Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a communication competition for researchers in all areas of knowledge, initiated in 2008 by the University of Queensland in Australia. Today, universities all over the world have adopted this model, which helps to develop the communication skills of pre-doctoral researchers.
This competition challenges students to consolidate their hypotheses, objectives and ideas and the validity and importance of the results, and to present them clearly and concisely, using only the resources of public speaking and rhetoric, essential for their future professional careers.
The Doctoral School (EsDUVa) organises the annual 3MT competition at the University of Valladolid (UVa). Aimed at the training of doctoral students, in addition to financial prizes for research, it offers resources and training activities for participants, encouraging the development of their communication and dissemination skills to serve as a bridge between researchers and the general public.
This competition also aims to promote multidisciplinary exchange, encouraging members of the academic community to learn about the different research projects being carried out by doctoral students at the UVA. In this way, the aim is to create meeting places between different areas of knowledge.
The activity has the collaboration of the Social Council of the University of Valladolid and UVadivulga, the Unit of Scientific Culture and Innovation (UCC+i).
Doctoral students have three minutes to present their research topic, their objectives, their hypotheses, or their eventual results. The short time available makes it necessary to prepare clear and effective speeches, which convey in a few words the importance of the research topic and are understandable to both an academic jury and a non-specialist audience.
Good speech construction and oral presentation are the essential part of the competition, where staging must be kept to a minimum.
Registration: From 10 July to 13 September.
Public speaking courses: 23, 24 and 30 September and 1 October.
Qualifying round: From 7 to 11 October.
Final: 5 November.
- Only a single static PowerPoint slide, without animations or movement, which will be projected from the beginning of the presentation, is allowed.
- The use of additional audiovisual media such as audio or video is not allowed.
- The use of props such as costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment, etc. is not allowed.
- Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and those who exceed the time limit will be automatically disqualified.
- Presentations will be spoken (no poems or songs are allowed).
- A presentation is considered to have started when the presenter begins to speak or move.
- The decision of the jury is final and not subject to appeal.
The only requirement to participate in the 3MT-2019 is to have been enrolled in a UVa doctoral programme in the 2018/2019 academic year and not to have won or been awarded the public prize in any of the previous editions.
The participants will be judged by a jury made up of representatives of society in each of the two phases of the competition: heats and final.
Three finalists will be selected in each of the heats. During the final phase, the twelve selected participants will be eligible for the following prizes:
- First prize: 2000 €.
- Second prize: 1000 €.
- Third prize: 500 €.
In addition, during the final, an audience prize will be awarded.
And the other finalists will receive an award of €100.
The jury will take into account aspects of the content of the presentations and the communicative ability of the candidates, regardless of the area of knowledge to which their research topics belong.
- Has the presentation facilitated understanding of the context of the research topic and its significance?
- Does the presentation follow a clear logical sequence?
- Have the thesis topic, key findings and the significance of the research been communicated in language suitable for a non-specialist audience?
- Has the candidate avoided scientific jargon, explained terminology and given adequate information or examples to illustrate the arguments?
- Has sufficient time been spent on each element of the speech or has any part of the speech been too long, causing the candidate to have to speed through other parts of the presentation?
2. Communication skills
- Has the speech left the jury or the audience wanting to know more about the research topic regardless of the area of knowledge?
- Has the candidate been careful not to trivialise or generalise his/her research?
- Did the researcher convey enthusiasm for his/her thesis topic?
- Did the candidate have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range, maintain an appropriate stage position, convey confidence and assurance?
- Was the PowerPoint slide suitable for the presentation, did it enhance the presentation, was it clear, legible and concise?
Some examples of winners from other universities show how it is only through spoken language that interest in various research topics from different fields of knowledge can be aroused:
The Three Minutes Thesis competition is being adopted in many countries worldwide. You can consult the updated list of universities with 3MT competitions at the following link https://threeminutethesis.uq.edu.au/participating-institutions