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Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT), first developed by the University of Queensland and now carried out in universities around Australia and New Zealand, is a competition wherein PhD students present their research projects to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes. Some of the more prominent universities who organise 3MTs annually apart from the University of Queensland, include the University of Melbourne, the University of Western Sydney, the University of New South Wales, Victoria University, and the University of Auckland.

In Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), together with the University of Malaya (UM), is one of the first to introduce 3MT as part of its effort to encourage a vibrant community of research students.

Given the strict timeframe, 3MT will compel students to primarily focus on their problem statements, and subsequently, the ways in which their research projects represent concrete solutions to these problems. Specifically, students will have to present their research topics, the research methodology and/or results, as well as the impact and contribution of their research. All of the above will take place in a context that is not only public, but also educational, fun and competitive.

The competition tests students’ abilities to communicate the contents of  their research to a public audience comprising people outside the students’ respective fields of study. Both the lay audience and the strict timeframe will enable students to reinforce their ideas and to avoid either overly complex terminology or oversimplification. To determine a winner, the competition judging panel will decide which among the presentations communicated their ideas intelligently and engagingly to the non-specialist audience.

Besides, the 3MT competition will also enable students to raise not only their public profiles, but also that of the university they represent, given the existing media interest in the competition overseas. It will ensure that their research projects, especially those that are funded, are relevant and beneficial to the nation and society. In addition, students who are seeking to raise their academic profile for their future careers will also be able to meet and network with a large number of fellow students, academicians and researchers both in and outside their fields of study.

Date of Input: 29/03/2021 | Updated: 01/04/2021 | aslamiah

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