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Durham University

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Durham Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition

(17 January 2020)

Can you summarise your thesis in just three minutes? Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a global research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 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.

The Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD) organises the annual three-minute thesis competition taking place each spring at Durham University. Each faculty holds their own heat and sends three contestants to the university-wide final. The overall winner will take part in the national semi-final, and three participants of the final competition will represent Durham University in the regional competition between the five North-East universities. Winners will also have the opportunity to represent Durham nationally and international through the Matariki and Coimbra university networks

Why do it?

3MT develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Winners will be awarded research funds to pay for research and conference trips, books and other research expenses.


There are prizes for the winner of each faculty heat, the university winner, the university runner-up and the university audience favourite.

Who is eligible?

Current Durham University Postgraduate Research students. You are still eligible if you have submitted your thesis by the date of your faculty heat, as long as you have not had your viva.

When is it?

Faculty finals are held between the end of February and mid-March the Durham final is on 6 May.


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