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University of Melbourne 3 Minute Thesis Competition

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2014 Heat 1 winners The 2014 competition is well underway!

The 1st and 2nd heats included some top quality presentations. Thanks to everyone who took-part! Congratulations to these competitors going through to the semis:

  • Jared Horvath from Psychological Sciences with Electrical Brain Modulation: Science or Science-Fiction
  • Betty Kao from Paediatrics with Gamma-globin: a spare tire
  • Greg Donoghue from Education with How educational neuroscience can enhance children's learning & wellbeing
  • Amy Loughman from Psychological Sciences with The Silent Storm of Epilepsy
  • Hannah Larsen from Animal Welfare with Why Did the Chicken Cross the Range?
  • Johanna Tan from Audiology with Pitching Tones to the Deaf

Upcoming 3MT® events*

Heat 3 Thursday 31 July 2014, 2pm - 4pm, Gryphon Gallery, 1888 building. Come and hear the #coolresearch being done and show your support for the competitors.
Monday 28 July, 2pm - 4pm Gryphon Gallery (practice drop-in session)
Heat 4 Wednesday 13 August 2014, 2pm - 4pm Gryphon Gallery
Friday 8 August 2014, 2pm - 4pm Gryphon Gallery (practice drop-in session)
Heat 5 Thursday 21 August 2014, 10am - 12pm Gryphon Gallery
Thursday 19 August, 1pm - 3pm Gryphon Gallery (practice drop-in session)
Semi-finals Tuesday 2 & Thursday 4 September 2014
Grand Final

Thursday 25 September 2014

U21 Virtual 3MT® Competition Final (for Melbourne winner) October 2014
Trans-Tasman Competition (for Melbourne winner) 3 November 2014, University of Western Australia

*Please note: The University of Melbourne 3MT® Competition key dates above are subject to change. We will add further details (times, locations etc.) to the website as they become available.

What is the 3MT®?

Jonathan Gotleib The 3MT® is a research communication competition. The exercise challenges PhD students to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes. 3MT® develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and increases graduate researchers' capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to an intelligent, but non-specialist audience.

Benefits for participants


  • Learn to communicate your research well.
  • Build confidence and improve your public speaking skills.
  • Demystify your research in the eyes of the University community and the general public.

  • Network and make friends with other graduate researchers.

  • Begin building your public profile.

  • Communicate your research through print, radio and video media.

  • It’s a lot of fun and generates interest in what you're doing.

  • Book vouchers and other fab prizes up for grabs thoughout the competition!
  • The 3MT® also supports the University's Doctoral Attribute: "the capacity to disseminate the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication to a variety of audiences", and meets the following criteria:

    • Internal and external promotion of the value of PhD research
    • Promotes research culture to all levels of university
    • Can be mapped onto PhD progress/skills development
  • Watch the Grand Final competitors and winning presentations from the 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 University of Melbourne 3MT® Competitions.


1st Place
  • Travelling scholarship to the value of $4,500

  • Gold medal
  • A perpetual trophy - the McPhee Cup
  • A place in the Universitas21 Virtual 3MT Final in October 2014
  • A place in the Trans-Tasman 3MT® Competition at the University of Western Australia in November 2014
2nd Place
  • Prize to the value of $1000

  • Silver medal

3rd Place
  • Prize to the value of $500

  • Bronze medal

People's Choice Award Winner
  • Apple iPad

Sally Sherwen, 1st place, University of Melbourne 3MT Competition, 2013

"The 3MT competition allowed me to focus on the big picture of my research and really articulate why such work is of significance. My communication skills have certainly come a long way as a result of the competition. All the extra training and skills you gain throughout the process are extremely valuable. Good communication skills certainly give you an edge as a researcher. The extra training and friends I met throughout the 3MT process has been a real highlight of my PhD. Being a part of the competition allowed me to share my research with so many people. As a result of the competition, I have had the opportunity to travel to present at seminars and conferences as well as presentations for the general public. This has really extended the reach of my research beyond the scientific community to a much wider audience."

Bernd Merkel, 2nd place, University of Melbourne 3MT Competition, 2013

"When preparing for the 3MT many questions came up about my research, which made me aware of the different aspects of my study. Being deep into a certain research area, like randomised clinical trials on Alzheimer's Disease, can sometimes detract from what is important and interesting for the general public. Since doing the 3MT, I have gained more confidence in talking about and presenting my research. Important key phrases have been "automated" into my brain. The 3MT has really allowed me to engage the wider public about my research. I had two very exciting interviews on ABC Radio and 3TripleR. Participating in the competition has really helped me personally, and has put my research on the map."

Dr Simon R Crouch, 3rd place, University of Melbourne 3MT Competition, 2012

Simon Crouch presenting his 3MT "An opportunity to talk about your research to a captive audience. A chance to think about it in a creative way. The ability to win prizes and meet other likeminded researchers. Why wouldn't you want to compete in the 3MT? These are just some of the reasons why I signed up for the 3MT, twice! I learnt a lot about public speaking and presenting my work in an engaging manner. The improvements I saw in all participants, across workshops, heats and the finals, were phenomenal and I made some great friends. I will always remember it as a significant part of my PhD experience at Melbourne."

Three Minute Thesis (3MT® ) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. For additional information or queries about the 3MT®, please email