U21 Three Minute Thesis Competition

3MT (Three Minute Thesis) Logo
The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.

3MT provides research students with the opportunity to develop their academic, presentation, and research communication skills by explaining their research to an intelligent but non-specialist audience. The local competitions will challenge the students to present face-to-face, and additionally the virtual final will hone skills associated from being filmed for an international audience, receiving international peer review, and gaining skills surrounding the presentation of their research to a wider audience.

Not only will students benefit from this experience, but U21 members have the opportunity to showcase their research and researchers throughout the network, as well as open doors to new collaborations and networks for both researchers and supervisors.  

The U21 3MT pits leading presenters from U21 member universities against one another. Each participating member will hold their own internal 3MT competition to select a local winner who will then be put forward for the U21 final, to be judged by an international panel consisting of industry and academic professionals. 


  • 1st Prize US$2,500  
  • Highly Commended US$500  
  • People’s Choice Prize US$1000   

The deadlines for the 2024 competition are as follows:

  • Deadline for receiving videos: Thursday 17th October 2024 
  • People's Choice opens: Monday 18th November 2024
  • People's Choice closes: Monday 8 January 2025
  • Winners announced week commencing 20th January 2025 

View our 2023 entries  

Rules for video submission to U21 final
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.

  • A single static slide is permitted (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 video can be filmed from a live 3MT event or a specific set, but must have only one camera angle filmed from a static position. Zoom in and out from the static position is acceptable.

  • The 3 minute audio must be continuous – no edits, breaks etc.

  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment, animated backgrounds) are permitted.

  • 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 movement or speech (timing does not include the student's title slide).

  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording. 

  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final

Application deadline

Active Doctoral candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone by the date of their first presentation (including thesis under submission) are eligible to participate in the U21 3MT competition. Graduates are not eligible.