3MT Awards

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An 80,000 word thesis would take 9 hours to present.
Would you be able to explain yours in just 3 minutes with the aid of a single slide?
Join the challenge!

First time this year Sabanci University Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences is joining the prestigious institutions from all over the world to celebrate the exciting research conducted by Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland in Australia. It aims to cultivate students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Presenting in a 3MT competition increases students’ capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience

We invite all FENS doctoral candidates to join the competition!

On May 17th, 2017 Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences organized the first Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. 14 successful FENS PhD candidates presented their research, each in three minutes. At this exciting and fun day, after thoughtful deliberation, our panel of guest judges declared the winner and the runner-up:

Competition Jury

Cemil Arıkan, Senior Consultant, Emeritus Director of SU RGP

Cemil Arıkan received BSc, MSc and PhD grade in 1964, 1966 and 1971 respectively in Middle East Technical University Electrical Engineering Department. Until 1982 he served as a faculty member at METU. He worked as General Manager in Roketsan and General Coordinator in BARMEK Holding. In 1995, he returned to public service and served as Vice President of TUBITAK for 4 years. He joined Sabancı University in January 2000 as the Director in Research and Graduate Policy Directorate – a unique organizational initiative in Turkey. He later was named emeritus director and is currently working as a senior consultant. He is a member of Board of Directors in “Türk Bilişim Vakfı”.

Murat Germen, Faculty Member, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Murat Germen is an artist using photography as an expression / research tool. He has an MArch degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he went as a Fulbright scholar and received AIA Henry Adams Gold Medal for academic excellence. He works as a professor of art, photography and new media at Sabanci University in Istanbul. Having many papers, photo series published on architecture / photography / art / new media in various publications; he has lectured at tens of conferences internationally.

Özgür Erçetin, Faculty Member, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences

Özgür Erçetin received his BS degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey in 1995, and his MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland College Park in 1998 and 2002, respectively. He worked for as a research assistant at University of Maryland and in HRL Laboratories, Malibu CA. He is currently working as a Professor at Sabancı University, Turkey. His research interests are in the field of computer and communication networks with emphasis on fundamental mathematical models, architectures and protocols of wireless and wired communication systems.

Şahin Ekşioğlu, Journalist, Editor of Popular Science Magazine

Şahin Ekşioğlu has written science and technology articles for 20 years in newspapers, magazines and web sites, prepared TV and radio programs and conducted panels and conferences at universities. He received his bachelor’s degree from Istanbul University State Conservatory and his MA degree in IT Journalism from Marmara University. For the last 5 years Ekşioğlu has been the editor-in-chief of Turkish branch of Popular Science magazine, which is published by Doğan Burda Magazine.

Tijen Mergen, President, Tek Girisim

Tijen Mergen graduated from Bogazici University, Department of Electrical Engineering in 1984 with a degree of Master of Science. She worked in NCR for 13 years; as Sales Manager in Turkey and Sales and Marketing Director of the Finance Sector in the Central and Eastern Europe Region.

Ms. Mergen served as General Manager at Apple- Bilko A.Ş. (1998-2003); the Head of Marketing and Business Development Group and Member of the Executive Committee in Doğan Gazetecilik (2004-2010). In the same group she took the lead in the campaign "Baba beni okula gönder" which is considered as the most successful social responsibility project in Turkey in recent years. As an entrepreneur in business life by establishing her own company in October 2013 “Tek Girisim Ltd”, Mergen develops, organizes and advises organizations on social responsibility and employee satisfaction projects. She is a founding member of “KAGİDER” and still a member of the Board of Directors of “Doğan Gazetecilik AŞ”.

This is a unique opportunity for students to deliver an effective research presentation within an exciting atmosphere. More specifically, it creates a venue for:

Skills development for research candidates
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.

Building research culture in schools and institutes
3MT provides a valuable opportunity for higher degree candidates to come together, get to know one another and talk about their research. It also provides a supportive environment in which schools and institutes can provide presentation skills training.

What are the benefits of participating in 3MT?

Promoting yourself with 3MT from Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) on Vimeo.


    Active PhD candidates who have successfully passed their proposal defense by the date of their presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT competition.

  • 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 presentation.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) is permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum and competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (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 judging panel is final.

At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below.

Comprehension and Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Were the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?

Engagement and Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or generalise their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?