Three minute stars go live

Nine Edinburgh PhD students have taken part in a global competition aimed at improving communication skills.

Students from each of the University’s three colleges competed in the Edinburgh final of the 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) contest on Wednesday, 24 July.

Winners and judges of the three minute thesis competition
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The student who delivered the best research presentation in three minutes will go through to an international Grand Final, which is open to students studying at institutions that are part of Universitas 21.

Christopher West of Clinical Surgery was the winner, while Lani Watson of the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences was runner-up.

The people's choice prize went to Mara Götz, of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.


Watch the full event, including all nine presentations:

Virtual competition

At least 17 universities across nine countries and territories will be represented in the Grand Final.

It is a virtual competition and videos are to be submitted by 11 October. The winner will be announced on 29 October and the prizegiving ceremony will be streamed live.

There are two prizes available. The winner will receive a bursary of $2500 to visit a Universitas 21 university of their choice to benefit their research or on-going career development. There is also a people’s choice prize of $300.

The competition is based on a concept developed by the University of Queensland which quickly spread across Australia and New Zealand, and has gone global.

College heats

The Edinburgh heats were held on 29 and 30 May. The quality of presentations was excellent and it was not an easy task for the judges in any of the heats.

The contestants were:

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Mark Atkinson (School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences)
  • Mara Götz (School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
  • Lani Watson (School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences)

College of Science and Engineering

  • Christos Christodoulopoulous (School of Informatics)
  • Christopher Ridley (School of Engineering)
  • Melissa Ladyman (School of Chemistry)

College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

  • Alejandro Cervantes (Roslin Institute)
  • Katie Nicol (Division of Psychiatry)
  • Christopher West (Clinical Surgery)