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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!


Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences is organizing the Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) Competition since Spring 2017 to celebrate the exciting research conducted by Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students. Sabancı University is the first institution from Turkey joining the 3MT international network.

3MT is an internationally recognized research communication competition. 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.

Due to the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, increasing social distancing measures and restrictions on public gatherings and travel, Sabanci University has made the decision to host the 2021 Three Minute Thesis Competition as a virtual format (video submission) in the best interests of the public health.

The live event will take place on May 22, 2021 at 2 pm via Zoom. Don’t miss this opportunity to practice your presentation skills, meet other PhD candidates, and have a chance to win up to 3000₺ in prizes!

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.

  • Eligibility

    Active PhD candidates who have successfully passed their proposal defense by the date of their presentation, and who did not attend 3MT Competition before are eligible to participate.


  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech (timing does not include the 3MT title slide and commences from when the competitor starts speaking, not the start of the video).
  • Videos must meet the following criteria:
    • Filmed on the horizontal;
    • Filmed on a plain background;
    • Filmed from a static position;
    • Filmed from one camera angle;
    • Contain a 3MT title slide;
    • Contain a 3MT PowerPoint slide (top right corner/right side/cut to)
    • Full HD (1920x1080px), mp4 format.
  • A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations, or ‘movement’ of any description). This can be visible continuously, or ‘cut to’ (as many times as you like) for a maximum of 1 minute.
  • The 3 minutes audio must be continuous – no sound edits or breaks.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment, and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording. Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • Submissions via video recorded in Full hd (1920x1080px), mp4 format. Files sent in other formats will not be accepted. After the registration deadline is over, event coordinators will send a google drive link to applicants where they can upload their videos.
  • Please note: competitors *will not* be judged on video/ recording quality or editing capabilities (optional inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide. Examples of the video recordings are below:
In the case of a high number of applications, there will be a preliminary round to determine the finalists. The preliminary round will take place after the video submission deadline is over.

At every level of the competition, each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below. Note that participants will record and submit their presentations to the event coordinators.

Comprehension and Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • 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?
  • Please note: competitors *will not* be judged on video/ recording quality or editing capabilities (optional inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide.