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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

Past Events

Find out about some of the previous events held by Durham Energy Institute:

Three Minute Thesis Competition

29th September 2017, 14:30 to 15:30, Calman Centre, Durham University

As part of the DEI Research Symposium on 29th September, Durham Energy Institute will be holding a 3-Minute Thesis competition to provide students researching in any Energy related area, from any University, with an opportunity to exercise their research communication skills in language that is appropriate to a non-specialist audience. The Competition will take place between 14.30 and 15.30

Participants will be challenged to present a compelling talk on their thesis in just three minutes and with the use of only one background slide.

A total of three winners will be selected based on the criteria listed below. Winners will receive £100 first prize, £50 second prize and £25 third prize sponsored by the Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI) *.

You will be presenting to a panel of judges chaired by Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice Chancellor and Warden as well as all attendees to the Symposium.

In your Three Minute Thesis presentation, you will demonstrate:

(a) An ability to clearly communicate the full scope of your chosen scientific topic, e.g., including but not limited nor exclusive to:

  • context or background for the topic (what is the problem to be solved? why do we need this research?)
  • state-of-the-art
  • current progress / contributions
  • its (potential) impact, significance and/or relevance to the scientific and broader communities

(b) Clarity of communication and appropriateness for a non-specialist audience**

(c) Thoughtful construction of PowerPoint visual aid

(d) Personal delivery style and audience engagement

(e) Good timekeeping, i.e., no more than three minutes per presentation

Presentations will be closely timed and presenters will be given a ’10 seconds left’ warning. Presentations that go over the allotted 3 minutes will be penalised.

Your 1 PowerPoint slide (.PPT files) and accompanying 200 word abstract must be emailed to Lynn Gibson ( NO LATER THAN 12 noon 15th of September 2017. Presentations will be queued up in advance and must be viewing-compatible on a Windows computer. Please indicate “DEI-3MT: Surname, First name” in the subject line of your email submission. Students should arrive at the lecture theatre in time for a prompt 2.30pm start, and students are expected to stay for the duration of all the presentations. Presentations will be queued up in random order.

Students are welcome to attend the DEI Research Symposium and further details of the day and registration information can be found at

*As we can only allot one hour to the competition during the Symposium, if more than 8 applications are received, we will hold a shortlisting event the week before the Symposium on the afternoon of Friday 22 September 2017 from 1pm.

**A “non-specialist audience” can be considered one to be comprising individuals with a university degree and/or those who work a professional environment requiring critical thought and assessment. These persons, however, may not necessarily be experts in your field or topic area. Therefore, talks should be designed to be scientifically accurate, visually appealing, and educational/informative at a level that someone with a university education would be able to understand and appreciate.