Three-minute thesis

Could you explain your thesis in 180 seconds?

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a competition established by the University of Queensland in 2008 that has since spread to more than 600 universities across the world. Doctoral students are challenged to condense their research into a talk of three minutes or less that is engaging, inspiring and entertaining for a non-specialist audience. One static PowerPoint slide, no other resources or props, and a three-minute countdown timer.

Official logo for the Three-Minute Thesis competition

3MT 2020

Register now for the 3MT 2020 Competition by emailing

This is a great opportunity to develop your confidence at presenting your research to a general audience, enhancing your presentation and communication skills. Full training is provided to all participants only the following dates:

3MT Training:

  • Fri 3rd April 10:00 – 12:30 in the RDP Training Room
  • Mon 6th April 14:00 – 16:30 in the RDP Training Room

For full workshop details and to register please log into Surrey Self Service.

Key Dates:

Faculty Heats

Faculty heats will be held during the week commencing 27th April, where two faculty winners will be awarded £50 voucher prizes and selected to progress to the Surrey finals.

University of Surrey Finals

The 2020 final will take place on Thursday 4th June 12:0014:00. Judges will include Prof David Sampson (Vice-Provost, Research and Innovation), along with last year’s 3MT Surrey winner. Prizes are available for the Judges’ winner and the People’s Choice Winner. The Judges' winner will be entered into the national semi-final competition, which is coordinated in the UK by Vitae, and national finalists will have the opportunity to present at the 2020 Vitae Researcher Development International Conference on 14th September.

In preparation and to find out more visit the 3MT website.

"The Surrey 3MT competition was a game changer for me. It can be definitely nerve-wrecking as you are engaged in public speaking under time pressure, but being forced to condense my PhD thesis down into the most essential three minutes has been absolutely invaluable. Without a doubt, the 3MT allows you to hit the right level of complexity in explaining your research to a diverse audience, and this completely redefined my approach to research."

Hashini Thirimanne - Research Fellow, ATI and 2017 Surrey 3MT Winner

3MT Competition 2019 

The University's 3MT 2019 final took place on 20th May, where six fantastic postgraduate researchers from across all three faculties delivered accessible talks on their research in just three minutes.

Winner (Judges' Choice and People's Choice): 

Gavrielle Untracht (School of Biosciences and Medicine)


  • Busayo Olaleye (Department of Chemical and Process Engineering)
  • Clayton Bevas  (Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences)
  • Ayan Ahmed (School of Psychology)
  • Natasha Kinloch (Department of Sociology)
  • Erin Ling (School of Hospitality and Tourism)

3MT is a great opportunity to challenge yourself and develop your research communication skills! Visit the 3MT website to learn more about the competition history and rules, gain valuable preparation tips, and check out videos of last year’s national finalists.

Previous Winners

Surrey 3MT Winner 2018: Monique Botha

Surrey 3MT Winner 2017: Hashini Thirimanne

Surrey 3MT Winner 2016: Simon Steenson

Surrey 3MT Winner 2016: Richard Churches 

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