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What is “Three Minute Thesis”?

The University of Queensland (UQ), 3MT competition cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Presenting in a 3MT competition increases their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

The idea for the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition came about at a time when the state of Queensland was suffering severe drought. To conserve water, residents were encouraged to time their showers, and many people had a three minute egg timer fixed to the wall in their bathroom. The then Dean of the UQ Graduate School, Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson, put two and two together and the idea for the 3MT competition was born.

2008: The first 3MT competition was held at UQ with 160 Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates competing.
2009: The 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew.
2010: A multi- national event was developed, and the Inaugural Trans- Tasman 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2010.
2013: The first Universitas 21 (U21) 3MT Competition was held with several universities from around the world competing in a virtual competition.
2016: 3MT brought about an expansion of the Trans-Tasman 3MT competition to include universities from South-East and North Asia regions. The competition since then has been called the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition and is hosted annually by UQ.
Now: 3MT is held in over 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide.