How the competition works
Read up on competition structure, eligibility, terms and conditions and rules.
Heats moving online for 2020
Heats for the 2020 Three Minute Thesis competition will take place online. If the idea of presenting your research to a roomful of people gives you the jitters, taking part from the comfort of your own home could be your first step towards building the confidence you need.
You can find all the advice you need about taking part in an online 3MT competition in the Virtual 3MT Handbook.
Faculty and Open Heats
The University of Auckland competition is structured in heats: faculty heats and an Open Heat for students without a faculty heat. Each heat will put forward a Masters and a Doctoral winner to go through and compete in the University of Auckland Final.
University of Auckland Final
At the Final, heat winners will battle it out for the following awards:
- Doctoral category winner
- Doctoral category runner-up
- Masters category winner
- Masters category runner-up
- People's Choice
Doctoral winner: Goes on to compete in the U21 3MT® online competition and the Asia-Pacific Final Competition at the University of Queensland (held virtually in 2020).
Masters winner: Goes on to compete in the Masters Inter-University Challenge.
Entries are open to currently enrolled research masters students and doctoral candidates who fulfil the following criteria:
- Masters students must be currently enrolled in a programme which includes a research project of 90 points or more;
- Doctoral candidates must be confirmed in their programme (i.e. have passed their provisional year review) by the date of their heat;
- Doctoral candidates and research masters whose theses are under examination by the date of their first presentation are eligible to compete.
Please note that graduates are not eligible to enter the competition.
Faculty and Open Heats
- All participants must compete in the heat organised by their faculty. Participants with no faculty heat may join the Open Heat.
- Cross-faculty entrants must compete in the heat organised by the faculty of their main supervisor. If there is no faculty heat then they may compete in the Open Heat competition.
- The Open Heat is open to eligible doctoral candidates and masters students who do not have a faculty heat. Exceptions may be allowed in exceptional circumstances.
Entry terms and conditions
- Finalists will be required to agree to media exposure for their presentation and research.
- The doctoral winner will compete in the Asia-Pacific 3MT® at the University of Queensland, Australia. If the candidate is unavailable during that time, the runner-up may be invited to represent the University instead.
- The masters winner will compete in the Masters 3MT® Inter-University Challenge. If the candidate is unavailable to compete, the runner-up may be invited to represent the University instead.
- The Final may be filmed and available to view on the University of Auckland YouTube channel.
- Entrants accept that the 2020 Final may be filmed and made available on University social media sites.
- 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) is permitted.
- No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
- Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum and competitors exceeding three 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.
- Competition heats may select a maximum of one  winner and one  runner-up from the doctoral category AND one  winner and one  runner-up from the masters category. An additional winner may be allowed for heats with over 15 participants in a single category. A draw is not permitted.
- Heat winners are automatically entered into the University's Three Minute Thesis Final. If the heat winner is unable to take part in the Final, a runner-up may take their place provided that (1) the runner-up competed in the same category as the winner (doctoral or masters) and (2) the runner-up was named as such during the heat.
- The decision of the judging panel is final.
Please note: competitors will not be judged on video/recording quality or editing capabilities (optional inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide.