3MT competition details

Rules and criteria

Competition format and dates 2017

The competition will be held in two stages. The first stage will involve 2 heats on Bentley campus on Tuesday 5 September 2017 with a separate heat being conducted at the Sarawak campus. The top 5 ranked competitors in each Bentley heat, along with the winner of the Sarawak heat, will compete in a University-wide final on Monday 18th September 2017 . The winner of the Curtin final will go on to compete in the Asia-Pacific Final at The University of Queensland on Friday 29 September 2017.

Go to The University of Queensland Three Minute Thesis website for resources, such as the 3MT Competitor Guide, rules (including the judging criteria) and FAQs.

Important dates 2017

  • Registration closing date – Monday 14 August (See Registration section below)
  • 3MT practice session 1 – Monday 21 August, 12.30 – 2.30pm, Building 500, room 1102AB:EX  (TBC)
  • 3MT practice session 2 – Thursday 24 August, 10am-12pm, Building 500, room 1102AB:EX (TBC)
  • 3MT practice session 3 – Tuesday 29 August, 12.30pm – 2.30pm, Building 216 room 117 (TBC)
  • Slide due date – Friday 1 September
  • Heats 1 and 2 – Tuesday 5 September, Building 500, room 1102 AB:EX
  • Curtin Final – Monday 18 September, from 10am, Building 500 room 1102AB:EX
  • Asia-Pacific Final – Friday 29 September at The University of Queensland

Contact details

For further information contact Tania Lerch via GRS.training@curtin.edu.au

Eligibility criteria

  • Only Doctoral* students who have successfully passed their Candidacy by 14 August 2017 are eligible to participate in the Final of the Curtin 3MT competition, and the Asia-Pacific 3MT final at UQ.

* Doctoral degrees where the minimum research component is at least two/thirds of the degree.

  • Graduates are not eligible.
  • Previous contestants are welcome to participate again.
  • Masters by Research* and pre-candidacy doctoral students are eligible to participate in the heats of the Curtin 3MT competition, but cannot advance to the Curtin 3MT Final.

  • Students from all study areas are eligible to participate.

*Please Note: For Masters Degrees to be eligible for the heats they must be at least two thirds research (definition drawn from Grant Guidelines 2006 for Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003) and produce a thesis that is examined externally.

Registration details

Email the following registration information by Monday 14 August to GRS.Training@curtin.edu.au.

  • Title (Mr/Ms/Mrs)
  • First name
  • Surname
  • Full Name for your Certificate of Participation
  • Student ID
  • School
  • Faculty
  • Email
  • Mobile Phone
  • Course
  • 3MT Title
  • Thesis Title
  • 100 Word summary
  • Bio – 1 paragraph  (50-70 words)
  • slide – submit by 1 September*

*Competitors use a single, static PowerPoint slide for their presentation. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are permitted. No electronic media (e.g. sound or video files) are permitted either. The slide must be submitted by Friday 1 September 2017. Download Slide template – format is onscreen show 4-3

A confirmation email will be sent once we have processed your registration.


The prizes for Curtin 3MT Competition 2017 are awaiting confirmation, but it is proposed:

  • The winner of the Curtin Final will receive $1000 towards research expenses and the opportunity to compete in the Asia-Pacific Final at The University of Queensland, including travel, accommodation and registration expenses.
  • The runner-up will receive $500 towards research expenses.
  • The remaining finalists will receive a $100 gift voucher from the Curtin Co-op.
  • The People’s Choice winner (as voted by the audience) will receive $200 donated by CUPSA

3MT competition rules

All participants must abide by the following rules of the competition:

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage area.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.

Judging criteria

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

1. Comprehension and 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?

2. 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?

Winners 2016

First Prize – Lucas Marie, Media, Culture and Creative Arts ‘Hip hop can change the world’

Runner up  – Felipe Krupelis, Biomedical Sciences ‘Neutrophil extracellular traps: our cells going fishing’

People’s Choice Award – Samantha-Kaye Christie, Psychology and Speech Pathology ‘Pay Attention, But Not Too Much!’