The short answer is: yes! As a previous University of York 3 Minute Thesis finalist, I honestly cannot recommend this competition enough.
Keep reading to find out why it is an opportunity not to be missed!
What is 3 Minute Thesis?
The 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition involves giving a 3 minute talk explaining the impact and significance of your research to a non-specialist audience and a panel of judges. The first 3MT event was held at the University of Queensland in 2008 and it has since spread internationally. Today, 3MT competitions take place in over 85 countries worldwide, at more than 900 universities!
What motivated me to take part in 3 Minute Thesis?
I have always enjoyed getting involved in and helping organise public engagement and science communication events. This is because I think it is really important to get research out there to help maximise its impact, as well as to inspire people to take an interest in things they may not have been aware of otherwise. However, presenting and public speaking is something which I had always found a little intimidating.
Consequently, 3MT was the perfect opportunity to improve my skills, boost my confidence, and explain my research to a large, non-specialist audience.
How did I benefit from taking part?
All the finalists got to attend valuable presentation training from Dr Steve Hutchinson as part of the 3MT process. We also had the fantastic opportunity to present our talks to Steve and previous 3MT winner Dr Jamie Khoo, and received incredibly helpful feedback to further improve our talks for the final. This training, positive feedback, and the fact that I won second place in the University of York 3MT competition 2021 massively improved my confidence when presenting.
As part of my BBSRC funded PhD, I was able to undertake a 3 month placement unrelated to my research. Due to my interest in science communication, I applied for placements related to this area. My 3MT talk was praised in interviews and may have contributed to me securing offers from more than one company.
The 3MT experience has benefited me greatly through boosting my self-confidence when giving PhD presentations, as well as enhancing my CV and LinkedIn profile. Summarising a thesis in just 3 minutes is such a challenge and allowed me to further develop my communication skills, learn new techniques, and practice presenting to a non-academic audience.
I learnt so much from the 3 Minute Thesis process and would highly recommend it to anyone considering applying!
*First published in 2022, dates and graphic updated for 2023 competition.