of Engineering & Science for her presentation: Microencapsulation of Natural Additives in Packaging for Safer and Saved Food.

The eight finalists were:

  • Ikechukwu (Anthony) Ike (College of Engineering & Science)
  • Mary Woessner (College of Sport & Exercise Science)
  • Cara Timpani (College of Health & Biomedicine)
  • Sherryl Clark (College of Arts)
  • Luca Oppici (College of Sport & Exercise Science)
  • Alireza Eseaeili (College of Sport & Exercise Science)
  • Sompasong Phommasane (College of Business)
  • Ghofran Al-Nasiri (College of Engineering & Science)

2016 3MT Asia-Pacific competition

The winner of the 3MT VU Final will progress to the Asia-Pacific Final on Friday 30 September 2016 at the University of Queensland.


The following rules apply to the 3MT:

  • A single static presentation slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description).
  • No additional electronic media are permitted (e.g. sound and video files, iPads, iPhones).
  • No additional props are permitted (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment).
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • 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.

Judging criteria

The 3MT is judged by the following criteria:

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 and 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?

2015 winners

The Victoria University 3MT Final was held on 4 September 2015. It saw ten research candidates battle it out to present their research in a nail-biting three minutes each.

Gabriela Byrnem from the College of Business, won the University’s 3 Minute Thesis final for her presentation: Preventing problem gambling relapse – Let's build a rat park. Gabriela also won the People’s Choice Prize. Gabriela went on to represent Victoria University at the 3MT Trans-Tasman Final at the University of Queensland on 2 October 2015.

Michelle Fenwick from the College of Business won the Runner-up prize for her presentation: The impact of nurse casualisation on hospital management: A case study approach.

The ten competitors in the 3MT VU Grand Final were:

  • Fateh Ahtesh (College of Health and Biomedicine) – Judges' Choice
  • Ghofran Al-Nasiri (College of Engineering and Science) – Runner-up, heat 1
  • Santino Atem Deng (College of Arts) – Judges' Choice
  • Gabriela Byrne (College of Business) – Winner, heat 1
  • Michelle Fenwick (College of Business) – Judges' Choice
  • Li He (College of Business) – Runner-up, heat 2
  • Gabrielle Lindsay Smith (College of Sport and Exercise Science) – Judges' Choice
  • Laura Stanley (College of Arts) – Judges' Choice
  • Alice Sweeting (College of Sport and Exercise Science) – Judges' Choice
  • Robin Wilson (College of Health and Biomedicine) – Winner, heat 2.

Further information

For further information, contact the Graduate Research Centre on +61 3 9919 4522 or email

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