Three Minute Thesis

An 80,000-word thesis would take 9 hours to present.
But what if you had just three minutes?

A chance to think more deeply about how you articulate and explain your research, and to reach new audiences

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an international competition which challenges current PhD candidates to present a compelling presentation of their research and its significance in just three minutes.

This year, LSE will hold a university-wide virtual 3MT competition open to all current PhD students from any department. To enter, record your three-minute video and send it in along with a single PowerPoint slide by Friday 28 May. Entries will be showcased on the LSE 3MT website.

The winning entry and runners up will be screened at the 2021 Interdisciplinary Student Research Conference on Thursday 17 June and will be shared with the LSE community across the School’s social media channels. The winner will receive a £300 prize, and their video will go forward to represent LSE in the national contest, culminating in a grand final to be held in September 2021. Runners up will receive £100 prizes. The national winner receives a £3,000 grant for public engagement with their research, with the people’s choice winner receiving a £1,000 grant.

Why enter?

3MT gives you a chance to think deeply about how you articulate and explain your research, reach new audiences with your work, and gain recognition and new opportunities both within and beyond LSE.

How to participate

Record your three-minute presentation of your thesis, making sure it is no longer than 3 minutes precisely from the moment you start talking. You may submit 1 static PowerPoint slide which will be displayed alongside your video. Submit your entry by Friday 28 May.

Entry form

Judging criteria

Entries are judged by a panel of LSE academics, on the basis of content, comprehension, communication and engagement. The full judging criteria are available here:


Current PhD students enrolled at LSE are eligible to enter, as long as you have not completed your viva by 17th June 2021.


Focus on communicating your topic, findings and impact clearly. Avoid jargon. Try to tell a story through your presentation. You can find detailed guidance on your presentation and accompanying slide here.

You may wish to watch last year’s national winner, Lucy Thomas of the University of Birmingham, for inspiration.

Recording your video

Your video must be recorded in a single unbroken take, so should not contain any edits. Record in horizontal/landscape. 3MT entries are judged solely on their content and verbal communication. The quality of your video and audio are not taken into consideration, but try to ensure your audio is clear, minimise background noise and find a neutral backdrop against which to film. A phone video should be adequate quality. No props, costumes, music or other sound effects are allowed.

Tips for filming yourself on your phone

Find out more

A briefing session will be held via Zoom (details tbc) to explain the rules of the competition, provide advice on your entries, and answer any questions. 

Ask a question via our enquiry form

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.

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