The University of Newcastle, Australia

Three minute thesis competition

The 2019 UON final of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition will be held at the Conservatorium on Friday 23 August 2019 starting at 4:00 pm.

The 3MT competition features some of the university's brightest rising stars presenting a short but engaging talk on their doctoral research. They must use lay language and are allowed only one Powerpoint slide to succinctly but passionately convey their work's reach and significance.

Each Faculty will put forward their most competitive candidates to compete on the night. One winner will represent UON at the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition in Brisbane later this year.

Reservations to attend the event will be available shortly.


All research students are eligible to participate in the Faculty and UON final, however only active PhD candidates who have successfully passed confirmation and processed all the paperwork by the date of their first presentation have the chance to represent UON at the Asia-Pacific final at the University of Queensland on Friday 4 October 2019.

Prizes for the UON Three Minute Thesis Final

1st Place - $5000

2nd Place - $2000

3rd Place - $1000

People's Choice Award

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

  • 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 (e.g. 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.

At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below. Please note: Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.

Comprehension and Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • 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?
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?

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


Business and Law
  • 24 July 2019, 10am in New Space X502
Education and Arts
  • 18 July 2019, 2pm in Purdue Room
Engineering and Built Environment
  • 02 July 2019, 9:30am in EFG02
Health and Medicine
  • 17 July 2019, 2pm in Caves Lecture Theatre HMRI
Science and IT
  • Callaghan Heat: 19 July 2019, 10am, HB13 Hunter Building
  • Ourimbah Heat:  19 July 2019, 10am, LT102 Lecture Theatre 2

To register for your school/faculty heat, please download the registration form and return it to your Faculty Research Training Officer.


NUPSA have scheduled training sessions for all interested participants. The content for each session is the same – just choose the day and time that suits you best: