Three Minute Thesis competition
Being able to give a concise pitch about your thesis is a key skill, one which helps you keep focused on what is most important about your research as you are writing. Candidates wishing to compete must present a compelling three minute oration on their thesis topic and its significance in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience using a single power point slide. Entrants will be judged on how well they communicate as well as their creativity.
So even if you don’t want to participate in the 3 Minute Thesis competition, this session will help you to refine your core ideas and prepare you for that next BBQ where someone asks "So what is your thesis all about then?"
Active PhD candidates who have passed their Confirmation of Candidature milestone by the date of their first presentation.
Masters by Research and pre-confirmation PhD candidates who are active in program can participate in the School and College level competition but cannot advance to the RMIT® 3MT Final.
Refer to the Three Minute Thesis eligibility criteria for more details.
Important Information about the 2020 3MT competition
This year's competition will be a Virtual 3MT, with each participant submitting a video entry instead of presenting their research live to the judges.
Don't worry if you're not a film and editing whizz! You won't be judged on the quality of your video or editing capabilities - the judging panel will be judging you only based on the quality of your presentation, your ability to communicate to non-specialist audiences and your powerpoint slide.
You will compete with other candidates from your School or College in the initial heats, and the winners of the School/College heats will then compete in the RMIT Final on 1st September 2020.
All levels of the competition will be conducted virtually by video submission to ensure that people are not disadvantaged by technical issues or internet connection problems.
Fill out the entry form by Sunday 19 July.
There will be a series of School and College heats over July and August. The winner and runner up/People’s Choice winner from each college will go through to the RMIT final on 1 September 2020.
Candidates must present their thesis topic and its significance in three minutes. It is not an exercise in trivialising or ‘dumbing-down’ research, but rather encourage candidates to consolidate their ideas and crystallize their research discoveries.
The oration should engage the audience without reducing research to entertainment value alone.
A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration).
- Videos must meet the following criteria:
o Filmed on the horizontal (landscape format)
o Filmed on a plain background
o Filmed from a static position
o Filmed from one camera angle
o Contain a 3MT title slide
o Contain a 3MT PowerPoint slide (top right corner/right side/cut to)
- A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description). This can be visible continuously, or 'cut to' (as many times as you like) for a maximum of 1 minute.
- The 3 minute audio must be continuous - no sound edits or breaks
- 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 considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
- The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
Presentations will be judged on the basis of two criteria:
1. Comprehension and content
- Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
- Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
- Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
- Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
- Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
- 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?
2. 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?
The previous RMIT 3MT Final was held on 2 August 2019 with a very strong field of candidates from across the University showcasing their research. The participants had first competed in school and college finals.
The winners were:
- Charlene Trestrail (RMIT Winner)
- Neng Zhang (Runner-up)
The RMIT School of Graduate Research would like to thank all who were involved, including the participants, for making the 2019 competition such a great event.
Neng Zhang represented RMIT at the 2019 Asia-Pacific 3MT Final in Brisbane.