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Three Minute Thesis | ULisboa 3MT®

Three Minute Thesis | ULisboa

Three Minute Thesis | ULisboa 3MT®

The 3MT® ULisboa competition offers PhD students of the University of Lisbon the opportunity to develop new communication skills.

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3-Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition that aims to stimulate doctoral students' science communication skills, inspired by a format developed and patented by the University of Queensland (Australia). Its first edition was held in 2008 and since then it has grown in popularity, currently taking place in over 900 universities in 80 countries around the world.

The University of Lisbon promotes for the first time an edition of this competition in 2023, challenging its PhD students to explain the impact of their research to a non-specialist audience, in just three minutes and using a single slide.

By participating in this initiative, students have the opportunity to develop unique skills, such as communicating complex ideas in a simple and creative way, to diverse audiences and with optimised management of contents and time, as well as fostering interdisciplinarity and mutual knowledge at the University of Lisbon.

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Why take part?

  • Developing skills: Participating in 3MT® ULisboa stimulates science communication skills and develops the participants' ability to explain their research clearly and effectively in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Selected finalists will have access to training in science communication and management.

  • Promoting scientific culture: 3MT® ULisboa represents a valuable opportunity for PhD students to meet, get to know and talk about their research, with the potential to establish future collaborations. It also represents an additional stimulus to develop training in science communication and management.

  • Building external links: 3MT® ULisboa is an opportunity for recognition in academia and in the labour market, as well as for professional development.

Who is it aimed at?

All PhD students enrolled in the 3rd or subsequent years of a University of Lisbon PhD Programme in the current academic year are eligible for this competition.

How does it work?

The competition is organised in two phases:

  • Phase 1: candidates submit a three-minute video accompanied by a single slide. The jury will select the finalists based on criteria of comprehension and clarity of scientific content, audience engagement and communication.
  • Phase 2: finalists participate in training in science communication and management and in the final competition 3MT® ULisboa, in which the winner is selected.


The first place winner of the 3MT® ULisboa competition receives a prize of 5.000€, the second place winner receives 2.000€ and the third place winner receives 1.000€. Candidates in Phase 1 will receive a certificate of participation. Finalists have access to training in science communication and management.

For questions regarding 3MT® ULisboa, please contact: 3MT@reitoria.ulisboa.pt


Submit the application for Phase 1 of the competition via the form available by 1 March 2023.

To be considered valid, the application must include:

  1. The completed form;
  2. The three-minute English-language video;
  3. Consent to the collection and processing of personal data.

The communications to be submitted to 3MT®, either in video format in Phase 1 or in person on stage in Phase 2, must follow the following rules:

  • Maximum length of three minutes. Papers exceeding three minutes will not be accepted. Time is considered to start running from the moment the candidate begins the presentation by movement or speech until the moment he/she finishes it.
  • Communication in English language;
  • A single static slide - without transitions, animations or any type of movement - is allowed. In Stage 1, this slide is not included or embedded in the video, but submitted separately, in pdf format, in a field provided for that purpose in the application form. The title of the slide must contain the University of Lisbon, the name of the participant, title of the paper and research area. In Phase 2, the slide is displayed from the beginning of the candidate's communication.
  • No props (e.g., objects, costumes, laser pointers, musical instruments, laboratory equipment, animated backgrounds, etc.) are allowed.
  • The video and audio cannot be edited in any way (cuts, stops, effects, etc.). The video must be recorded from a single take and the camera must be static.
  • Communications are in spoken word (no songs, rap or poems).
  • In Phase 2, communications should start from the stage.
  • No electronic devices are allowed during video recording (sound and video documents).
  • Videos that do not meet these criteria will not be considered. Eligible videos will be evaluated by the Jury, whose decision is final.

The jury is composed of 23 members and its evaluation will follow the following criteria:

Scientific content

  • Does the communication give a clear context for the research question?
  • Does the communication clearly communicate the research strategy and results obtained?
  • Does the communication clearly communicate the findings and impact of the research?
  • Did the candidate know how to manage time in his/her communication?


  • Is the communication presented clearly, using language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Is communication balanced from the point of view of body language, eye contact, use of available space, voice projection?
  • Does the communication arouse public curiosity?
  • Is the slide clear and does it add value to the communication?
  • Did the candidate convey enthusiasm for the research and capture the attention of the audience?
  • 1 March 2023 - application deadline;
  • By 21 April 2023 - announcement of finalists;
  • 11 and 12 May 2023 - training in Science Communication and Management for finalists;
  • May 18, 2023 - final competition 3MT® ULisboa 2022-2023 and announcement of the winners.