Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition | HBKU
Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition


Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) will host the Three Minute Thesis (3MT ®) competition, which celebrates the exciting research conducted by its Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students. 

Conceptualized and developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the 3MT enhances students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills, vital to achieving excellence at all levels of their learning and development journeys. 

The competition is key to helping students master the necessary skills to explain their research in three minutes in a comprehensive manner to a non-specialist audience. 

The first 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2008, with 160 Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates competing. 3MT competitions are now held in over 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide.

Participation Benefits

Participating in 3MT develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills while developing research candidates’ ability to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

3MT also provides a valuable opportunity for HDR candidates to come together, get to know one another, and talk about their research. Additionally, it provides a supportive environment in which schools, institutes, and universities can provide training on mastering presentation skills.

Eligibility Criteria

The competition is open to all HBKU PhD students who will be graduating in 2022.

  • College of Islamic Studies
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences 
  • College of Science and Engineering 
  • College of Law
  • College of Health and Life Sciences 
  • College of Public Policy 

Competition 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 a maximum of three minutes and those exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken words (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.

Judging Criteria

Competitors will be assessed by three judges on the criteria listed below. Each criterion is equally weighted on the following points:

Comprehension and Content  

  • Did your presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance of the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did your presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did your presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Were the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact, and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did you spend adequate time on each element of your presentation? Did you elaborate for too long on one aspect? Was your presentation rushed?

Engagement and Communication

  • Did you make the audience want to know more?
  • Were you careful not to trivialize or generalize your research?
  • Did you convey enthusiasm for your research?
  • Did you capture and maintain your audience’s attention?
  • Did you have sufficient stage presence, eye contact, and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance your presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?


  • Application Deadline: March 5, 2022 
  • Event Time: 10:00
  • Event Date: March 21, 2022 


Winning candidates will be awarded a certificate and the following cash prizes:

  • First place: QR 7,000
  • Second place: QR 5,000 
  • Third place: QR 3,000 

Winners will be participating in the national and MENA Three Minutes Thesis Competition. 

If you have any queries about the competition, kindly contact: