First developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, the Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT®) challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.

In September 2016, the McDonnell International Scholars Academy 6th International Symposium will bring together 30 premier partner universities united in addressing the world’s most critical problems of the 21st century. It will feature discussions on research in particular themes and discussions of how research universities can foster the collaborative efforts required to address complex global challenges. The three themes of the symposium are:
1. Energy & Environment
2. Food, Water & Climate Change
3. Population Aging and Global Health


All graduate students (professional and PhD) at McDonnell partner universities are eligible to participate. All contestants must be a current graduate student at the time of submission of the 3MT video and at the time of the Symposium in September 2016. Students must present 3MTs on any of the three thematic areas. 


Three winners (one from each of the three themes) will receive a prize of $1000 USD each. All finalists will receive financial support of up to $2000 USD to attend the Symposium. Stipend must be used for airfare and lodging only (receipts required).

Important Dates

  • Video submissions for the online competition are due midnight (CST) Wednesday 22 June 2016
  • Finalists will be announced Wednesday 20 July 2016
  • Live finals will take place at the Symposium Friday 23 September 2016

Resources for Students

 Resources for University Coordinators

  • To help you launch a 3MT competition at your institution, please request permission to use 3MT information, resources and marketing materials by completing the 3MT Materials Permission Form. You will then be emailed links to the 3MT Handbook, Materials Pack and Brand Guidelines.



Watch the winning 3MT from the 2015 Trans-Tasman competition!

2015 Trans-Tasman 3MT Winner - Eamonn Fahy from Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) on Vimeo.

Watch more videos of previous 3MT winners here!