Birmingham Three Minute Thesis

The average PhD thesis would take nine hours to present. You have...three minutes!

3MT banner 2014

About the Competition

The University of Birmingham Three Minute Thesis 2024 competition is open now! Find out how to enter at the bottom of this page.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, in which doctoral researchers have just three minutes to deliver an engaging presentation on their thesis topic, its originality and its significance.

With universities across the world now holding their own 3MT competitions, we are delighted to be running a University of Birmingham 3MT and to invite our own doctoral researchers to participate in such a highly-regarded competition.

If you are a current doctoral researcher interested in developing your presentation and research communication skills, raising the profile of your research and having the chance to win an international research bursary, we warmly encourage you to join the Canvas Course to take part in 3MT 2024. 

3MT 2024 will take place in-person on the Edgbaston campus, however, if you are registered on a distance programme or have a reasonable adjustment plan in place to support it, you have the option to take part live via Zoom. 

All entrants will receive support and feedback on drafting a strong 3MT presentation and be invited to take part in the UoB 3MT Heats, with entrants from across the University. The top ten entrants from the Heats, will go on to compete for prizes in the UoB 3MT Finals. The competition will also give you the opportunity to compete for a place in the nationwide UK 3MT contest.

Key Dates

Applications for 3MT 2024 are open now until noon 28 March!

Self-enrol on our Canvas training course for a detailed breakdown of the key steps for each stage of the competition.

  • Optional - Attend 3MT Drop-in: 14:00-16:00, Wed 13 March (online)
  • Optional - Attend 3MT Workshop: 14:00-16:00, Wed 20 March (Muirhead Tower G15)
  • Deadline to submit Entry Form and draft slide: 12:00, Thurs 28 March
  • Optional - Attend Practice Heats: 14:00-16:00, Wed 10 April (Alan Walters G03)
  • Deadline to submit updated slide for 3MT Heats: 12:00, Thurs 18 April 
  • Three Minute Thesis Heats: 14:00-16:00, Wed 1 May (Alan Walters G03)

If shortlisted at Heats:

  • Submit updated slide for 3MT Final: 23:59, Sun 12 May
  • Three Minute Thesis Final: 14:00-17:00, Wed 15 May (Alan Walters G03)

Rules and regulations

 To enter the Birmingham 3MT 2024 competition, you must:

  • Be currently registered on a doctoral programme at the University of Birmingham. This includes students who have submitted their thesis but are still awaiting their viva on the date of the Heats, 1 May 2024.
  • Be available for the Heats event on 1 May 2024.
  • Be available, if shortlisted after the Heats event, for the Birmingham Finals event on 15 May 2024.
  • Be available, if successful, to participate in the UK-wide final in September
  • Agree to your presentation being recorded, uploaded to a University YouTube playlist and potentially used for future 3MT promotions UGS.

 The rules for your 3MT presentation are as follows:

  • Your 3MT presentation should be based on research that is directly related to your doctoral thesis 
  • 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.

How to Enter

Self-enrol on our Canvas training course now for a detailed breakdown of next steps, top tips and advice.  

You should aim to complete the 60 min course by Mon 25 March 2024.

To confirm your intention to take part, you must submit an entry form on the Canvas course, with a draft slide and draft title by 12:00, Thurs 28 March.

The prizes

There are three Birmingham 3MT 2024 prizes to be won.

£500 - Judges Winner

£250 - Judges Runner-up

£250 - People's Choice


 Support in preparing your 3MT

Self-enrol on our Canvas training course now to access full guidance on the rules and regulations and the judging criteria.

We'll be offering lots of support, detailed on our Canvas page, with our first two sessions listed below:

3MT Online Drop-in Q+A 

 3MT In-person Presentation Workshop 

 University of Birmingham 3MT winners

Birmingham 3MT 2023 Winner: Sarah Rockowitz (School of Psychology) 

Birmingham 3MT 2023 Runner-Up: Katrina Jan (School of English, Drama and Creative Studies)

Birmingham 3MT 2022 winner: Tim Williams (School of Metallurgy and Materials)

Birmingham 3MT 2022 joint runner-up: James Glasbey (Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences)

Birmingham 3MT 2022 joint runner-up: Nine Douwes Dekker (School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences)

Birmingham 3MT 2021 winner: George Dransfield (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Birmingham 3MT 2021 joint runner-up: Zoe Screti (School of History and Cultures)

Birmingham 3MT 2021 joint runner-up: Juma El-Awaisi (Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences)

Birmingham 3MT 2020 and Vitae 2020 winner: Lucy Thomas (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Birmingham 3MT 2019 winner: Cai Lyons (College of Arts and Law)

Birmingham 3MT 2018 winner: Ella Hawkins (The Shakespeare Institute)

Birmingham 3MT 2017 winner: Meryl Lewis (School of Clinical Psychology)

Birmingham 3MT 2016 winner: Mathew Schofield (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Birmingham 3MT 2015 winner: Rosalind Davies (School of Chemical Engineering)

Birmingham 3MT 2014 winner: Chris Morgan (School of Biosciences)



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