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 2023 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 2023. 

3MT 2023 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 2023 are open now until noon 14 April!

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 29 March (online)
  • Optional - Attend 3MT Workshop: 14:00-16:00, Wed 5 April
  • Deadline to submit Entry Form and draft slide: 12:00, Fri 14 April
  • Optional - Attend Practice Heats: 14:00-16:00, Wed 19 April
  • Deadline to submit updated slide for 3MT Heats: 12:00, Thurs 27 April 
  • Three Minute Thesis Heats: 14:00-16:00, Wed 3 May 

If shortlisted at Heats:

  • Submit updated slide for 3MT Final: 23:59, Sun 14 May
  • Three Minute Thesis Final: 14:00-17:00, Wed 17 May

Rules and regulations

 To enter the Birmingham 3MT 2023 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, 3 May 2023.
  • Be available for the Heats event on 3 May 2023.
  • Be available, if shortlisted after the Heats event, for the Birmingham Finals event on 17 May 2023.
  • 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 
  • You should present in a style suitable for an intelligent but non-expert audience 
  • ALL presentations should be NO LONGER than three minutes; competitors exceeding three minutes will be disqualified 
  • You will be allowed one single and static PowerPoint slide to support your presentation (slide transitions or animations are NOT allowed) 
  • No additional electronic media (such as sound or video) are allowed 
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted 
  • No notes are permitted 
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (no poems or songs) 
  • 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 10 April 2023.

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, Fri 14 April 2023.

The prizes

There are three Birmingham 3MT 2023 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 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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