For the last few years, Sheffield Hallam has held the 3MT® competition during the SHU Creating Knowledge conference.  As well as winning a prize of £250 towards attending an academic conference of their choice, the winner is put forward as SHU’s entry to the UK national competition. 

What is 3MT? 

The Three Minute Thesis® is a research communication competition devised by the University of Queensland that is now held in over 900 universities worldwide. It challenges doctoral candidates to present their research topic to a non-specialist audience, giving a compelling presentation explaining their work and its significance – in just three minutes.

Why enter?  

3MT® is an excellent opportunity for doctoral researchers to develop their communication skills.  It is also a unique chance for you to share your research and your passion for it with the broader research community, and raise your profile as a researcher both within and beyond the University.    

How do I enter?  

Submit your 2022  Expression of Interest Form before the deadline – 19 April 2022.


All Sheffield Hallam doctoral students who will not have had their viva by 6 May 2022 are invited to enter.  Only those doctoral students who have passed their Confirmation of Doctorate (RF2 or equivalent) by the date of their first 3MT® presentation will be eligible to proceed to the national competition.  Those earlier on in their doctoral studies are still encouraged to take part in 3MT® as a developmental activity.   

SHU 3MT® Timeline 2022:

  • Competition opens – 4 March 2022
  • Support 1: ‘What to expect’ – 30 March 2022
  • Expression of interest deadline – 19 April 2022 (proposed title and short abstract) 2022  Expression of Interest Form
  • Support 2:  ‘Developing your 3MT® entry’ – w/c 25 April 2022 TBC
  • Heat stage video entry deadline – 6 May 2022
  • SHU 3MT® finalists confirmed – 13 May 2022
  • Support 3: ‘Refining your presentation’ – with your 3MT mentor
  • Final stage video entry deadline – 7 June 2022
  • SHU 3MT® final – 13-15 June 2022 as part of the CK22 conference

We will be holding information sessions in advance of the 19 April entry deadline and subsequent support and guidance on how to develop your presentation and record your video submission. 


Read this blog post from the 2018 People’s Choice Winner ‘How a competition changed my academic life’.

Advice and Tips from winners of the 3MT competition on ‘Presenting your research effectively and with confidence’.

Watch the 2020 3MT Competition Finalists’ Performances

Top Tips for Successful Public Engagement

Slides from the 30th March SHU Support Session: 3MT 2022 What To Expect Session Briefing

Links to further advice and guidance on preparing your 3MT Presentation: 3MT Tips 2022

Internal Communications Guide – How to Take a Great Home Video on your Smartphone

The University of Queensland’s 3MT Video Recording Competitor Guide

Virtual Competition Rules

  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech (timing does not include the 3MT title slide and commences from when the competitor starts speaking, not the start of the video).
  • Videos must meet the following criteria:
    • Filmed on the horizontal;
    • Filmed on a plain background;
    • Filmed from a static position;
    • Filmed from one camera angle;
    • Contain a 3MT title slide;
    • 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 or submitted via email if not included in the presentation.
  • The 3 minute audio must be continuous – no sound edits or breaks.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • Submissions via video format (only video link provided to Event Coordinators). Files sent in other formats will not be accepted.
  • Entries submitted for final adjudication to Wildcard or University Final are to be submitted from the School/ Faculty/Institute 3MT Event Coordinator. Competitors should not submit their videos directly to 3MT.

Please note: competitors *will not* be judged on video/ recording quality or editing capabilities (optional inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide.

Please note: After each competition round competitors have the option to either submit their current presentation or rerecord and submit a new presentation for entry into the next round.

The Doctoral School Team will add a 3MT title slide and combine your 3MT slide with your submitted video as required – please submit an MP4 recording and a separate slide.

Judging Criteria 

Comprehension and 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 non-specialist 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 & 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?