BEL Faculty 3MT® Competition

An 80,000-word PhD thesis would take nine hours to present.

Their time limit? Just three minutes.




Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a global competition that celebrates the exciting research conducted by higher degree research students (MPhil and PhD) and cultivates students' academic presentation and research communication skills.

The competition challenges students to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

2020 3MT Virtual Competition

This year, due to COVID-19 physical distancing requirements, all 3MT competitions are being conducted virtually, which allows HDR candidates to hone their communication skills, receive peer review, and develop skills presenting their research to a general audience.

Final presentation

This presentation includes Q&A between the judges and each competitor and to further explore their thesis. Introduction by Prof Brent Ritchie, BEL Faculty Associate Dean (Research).

3MT BEL Faculty Final 2020 from UQ Law on Vimeo.

Presentation timestamps

09:08 - Rebecca Barber
The competence of the UN General Assembly to better respond to human rights and humanitarian crises.

15:43 - Yvonne Breitwieser-Faria
The Prevention of Atrocity Crimes - Legal Obligations and State Responsibility: 'We can, and we must, do better'.

22:30 - Sabrina Lenzen
Be active, prevent dement!

29:20 - Vitor Sobral
Leveraging regular sport team events for tourism

36:02 - Kieu My Tran (Michelle)
How healthcare should be distributed?

48:23 - Feedback from lead judge, Jocelyn Bosse.

Congratulations to our 2020 BEL Faculty winners!

Winner and People's Choice:  Sabrina Lenzen, School of Economics.  'Be active, prevent dementia!'

Runner-Up:  Vitor Sobral, UQBS. 'Leveraging regular sport team events for tourism'

Watch the 2020 individual competitor entries.


Why participate?

Develop academic, presentation and research communication skills

Build these skills in a supportive environment and hone your ability to effectively explain your research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Build a research culture in schools and institutes

3MT provides a valuable opportunity for HDR candidates to come together, get to know one another and talk about their research.

Build your professional network

Gain exposure for your research among other researchers, businesses and the media and build your professional network.


"3MT has given me an amazing opportunity to develop myself both professionally and personally. Through the competition, I was able to share my research with a broader audience and expand my professional network. I have also gained so much more confidence in public speaking which, I believe, is a critical skill in both academic and non-academic environments. I truly enjoyed the experience and I strongly encourage other HDR students to participate in the 3MT this year."

Michelle Tran, BEL Faculty 3MT winner, 2019

2019 BEL Faculty Final competitors

From L-R: Mr John Thynne, Dr Teegan Green, Prof Karen Hussey, Michelle Tran, Corinne Unger, Jocelyn Bosse, Anne Pickering, Beile Zhang, Prof Brent Richie

How it works

Active MPhil or PhD candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone are eligible to participate in 3MT.

1. School Heats (9 - 25 June)
BEL Faculty students compete first in the school's heats in June.

  • Competitors must register to compete via student hub and submit their recorded presentation to their HDR coordinator
  • Videos will be shared with the judging panel in advance and a decision made before the event
  • Videos will be played on the day with questions from the judges in between each video
  • People’s Choice voting will occur via a zoom poll for audience members before the winners are announced

2. BEL Faculty Final (7 August)
The winner and runner up from each of the school heats are entered into the BEL Faculty Final.

3. UQ 3MT Wildcard Competition (27 August)
The People's choice from the Faculty Final competes in the Wildcard Competition.

4. UQ 3MT Final (16 September)
The Winner of the Faculty final competes against winners from other UQ faculties and institute.

5. Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition (1 October)
The winner of the UQ 3MT final progresses to the 2020 Asia-Pacific 3MT competition



Delivering a virtual presentation requires just as much preparation and finesse as an in-person one. Check out this helpful guide for writing, practicing and delivering your presentation and the links below to get ready for your 3MT presentation.

Other useful links

Photo gallery - 3MT BEL Faculty Final 2019

3MT Final 2019

Winner's presentation, Michelle Tran - 3MT BEL Faculty Final 2019

Runner up's presentation, Jocelyn Bosse - 3MT BEL Faculty Final 2019

Slideshow - 3MT Law heat 7 June 2019

Click through photos from a recent heat held at the law school.


2018 BEL Faculty Winner & People's Choice

More than 250 UQ HDR students participated in the competition in 2018. Here’s what our BEL 2018 winners, Jocelyn Bosse and Maria Golubovskaya had to say.

It was interesting to hear about what other PhD candidates are doing, especially because I don’t interact often with people in the Business School. Even people in my own School – I know vaguely what they’re working on but it was fantastic to learn more.

The competition helped me unpack my own research and work out how to communicate what it is that I’m doing in a very short time frame to people who aren’t in my field. Now I have something I can go to as a framework to explain it really quickly – I have my elevator pitch ready!”

- Jocelyn


Jocelyn Bosse | Fruitful partnerships: Science, law, and the Kakadu plum

Watch Jocelyn's 3MT presentation below or read her story.

2018 BEL Faculty Runner-Up

Maria Golubovskaya | Tell us what you really think! The voice of youth at work

“I enjoyed the exercise of having to communicate what my thesis was about in very general and succinct language. The 3MT is great for your research portfolio, but it’s also an opportunity to see whether you can convince others of the importance of what you’re doing, and whether you understand it well enough to be able to explain it in a short amount of time to a broader audience.”

- Maria

Watch Maria's 3MT presentation below or read her story.

2017 BEL Faculty Winner

Ashley Ding | This forecast is actually accurate!

2017 BEL Faculty Runner-Up

Anne Pickering | Building pathways for inclusive land reform - customary land holding in the Pacific and beyond: Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Sri Lanka

2017 BEL Faculty People's Choice

Joseph Lelliott | Unaccompanied minors: Developing law and policy to protect the most vulnerable migrants

2016 BEL Faculty Winner & People's Choice

Sam Boyle​ | Capacity and treatment refusal: How law does and should deal with the case of anorexia nervosa

2016 BEL Faculty Runner-Up & People's Choice

Chelsea Gill​​ | Retreat. Restore...Refresh. Exploring the role of corporate retreats in restoring directed attention

2016 BEL Faculty People's Choice

Nazila Babakhani​​​ | The eyes never lie: Essays on the usefulness of psychophysiological methods for sustainable tourism research

About 3MT®

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) was developed here at UQ in 2008 and has spread to over 600 universities across more than 65 countries worldwide. 

Visit 3MT website