3MT Challenge Nepal 2021:
The Three Minute Thesis competition or 3MT Challenge Nepal, is an annual competition held in Nepal for the Masters and PhD students from the universities of Nepal. Nepal started hosting this event since 2021. The winner of Nepal chapter will get the opportunity to participate in the 3MT Asia-Pacific global finals. STEM Foundation Nepal is the exclusive country partner to host this event in Nepal. STEM Foundation Nepal believes that by participating in this program students will develop presentation skills as well as culmination/research skills, which they can apply throughout their lifetimes.
Three Minutes Thesis (3MT):
The Three Minute Thesis competition or 3MT, is an annual competition held in over 200 universities worldwide. It is open to Masters’ and PhD students, and challenges participants to present their research in just 180 seconds, in an engaging form that can be understood by an intelligent audience with no background in the research area. This exercise develops presentation, research and academic communication skills and supports the development of research students’ capacity to explain their work effectively.
Three Minute Thesis (3MT) celebrates the exciting research conducted by Masters and PhD students around the world. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the competition cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Presenting in a 3MT competition increases their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Competitors are allowed one PowerPoint slide, but no other resources or props.
History of 3MT:
The idea for the 3MT competition came about at a time when the state of Queensland was suffering severe drought. To conserve water, residents were encouraged to time their showers, and many people had a three minute egg timer fixed to the wall in their bathroom. The then Dean of the UQ Graduate School, Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson, put two and two together and the idea for the 3MT competition was born.
The first 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 Higher Degree by Research students competing. In 2009 and 2010 the 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew. Due to its adoption in numerous universities, a multi-national event was developed, and the Inaugural Trans-Tasman 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2010. Since 2011, the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in over 600 universities and institutions across 65 countries worldwide.
In November 2013, the first Universitas 21 (U21) 3MT competition was held with several universities from around the world competing in a virtual competition.
2016 brought an expansion of the Trans-Tasman 3MT competition to include a select number of Asian universities. The competition is now called the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition.
- To help students in Science, Technology and Innovation by calling their ideas to execute
- To help the students get acquainted with the concept of research, explore research ideas to solve the community problems and to cultivate in them the essential research skills
- To enhance the presentation skills of the students when it comes to speaking on a specific topic
- To foster in the students a sense of conciseness when it comes to speaking so that they will be accustomed to the fact that they will have to speak about their theses for only 3 minutes
- To improve the skills of summarization, synthesis and preciseness in the students
- To develop the presentation, research and academic communication skills in the students conducting the research
- To support the development of research students’ capacity to explain their work effectively
What are the 3MT Challenge rules?
- A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
- No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
- No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
- Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
- Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
- Presentations are to commence from the stage.
- Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
- The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
Do’s and Don’t:
- Palm cards and/or speech notes are acceptable, however, this option may detract from the delivery of the 3MT, and is not recommended.
- Additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are not permitted during a 3MT presentation. Laser pointers are allowed, however, not encouraged (the slide should be simple enough that one does not need to emphasize elements to the audience).
- Quotes can be included from a poem or song if it is relevant to the presenter’s thesis topic. Poetry and song lyrics are not permitted to be used to present the entire 3MT and their use should be very limited.
- One single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. In preparing the slide, one should remember that ‘less is more’. It does not have to include text. Visual cues are very effective in assisting the presenter’s explanation of their research (No slide transitions, animations, sound or ‘movement’ is permitted).
- No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) is permitted during a 3MT presentation.
- There is no stipulated dress requirement such as ‘smart casual’. Some have worn suits with ties, others t-shirts and jeans. Please wear whatever is comfortable for you. NO COSTUMES (including hats, masks, and Dame Edna specs).
What are the judging criteria?
Comprehension and content
- Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
- Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
- Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
- Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
- Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?
Engagement and communication
- Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
- Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
- Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
- Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
- Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
- Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?
Active Masters, PhD, and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under submission) by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT competitions at all levels.