BEL Faculty 3MT® Competition

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

Your 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.


Li Xie-Carson, BEL Faculty 3MT winner, 2021 "As an introvert I find it difficult being in the spotlight especially as English is not my first language, which often wreaks havoc on my confidence. Participating in 3MT has helped me to confront this, and unleash my potential in research engagement and communication. For those who are thinking to participate in the future, I highly encourage you to give it a go – you’ve got nothing to lose. It’s an opportunity to create a better you."

Li Xie-Carson, BEL Faculty 3MT winner, 2021 


About the competition

As a higher degree research student, this is your opportunity to raise your profile, practice your presentation skills and communicate your research to the broader community in three minutes. Registrations are now open for the business, economics and law school heats, which will be held on Tuesday 7 June (see dates below), before the top two students from each heat will progress to the BEL Faculty Final on Wednesday 6 July 2022

Although it might be daunting, presenting in a 3MT competition helps develop a number of lifelong skills that go well beyond university. In addition to building your confidence and presentation skills, it also increases your capacity to summarise your research succinctly and communicate it effectively to a non-specialist audience.

To register as a competitor for the 2021 Three Minute Thesis Competition you will need to complete the registration form.

Once registered, your 3MT Event Coordinator will contact you to confirm your participation and provide additional details about your school's heats.  Please contact your School/Institute's HDR Liaison Officer if you have any questions about participating in the 3MT.

"I would love to make some impact, whether this is on a government level or in a more research-focused space such as academia, and so, possibly the greatest benefit of the competition has been learning to share my research outcomes with a broader audience, not only with experts in my field but also with people who don’t know much about economics.

Sabrina Lenzen, BEL Faculty 3MT winner, 2020 

Why participate?

Recieve real-time feedback from various experts

With various backgrounds represented on the panel, you will gain invaluable insights into your pitch from various perspectives. 

Develop academic, media and pitching 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.

Share your research outcomes with broader audiences and build a research culture in schools and institutes

3MT provides a valuable opportunity for HDR candidates and the wider community 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

How it works

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

1. School Heats (Tuesday 7 June)

To compete in the school heats, simply register via student hub. Once you have registered, you will receive more information about the event. Please note this event is in person.

2. BEL Faculty Final (Wednesday 6 July)
The winner and runner up from each of the school heats are entered into the BEL Faculty Final.  

3. UQ 3MT Wildcard Competition (Wednesday 24 August)
The People's choice from the Faculty Final competes in the UQ Wildcard Competition.

4. UQ 3MT Final (Wednesday 14 September)
The Winner of the Faculty final competes against winners from other UQ faculties and institutes.

5. Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition (Wednesday 19 October)

The winner of the UQ 3MT final progresses to the 2022 Asia-Pacific 3MT competition.

For a detailed rundown of dates and venue locations, see the UQ 3MT Competition page.

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.

Resources for Competitors
Download the 2021 3MT Handbook for UQ HDR Students.
Download the PowerPoint slide - 3MT Identifying Details (Wide)

Information Session
Download the 2021 3MT Information Session for HDR Candidates PowerPoint slides.

  • If you would like a copy of the session recording please email (UQ HDR candidates & staff only)

CDF Session
Click here to register to attend the Presenting for 3MT training session as part of the Career Development Framework.

Other useful links

For a detailed rundown of dates and venue locations, see the UQ 3MT Competition page.

2021 BEL 3MT Faculty Final

Winner: Li Xie-Carson (UQBS)  - 3MT BEL Faculty Final 2021

"As an introvert I find it difficult being in the spotlight especially as English is not my first language, which often wreaks havoc on my confidence. Participating in 3MT has helped me to confront this, and unleash my potential in research engagement and communication."

Li Xie-Carson, BEL Faculty 3MT winner, 2021

Runner-up: Yvonne Breitwieser-Faria (Law)  - 3MT BEL Faculty Final 2021

People’s choice: Sarah Fu (UQBS)  - 3MT BEL Faculty Final 2021

2020 BEL 3MT Faculty Final

Winner and people's choice: Sabrina Lenzen (Economics) - 3MT BEL Faculty Final 2020


Runner up: Vitor Sobral (Business) - 3MT BEL Faculty Final 2020


2019 BEL 3MT Faculty Final

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

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

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.

2022 BEL Faculty Final winners will receive the below prizes deposited into their ACA.

  • Winner: $1000
  • Runner up: $500
  • People's choice: $500

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