Three Minute Thesis Competition

Graduate Research School

Congratulations to all of our 2015 contestants for their wonderful presentations! Watch a clip about 3MT on UNSWTV and see pictures on the GRS facebook page.

  • 1st place: Susan Ireland, Healthy or Happy? Finding the Best of Both with Alternative Sweeteners- Click here to see the presentation on UNSWTV
  • Runner-up: Kejia Wang, Striding towards fewer falls: new insights into elderly gait - Click here to see the presentation on UNSWTV    
  • People's Choice Prize and ASPIRE Award: Scott Youlten, Skeletal Marriage Counselling - Click here to see the presentation on UNSWTV    

What is 3MT?

The 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition developed by the University of Queensland for PhD and Research Masters candidates. With just three minutes to give a compelling presentation on their thesis topic and its significance, the 3MT competition forces research candidates to consolidate their ideas and crystallise their research discoveries.

UNSW 3MT 2016 Interfaculty Final

8 September
4:30pm to 7:30pm
Leighton Hall, Scientia
Click here for event detail

UNSW Prizes 2016 Prizes

  • First prize $3,000 plus entry into the 2016 Trans-Tasman Competition at the University of Queensland as well as the U21 final, a virtual event with judges watching video entries rather than live presentations
  • Runner-up prize $1,500
  • People’s Choice prize $1,000
  • ASPIRE prize $500

ASPIRE is a UNSW widening participation program that works with school students to support their educational aspirations. This year at 3MT we will have some of the school students from this program as VIP guests, and they will be awarding a special ASPIRE Prize for the presentation they enjoy the most.

UNSW 3MT 2016 Faculty Heat contacts 

Faculty Contact Email When  Location
UNSW Art and Design Jo Elliot   UNSW Paddington Campus
Arts and Social Sciences Amy Stansfield     John B Reid Theatre, AGSM Building
UNSW Business School Jenny Hislop 17 August
11:30am - 1:30pm

Business School Lounge, West Foyer, Level 6 Business School

Built Environment

Suzie Scandurra

Judith O’Callaghan

  Old Main Building G31
Engineering Lynne O'Sullivan 25 July
2.00pm – 5.00pm
Engineering Design Studio, Level 5, Mechanical Engineering Building (J17)
Law Jenny Jarrett   Staff Common Room, Level 2, Law Faculty Building
Medicine Sue Gerty   Wallace Wurth’s Lower Ground Theatre 3
Science  Morgan Sutton   Leighton Hall, Scientia
UNSW Canberra Luke Garner   LT1, Lecture TheatreSouth, Building 30

UNSW 3MT Interfaculty Final Judges and MC

UNSW 3MT 2016 - Eligibility, Rules and Judging Criteria


  • All active PhD candidates - from those who have passed their Confirmation review to those whose thesis is under examination - are eligible
  • Candidates must be on track for timely completion
  • Graduates are not eligible
  • Active Masters of Philosophy, Masters by Research and pre-confirmation PhD candidates are eligible to participate in the UNSW faculty heats BUT cannot advance to the UNSW Interfaculty Final.


1) A single, static PowerPoint slide is permitted
2) No additional electronic media
3) No additional props
4) Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum – competitors exceeding 3 minutes will be disqualified
5) The decision of the adjudicating panel is final


1) Communication style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
2) Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
3) Engagement: did the oration make the audience want to know more?