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3 Minute Thesis Competition at Kingston University

A project by: Dirk Folkerts


WE RAISED £1,504

from 17 donors

This project received pledges on Sat 16 Jun 2018
Help PhD students communicate their ground-breaking research in an innovative competition!

Three minute thesis competition 2018

What is it about?

3MT is a worldwide annual event to experience and express the exciting research that is conducted by PhD students, and for the third consecutive time we will be hosting a competition here at Kingston University. It's challenging aspect is to explain and present the topic of their interest in a captivating manner, in not more than 180 seconds... a tall order for a thesis of tens of thousands of words!

Taking part in the 3MT competition provides postgraduate students with a great chance to showcase their work and its significance to an international audience. The winner of the Kingston 3MT will have the extraordinary opportunity to get selected for the final UK 3MT competition at the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference in Birmingham (17.-18. September 2018).

Who we are

Prof Andrea Petroczi

Prof Andrea Petroczi is a Research Professor, an internationally recognised expert in anti-doping research, with background in marketing and journalism. With a strong commitment to multidisciplinary research spanning across disciplines allied to medicine and psychology, she is continuously involved in research student training both externally and internally. In addition to providing consultancy to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), since 2013 Andrea has served as an advisor for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK. Her research has attracted funding from the WADA, the National Prevention Research Initiative/Medical Research Council, The British Academy, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the European Council.

Etienne Duval

Etienne Duval is a Franco-British trainer and media-trainer. After graduating from Oxford University (P.P.E.) he first worked as a radio reporter and producer for the BBC, before becoming a free-lance London-based correspondent and roving reporter. He covered many international news stories over 35 years, mainly as a TV journalist. He has trained EPFL's English-speaking 3MT candidates for the past four years, as well as training journalists and corporate spokespeople in various countries. He is also a Communications consultant for a London-based charity. Since last year, he is part of Kingston Universities 3MT workshop to our finalists, helping to hone their communication and presentation skills.

What is going to happen?

The rules are easy and straightforward: Students have to explain the topic of their thesis to a non-specialist audience in no more than 180 seconds, only with the help of a single static visual aid. No additional PowerPoint presentations, other media (sound or video material), data, or props. When the time stops, the talk is over. Exceeding talks are disqualified.

The best eight participants out of the starting field will have the great chance to take part in a one-day professional 3MT workshop, attended by former BBC journalist and professional free-lance media trainer Etienne Duval. All of them will receive coaching as well as a film of their performance over that day.

Finally, a jury will pick the best performance among the eight participants, whose filmed 3MT will be part of an UK-wide online competition. Researchers, academics, students and others then have the chance to vote for the final selection of 3MT talks who will be presented live to the audience of the Vitae Researcher Development International Conference 2018 in Birmingham, England.

Judging Criteria

Presentations and talks are the following criteria:

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the research background?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe key facts and results?
  • Was it possible to follow the presentation as a non-specialist?
  • Did the speaker explain terminology, topics and results adequately?
  • Did the speaker spend adequate time on each element of his or her presentation?

All criteria are equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.


First initiated in 2008 at the University of Queensland, Australia, 3MT competition events were promoted to other Australian and New Zealand Universities with high enthusiasm for the concept and idea. With growing popularity, 3MT quickly expanded globally and is now held in more than 170 Universities in more than 18 countries.

Kingston University started to implement 3MT competitions in 2016 for PhD students of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing (SEC). With its successful first completion, 3MT was opened to all PhD students of Kingston in 2017, and was proud to acquire renowned journalist and media trainer Etienne Duval for the workshop. This fruitful collaboration is continued in 2018.

Where will the money go?

All donated money will be used for event purposes and requirements only. The main focus is the 3MT workshop, which demands funds for inviting guest and coach Etienne Duval, practice locations, participant refreshments and filming equipment.

become a supporter of 3mt now and help us succeed!

With your help, current PhD students and young academics can get a remarkable chance to improve their presentation skills, give them a forum for their work and a potential opportunity to make it to the 3MT UK finals in September! Any amount of funding is welcomed and aiding.