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3MT 2018

Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT)


3MT logoThree Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ). Research higher degree (PhD and MPhil) students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance. 3MT is not an exercise in trivialising or ‘dumbing-down’ research but challenges students to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience.

3MT 2019

The CDU Three Minute Thesis Final will be on

  • Wednesday 7th August
  • 12 - 2pm
  • Lunch provided
  • Blue 5 Lecture Theatre, Casuarina Campus
    see the campus map for details

    Map if Blue 5

The CDU Competition will include prizes for :

  1. Winner - $1500 research grant and travel expenses to attend the Asia-Pacific Semi-Final in Brisbane
  2. Runner Up - $1000 research grant
  3. People’s Choice - $500 research grant

The Asia Pacific Final will be held on 4th October in Brisbane.

If you are interested in taking part in 2019, please complete the EOI form by 30 June

PAST 3MT Competitions

Rebecca Amery, CDU’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) 2018 Winner, represented CDU in the Asia-Pacific Semi-Finals of the 3MT in Brisbane on Thursday, 27th September.

 To find out more about the competition, go to the 3MT website.

Winner Rebecca Amery and Judge Lauren Moss

The winner of the CDU 3MT Final, Rebecca Amery, and Judge, Lauren Moss, MLA

Rebecca competed in the Asia-Pacific 3MT Semi-Finals on 27th September


The final was held on Sunday 19th August at 12:30-1:30pm in the Mal Nairn Auditorium at Discover CDU

We had a great crowd and the presentations were outstanding.

The Winners were:


Rebecca Amery
College of Indigenous Futures, Arts & Society
Communication Access for All
Prize: $1500 research grant and travel expenses to attend the Asia-Pacific Semi-Final in Brisbane

View Rebecca's Presentation

Runner Up

Alyson Stobo-Wilson
College of Engineering, IT & Environment
Unravelling the mystery of northern Australia’s most elusive mammal
Prize: $1000 research grant

View Alyson's Presentation

People's Choice

Rebecca Amery
College of Indigenous Futures, Arts & Society
Communication Access for All
Prize: $500 research grant


finals collage

The 2018 finalists and their presentation footage:



Engineering, IT & Environment

Illuminating the black box of wastewater sanitation



Menzies School of Health Research

Considering place in the delivery of cost-effective dialysis services in rural and remote NT



Indigenous Futures, Arts & Society

Communication Access for All



Engineering, IT & Environment

Chasing angels: Using weather radar to track Australian wildlife



Indigenous Futures, Arts & Society

We can't be what we can't see



Engineering, IT & Environment

Unravelling the mystery of northern Australia’s most elusive mammal

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Eligibility criteria

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.

Competition rules

  •  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.

Judging criteria

The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

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

Comprehension & 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 nonspecialist 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?

Past competitions

The 2017 CDU Final Winners!

The CDU 2017 3MT final was held on Friday 8 September. We had ten competitors this year, and the standard was excellent.

The judges had a hard time deciding the winners, but the results are below:


Leena Suriyakumar Kesave Panicker, School of Health

Presentation: Having it right: Health rights of Indigenous patients with kidney disease

Prize= $2500 Research/ travel grant

Leena used her 3MT prize money to travel to the Asia-Pacific FInal in Brisbane on 29 September.


Pia Harkness, Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods

Presentation: Coastal Livelihoods, small-scale fisheries dependence and marine conservation in Savu Raijua district, eastern Indonesia

Prize = $1000 Research/ travel grant

People's Choice Award

Melanie Underwood, School of Health

Presentation: From death, we learn

Prize = $1000 Research/ travel grant

2017 CDU 3MT winner

Winner Leena Panicker (2nd from left) with MC Prof Ruth Wallace (middle) and Judges the Hon Eva Lawler, Ms Rhiannon Moore, Michael J Williams

Many thanks to our MC, Prof Ruth Wallace, Director of the Northern Institute and our three judges for this year:

  • Hon. Eva Lawler MLA — Member for Drysdale and Minister for Education
  • Dr Michael J Williams - Director of Innovation, Department of Trade, Business & Innovation
  • Ms Rhiannon Moore – current CDU School of Psychological and Clinical Sciences PhD candidate and 2016 Winner of the CDU 3MT Final.

Thanks also to Sharon McGregor for taking photos for the event.

The 2016 Final

The 2016 3MT CDU final was held on Friday 9 September. The results were:

  • Winner: Rhiannon Moore for her presentation: “The Blemished and the Beautiful “
  • Runner-up People's Choice: Kamal Melvani for her presentation ”Valuing forest gardens in Sri Lanka.”

CDU 3MT 2016 winner Rhiannon Moore

2016 Winner, Rhiannon Moore, with the judges Rachael Shanahan, Paul Lawton and the Hon Natasha Fyles

The Asia Pacific final was held at The University of Queensland on Friday 30 September 2016. Rhiannon represented CDU at that final. The winning presentation, by Joshua Chu-Tan from Australian National University, can be seen on Vimeo. To find out more about the 2016 finalists and to view their presentations, go to the 3MT website.