Three Minute Thesis (3MT) 2020

The Festival of Postgraduate Research has been postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis. Apologies for any disappointment. We hope to provide further information when the situation is more stable.

Competition details in brief


Deadline: Registration: Monday 23 March 2020, 10.00hr


In front of the audience at the Festival of Postgraduate Reseach, Wed 01 April, Huxley, Moulsecoomb. Our judges’ winner will take home £400 and go through to the national 3MT competition hosted by research professionals, Vitae. If you reach the national final, you will be required to present in Birmingham on 14 September 2020 where you’ll compete for Vitae’s top prize of £3000.


Explain your thesis to an intelligent, non-specialist audience in three minutes or less, using only one slide.


To develop those all important research communication and presentation skills; to identify the essence and importance of your research (a huge help for writing abstracts and summarising your research at viva and beyond); to raise your research profile; and to compete for cash prizes and recognition at both local and potentially national level.

Competition details in full

About 3MT

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition developed by the University of Queensland, Australia, in 2008. Since then, 3MT competitions have been held at over 600 universities around the world. In the UK, the national competition is hosted by Vitae.

The 3MT challenge aims to cultivate students’ academic, presentation and research communication skills.

2020 marks the fourth year of 3MT at Brighton and the competition is undoubtedly the hightlight of our annual Festival of Postgraduate Research. Audience members tell us how much they enjoy watching this event and learning about our doctoral students’ fascinating research. Topics to date have ranged from anabolic steroids to Saudi women through to ocean cruising. Participants too tell us how much they gain from 3MT. The process of re-focusing to find the heart of the project after being so close to it for so long has proved to be immensely valuable. Similarly, crafting a polished script designed to communicate a project without dumbing it down develops skills to stand any researcher in good stead both during and beyond the PhD.


Judges’ Prize

People’s Choice Prize

1st: £400
Runner up: £200

How to enter


  1. Your online registration form for the Brighton competiton by Monday 23 March 2020, 10.00hr (button at top of page)

Registration forms received after this date will not be accepted as they will miss our internal deadline for accompanying 3MT print materials.

Competition details

Doctoral students who have not had their viva by the time of the local competition (01 April) are eligible to participate.

Click for judging criteria

Click for competition rules

Need help with your presentation?

Preparing for the Three Minute Thesis (Doctoral College PRDP workshop)
Wednesday 04 March 2020, 14.00-16.00, Cockcroft 808, Moulsecoomb campus

This 3MT workshop will help you to identify and communicate the essence of your research; understand how to address the needs of a non-specialist audience; acquire succinct communication skills and build your confidence in presenting. The session is run by Dr Ross English who has considerable experience in delivering 3MT training and is a regular judge in the UK’s 3MT semi-final round.

Book your workshop place now

Our first 3MT participants in 2017 L-R: Patricia Soares, Lujain Mirza, Bahar Esfahani, Madeleine Conaghan, Qiaoyi Wang, Myrsini Athinaiou, Majed Al-Jefri