3-minute thesis competition

3-minute thesis competition

Macquarie University Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

3-minute thesis logo

2020 Virtual Competition

Due to the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, increasing social distancing measures and restrictions on public gatherings, The University of Queensland (UQ) has made the decision to move the 2020 Asia-Pacific Three Minute Thesis Competition to a virtual format (video submission) in the best interests of public health.

To better equip our competitors and to continue to allow Higher Degree Research candidates the opportunity to hone their communication skills, the Macquarie University 2020 Three Minute Thesis Competition will follow suit.

Information can be found below detailing the new competition format. HDR Learning Skills will be offering a workshop to provide competitors instructions on how to record their presentation accordingly. Competitors can find additional information directly from the Asia-Pac Competitors Guide.

MQ Candidates participating in the MQ competition should download and use the MQ Identifying Slide For Competitors

2020 Virtual Competition Dates

July: Virtual 3MT Training Period

August: Faculty & Departmental Heats

Late August: MQ 2020 3MT Virtual Final Competition

August 31: MQ Winner announced

October 1: 2020 Virtual Asia-Pacific 3MT Final

2020 People's Choice Voting

This year, People's Choice will be a little different.

Finalist Videos will be available via the MQ 3MT iLearn from 26-30 August for viewing and voting.

Information on how to access this iLearn unit will be made available in due course.

2020 Virtual Format and Rules

Competitors have three minutes to give an engaging and dynamic talk on their thesis topic, and its significance, in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience. The talk should engage the audience without reducing the research to entertainment value only. As such, the competition does not trivialise or "dumb-down" research but forces students to consolidate their ideas and crystallise their research discoveries.

Modifications to the 3MT rules have been made to accommodate the new virtual format.

  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech (timing does not include the 3MT title slide and commences from when the competitor starts speaking, not the start of the video).
  • Videos must meet the following criteria:
    • Filmed on the horizontal;
    • Filmed on a plain background;
    • Filmed from a static position;
    • Filmed from one camera angle;
    • Contain a 3MT title slide;
    • Contain a 3MT PowerPoint slide (top right corner/right side/cut to)
  • A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description). This can be visible continuously, or ‘cut to’ (as many times as you like) for a maximum of 1 minute.
  • The 3 minute audio must be continuous – no sound edits or breaks.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording. Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • Submissions via video format (only video link provided to Event Coordinators). Files sent in other formats will not be accepted.
  • Entries submitted for final adjudication to Wildcard or University Final are to be submitted from the School/ Faculty/Institute 3MT Event Coordinator. Competitors should not submit their videos directly to 3MT.

Please note: competitors *will not* be judged on video/ recording quality or editing capabilities (optional
inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and
3MT PowerPoint slide.

2020 Eligibility and Judging Guidelines

Macquarie University will be following the same eligibility, rules and judging guidelines of the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition 2020, hosted by the University of Queensland. These eligibility, rules and judging guidelines are as follows:


Eligibility

Anyone who is active in a *PhD or *MPhil program (including thesis under submission) will be eligible to participate in 3MT. Graduates are not eligible.

* Note: degree must be at least two thirds research (definition drawn from Grant Guidelines 2006 for Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003) and must produce a thesis that is examined externally.

MPhil candidates are welcome to enter the MQ competition, but the national eligibility rules prevent them from progressing to the Asia-Pacific event.

Each faculty will be holding heats during the coming months and the 9-12 winners of those heats will submit their video to compete in the MQ 3MT Final.


Judging criteria

  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?

Prizes

Prizes for the MQ winners:

  • The Winner is awarded $1000
  • Second Place $500
  • Third Place $250
  • People's Choice Winner $250.

Please note: Prize money is to be used for research costs only and is not a cash prize.

Prizes for the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition 2020

  • Winner: $5000 research travel grant
  • Runner Up: $2000 research travel grant
  • People's Choice: $1000 research travel grant

Three Minute Thesis Background

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, for all HDR Candidates.

The first 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 Research Higher Degree students competing. In 2009 and 2010 the 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew. Due to its adoption in numerous universities, a multi-national event was developed, and the Inaugural Trans-Tasman 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2010.

In November 2013, the first Universitas 21 (U21) 3MT competition was held with several universities from around the world competing in a virtual competition.

2016 brings an expansion of the Trans-Tasman 3MT competition to include a select number of Asian universities. The competition has now been renamed to the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition. Full details are on the 3MT website.

Macquarie heats are run through the faculties. For more information please contact your faculty HDR Administrators.


Previous MQ Winners

2019 Winners

Winner of the 2019 Macquarie Competition: Gillian Smith, Faculty of Arts

Gillian also went on to win People's Choice at the 2019 Asia-Pacific Final.

2019 Runner-up: Julien Lubeek, Faculty of Science and Engineering

2019 Third Place: Talia Nardo, Faculty of Human Sciences

2019  People's Choice: Minami Uchida, Faculty of Human Sciences

People’s Choice Minami Uchida, Runner Up Julien Lubeek, First Prize Gillian Smith, 3rd Prize Talia Nardo

Photo by PhD candidate Sepidah Sami

2018 Winners

Winner of the 2018  Macquarie Competition: Selene Petit, Faculty of Human Sciences

Selene also went on to win Second Place at the 2019 Asia-Pacific Final.

2018 Runner-up: Lara McGirr, Faculty of Arts

2018 Third Place: Julien Millasseau, Faculty of Human Sciences

2018 Third Place & People's Choice: Peiyao Li, Faculty of Science & Engineering

Earlier Winners

2017 Winner: Rifaie Tammas, Faculty of Arts

2015 Winner: Kevin McGrath, Faculty of Human Sciences

2014 Winner: Cheryl Ware, Faculty of Arts

Face to Face Event Eligibility, Rules and Judging Guidelines

Macquarie University will be following the same eligibility, rules and judging guidelines of the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition 2019, hosted by the University of Queensland. These eligibility, rules and judging guidelines are as follows:

Eligibility

Anyone who is active in a *PhD or *MPhil program (including thesis under submission) will be eligible to participate in 3MT. Graduates are not eligible.

* Note: degree must be at least two thirds research (definition drawn from Grant Guidelines 2006 for Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003) and must produce a thesis that is examined externally.

MPhil candidates are welcome to enter the MQ competition, but the national eligibility rules prevent them from progressing to the Asia-Pacific event.

Each faculty will be holding heats during the coming months and the 12-15 winners of those heats will compete in the finals to be held on Wednesday 25 September 2019..

Rules

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are allowed. 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 (eg. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • 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.

Judging criteria

  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?
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