UCD ThesisIn3 Competition

ThesisIn3 Logo

For this competition, doctoral students were challenged to present their research in three minutes, using only one slide, to a non-specialist audience. Entrants had to distil their niche subjects and intensive research into bite-sized presentations that informed and entertained the general public.

Graduate Studies are proud to announce that the winner of the first annual UCD ThesisIn3 competition and U21 3MT 2018 People’s Choice winner is:

Roshaida Abdul Wahab from the Institute of Food & Health with her talk "Food Biomarker: The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth."



The runners up were            

Rob Argent (School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sport Science): 
But Grandmother, What a Nice New Knee You’ve Got!       


Varsha Eswara Murthy (School of Psychology):
"I'm Not Good Enough" - Homelessness, Shame, Self-Stigma and Solutions.                     

You can follow the event at #UCDThesisin3


1.  Explain why your research needs to be done.

Why is your research important? Why does it need to be carried out now? What are the expected or potential outcomes of your work?


2.  Tell a tale about your research.

The audience will be interested in research, but generally, people love to learn about other people. In explaining to your topic, perhaps include a personal anecdote. What brought you to this topic? What motivates you? What does your Doctoral research mean to you personally?


3.  Use a metaphor.

You may be explaining complex concepts that man very little to those outside your field. To overcome this, think of a real-world example that reflects what you are trying to describe.


4.  Use humour

This event aims to inform, educate and entertain. Injecting a little humour at the right point in your talk can make your presentation memorable and further engage your audience.


5.  Create mystery.

Pique interest with the unexpected. Perhaps use an image that is immediately associated with your work, start by telling a seemingly unrelated tale. Provoke a natural curiosity in your audience.



1.  Do not patronise.

Your audience will be non-specialist, but intelligent. Stick to general, clear language that a college-educated individual would understand.


2.  Do not overload your slide.

With a single slide in a short time-frame, simplicity is key. Stick to image over text.


3.  Use jargon.

Discipline-specific terms or concepts will need to be explained, and three minutes does not allow for detailed elaboration.  


ThesisIn3 Top Tips For Your Three Minute Presentation

  1. All entrants must be currently registered full or part-time Doctoral Research students at UCD. Doctoral students of all stages are eligible to enter.
  2. Presentations are strictly limited to three minutes. Any student whose presentation exceeds three minutes duration will be immediately disqualified.
  3. Only one slide is permitted. This single slide cannot have any animation, audio/visual, movement or zoom effects. The full slide on-screen at the outset of the presentation must remain static for the duration of the talk.
  4. No extra audio or visual materials are permitted – images, recordings etc.
  5. No props are permitted – objects, costumes, instruments or equipment.
  6. Presentations are to be spoken word only – no singing, rapping or reciting etc can be included.
  7. The presentation will be deemed to have started when the student begins speaking or makes an initial gesture.
  8. There will be three prizes awarded, one winner and two runners up.
  9. The winner will be put forward as UCD’S entry to the Universitas21 Three Minute Thesis Competition, requiring the winning presentation to be filmed. By taking part in the UCD competition, all entrants will be deemed to have consented to same.
  10. The decision of the adjudicating panel is final. 


UCD ThesisIn3 Terms & Conditions - Presentations

  1.  The winner of UCD ThesisIn3 will be put forward as UCD’S entry to the Universitas21 Three Minute Thesis Competition, requiring the winning presentation to be filmed. By taking part in the UCD competition, all entrants will be deemed to have consented to same.
  2. All terms and conditions for ThesisIn3 presentations remain in place for the presentation being recorded – please see T&C document for full details.
  3. The video must be three minutes in length.
  4. The audio must be continuous over the three minutes, no breaks or edits are permitted.
  5. The video must be filmed from a static position – no zoom, cuts or camera movement in any direction is permitted.
  6. No additional media or audio is permitted in the video – only a recording of the presentation.
  7. Presentations are deemed to have commenced when the student indicates that they are beginning their presentation, whether through movement or beginning to speak.
  8. The decision of the Universitas21 adjudicating panel is final. 


UCD ThesisIn3 Terms & Conditions - Video Recording

Read about the Universitas21 Three Minute Thesis Competition here.

View all 2018 3MT Universitas21 entries here.