Three minute thesis

The three-minute thesis will be taking place in the final session of the conference. This is an exciting opportunity for people who might not normally present at a conference to show off their research. Whether they’re students, at an early stage of research, or just lack practice; the three-minute thesis is open to everyone. By opening the doors like this we gain an exciting insight into up and coming work.

Additionally, the time constraints and rules provide additional challenges that can push even the most experienced presenter. Simply presenting in this contest is an achievement that can better prepare people for the rigours of academia. And, perhaps more importantly, public engagement.

The event will follow the rules and guidelines set out by the University of Queensland; a pioneer of these sorts of contests.


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • 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 (eg. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Judging Criteria

Comprehension & 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?
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?

Early editions of the timetable had the three-minute thesis event taking place later. It has been brought forward to the final session, allowing people to begin the journey home earlier if they want.

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