Three Minute Thesis Competition hosted by ISPGR

ISPGR is pleased to announce that we will be hosting Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition in June and July of 2021. 

What is the 3MT® Competition?


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland(UQ), Australia. Graduate students present their research and its wider impact in 3 minutes or less to a panel of judges. The challenge is to present complex research in an engaging, accessible, and compelling way, using only one static slide.  The first 3MT® competition was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 candidates competing.  3MT® has grown over the years, and is now held in over 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide.

The 3MT® competition will provide ISPGR trainees with an opportunity to refine skills that can be transferred after graduation to diverse career paths.  Distilling complex research into a clear form, without over-simplifying, and highlighting the wider implications of the research are important skills to carry into post-graduate employment and public service.

The competition allows graduate students to showcase their research to a wider multidisciplinary audience, within the ISPGR community and to the general public. The 3MT® is a unique opportunity to communicate the innovative and significant research undertaken by ISPGR trainees.

The 3MT® Competition hosted by ISPGR will take place in two stages.  First, we will hold regional competitions (Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific) featuring the top ten applicants per region.  The jury will then select the top 3 presenters from each region and invite them to compete in the worldwide competition to be held a month later.

The worldwide competition winner will receive a small monetary award.  We will also grant an honorable mention.

Winner of the 3MT® Competition


Presenter 1

Presenter 2

Presenter 3


Presenter 1

Presenter 2

Presenter 3


Presenter 1

Presenter 2

Presenter 3

Americas Competition
(10 Presenters)

Asia-Pacific Competition
(10 Presenters)

European Competition
(10 Presenters)

Who is eligible?

  • Presenters must be ISPGR members and be registered in a master’s (Thesis or MRP) or PhD program at the time of the 3MT® competition, and could be at any stage of progress (i.e., proposal, data collected, etc.) on their research and analysis.
  • PhD and master’s students who have defended, but have not yet convocated, are eligible to participate.

How to apply to the 3MT® Competition?


Eligible candidates are invited to apply by submitting an abstract.  In preparation, please review the following guidelines:

  • Ensure your membership is in good standing
  • Indicate your study level
  • Indicate a keyword for your submission
  • Select a region of competition based on where your institution is located
  • Prepare a presentation title
  • Prepare a summary of research (max 2,500 characters limit)
  • Make sure that the summary of your research is in language that the public can understand
  • Using simple terms, briefly describe your thesis research. Indicate why and to whom the research is important, the major outcomes, and the benefits of your research to the ISPGR community and to the world.

Please note the following 3MT® rules

  • 3MT® presentations must represent the primary research the student conducted in his/her graduate program.
  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide is to be displayed at the beginning of the presentation.
  • 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 considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

    Competitors must present remotely in real-time and agree to be video-recorded.
    They must also allow those video-recordings to be made public.

    Key Dates

    Competition submission open: May 4

    Competition abstract submissions close: June 1

    Notification of acceptance: June 17

    Regional competitions: June 30

    Worldwide competition: July 28

    Tips and Guidelines

    For further tips and guidelines, click below to visit the 3MT® Virtual competitor guidelines page.