College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences



The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences will pilot the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition in 2016/17. The 3MT develops student’s presentation and communication skills by requiring them to explain in non-academic language their research in three minutes, or under. It is an opportunity to celebrate student’s research achievements and communicate their research with a wider audience; inside and outside academia.


The 3MT was launched by The University of Queensland (UQ) in 2008. There are around 170 Universities conducting a 3MT competition in over 18 countries which comprise: Australia, New Zealand, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Philippines, India, USA, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Spain, Columbia, France, Sweden, Poland and Iran.


All current CLASS MPhil and PhD students are eligible to participate in the 3MT competition. Graduates are not eligible.


Two prizes will be given to the winner and runner-up in this competition. Winner prize is HK$3,000 book coupons and the runner-up prize is HK$2,000 book coupons.

Neither the winner nor the runner-up of the competition will be automatically eligible to represent the University in any regional/international 3MT competitions.

Due to the nature of the competition, any data or information presented or discussed in the competition should be considered information that will likely enter the public domain, for example, in media coverage, in subsequent College publications for the public in print and /or digital formats, and/ or on the College's websites, etc. Interested students should discuss with their research degree supervisors before registering for the competition.

Rules and Judging Criteria


  • 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 oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (eg. 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 adjudicating panel is final.

Judging Criteria

Comprehension & 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?
  • Was 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 & 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?

Presentation samples for reference

Winning 3MT presentations can be found on the 3MT website:

Winner in 2017

Recipient Department Project
Ms TO Yee-man Yvette Asian and International Studies The Politics of Intellectual Property Transition in China

Event Snapshots