About 3MT

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition that challenges HDR candidates to describe their research in a language that can be understood by a non-specialist audience, within just three minutes. Throughout the competition, participants develop their presentation and communication skills, honing their ability to explain their research in a brief and engaging manner.

Held annually at universities worldwide, there are over fifty events held across Australia, New Zealand and Asia before the competition culminates in an Asia-Pacific 3MT Final.

3MT Griffith Final 4 September 2020

View our recorded 2020 3MT final, featuring presentations from 10 PhD finalists.


Clare Burns has spent several years interviewing business and finance leaders as she investigates Australia’s growing corporate greed culture. Her 2020 3MT presentation titled ‘Corporate Sustainability: Holding up a mirror to greedy finance culture’ was engaging, well-crafted, accessible and understandable. Clare will now represent Griffith in the upcoming Asia-Pacific 3MT semi finals in September.

Read more about our 2020 3MT winners


Congratulations to all 2020 3MT competitors, and our finalists. Pictured (left to right): Stanley Du Preez, Clare Burns - 2020 winner, Heather Wolbers, Lorelle Holcroft, Mark Teoh - 2020 people's choice, Phuping Sucharitakul and Olivia Tan. Not pictured: Vimbaishe Chibanga, Dwayne Lawler, Jenny Murfield - 2020 runner-up.

All entrants first compete within their respective academic Group Heat: Arts, Education and Law; Griffith Business School; Griffith Health; Institute for Glycomics; or Griffith Sciences. The top two candidates from each group then advance to the 3MT Griffith Final.

This year, the 3MT Griffith Final will be live-streamed via Microsoft Teams on Friday 4 September; with finalists submitting presentation slides, videos and headshots to GGRS in August. A judging panel will determine the overall winner and runner-up; and the People's Choice award winner will be determined via an electronic voting process during the 3MT Griffith Final. Winners will be announced at the conclusion of this event.

Following the 3MT Griffith Final, our overall winner will receive detailed feedback from our judging panel before going on to compete in the 2020 Virtual Asia-Pacific 3MT competition, hosted by UQ in October.

Active PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under submission) by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT competitions at all levels, including the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition. Graduates are not eligible.

Please Note: Students enrolled in any of the following programs are not eligible to enter the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition:

  • Masters (MPhil and coursework);
  • Professional Doctorate (less than 2/3 research).

You can find more information on who can compete here.

Every researcher should know how to present a clear, concise, and engaging description of their thesis or research project. The competition will help you to:

  • Promote your research to a diverse audience
  • Clarify your argument(s)
  • Network with fellow researchers
  • Develop a pitch understandable to those outside your field, industry, private or government partners.

Griffith final

Winner: $1,500
Runner-up: $750
People's choice: $500

Group heats

Group heat first place: $500
Group heat runner-up: $250
Group heat people's choice: $250

3MT rules and judging criteria

2020 Three Minute Thesis competition rules

Comprehension and content

Engagement and communication

Former Griffith 3MT winners' presentations

View more finalists' 3MT videos at youtube.com/user/griffithdr.

2019 Griffith 3MT winner Peta Zivec

Peta Zivec won the 2019 3MT Griffith Final with her presentation: Understanding pathways of revegetating abandoned farming lands in a changing climate.

2018 Griffith 3MT winner Simone Howells

Speech Pathologist Simone Howells' research into the individual and family impacts of the swallowing condition dysphagia have led to the launch of a cookbook containing meal recipes for people living with the condition.

2017 Griffith 3MT winner Heidi Walkden

Heidi Walkden took out the grand prize at the 2017 Three Minute Thesis Griffith Final for asking: does breathing kill?

2016 Griffith 3MT winner Susan Chapman

Susan Chapman was the winner of the 2016 Griffith 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) Final, taking home $1,000 for her brilliant performance of her thesis 'Arts immersion: an exciting way forward in education.'

2015 Griffith 3MT winner Courtney Williams

Griffith's 2015 winner Courtney Williams shares her experience with competing in the 3MT and how it has benefited her as an early career researcher. Her winning presentation was titled 'Prescribing music for surgery'.

2014 Griffith 3MT winner Leah Coutts

Winner of the 2014 Griffith final and top 10 national finalist of the Three Minute Thesis competition, Leah was a PhD Candidate at the Queensland Conservatorium. Her presentation was titled 'I should be able to play already!'.

3MT Training

You may have given other presentations about your research, perhaps a confirmation seminar, a mid-candidature review, or maybe even some conference presentations. The 3MT is very different from these. In fact many of the things you learned for these presentations you may need to unlearn for 3MT . To assist you in preparing for the 3MT competition, GGRS presented a 3MT preparation webinar on 18 June 2020. To view the recorded webinar, visit the HDR Professional Development organisation (on Learning@Griffith) or click below to request a direct link.

How to film and edit your 3MT video

Simple, practical advice on filming and editing your 3MT video submission.

Filming your 3MT

This training video will take you through the main things to consider when filming your 3MT presentation: lighting, sound and background.

Editing your 3MT

This training video will take you through the basics to edit together your 3MT video submission.