Present a PhD in 3 Minutes – Could you do it?

How many times have you been asked by a well-meaning friend or relative, ‘What is your PhD about?’ and felt startled and frustrated by the realisation that you cannot explain it simply? Their eyes start to glaze over and you know that you are just tying yourself in knots…….

Well, in 2008, the University of Queensland in Australia came up with an innovative way to help address just this problem. They launched the Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®) which challenges PhD students to present their research in just three minutes, with one slide, to a non-specialist audience. The competition proved an instant success and has now been held in multiple institutions across the globe. 

This year, for the first time, the University of Edinburgh has also launched a 3MT competition and after a round of highly successful (and enjoyable!) School and College level heats, nine finalists will now battle it out in the University Final on the 24th July. Along with a great prize, the winner will also represent the University internationally, at the Universitas 21 3MT Grand Final in October.

All the finalists have done brilliantly to get this far in the competition and what a great opportunity to communicate the research they do to a wider audience. Please do come along to support them if you can. Free tickets are now available for the University Final but they are likely to go fast so hurry and reserve your place!

If this is all making you want to rise to the challenge, why don’t you start thinking about preparing for the competition next year? The IAD runs a number of workshops on presentation and communication skills for PhD researchers throughout the academic year. Have a browse through our A-Z list of courses to get an idea of what is likely to be on offer for 2013/14.Image