Rules and guidelines


Application portal


With the aim of empowering postgraduate researchers in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Academy of Young Scientists (SLAYS) is proud to present the 3 Minute Thesis Competition for the year 2021. Following the successful conduction of the competition in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively, we are delighted to be organizing this event for the fourth time.

The 3MT competition is a professional and highly engaging international research communication competition developed by the University of Queensland (UQ), and with its permission, SLAYS has been listed as one of the participating institutions for the conduction of this event. Postgraduate students are given three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance, to a general audience.

The competition will be held in two stages and the deadline for registration will be the 30th of September, while the final round of the competition will be tentatively held in November 2021. The first round of the competition will be held virtually where participants are required to submit a video of their 3MT presentation. The final round will either be a live competition or virtual competition depending on the prevailing situation in the country.


Rules and guidelines


Applicants should be active MPhil / PhD candidates having completed a substantial portion of work and have sufficient findings to present for the completion of the thesis. Students who have submitted a thesis for examination, but have not yet been awarded, are also eligible. Competitors should be specializing in one of the following areas:

  1. Natural Sciences
  2. Engineering and Technology
  3. Medical Health Sciences
  4. Agricultural Sciences
  5. Social Sciences and Humanities


Virtual Competition Rules


    • 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)
    • 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 or submitted via email if not included in the presentation.
    • The 3-minute 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 MP4 format only. Files sent in other formats will not be accepted (Submissions can utilize Zoom Meetings recording feature or use MS PowerPoint for example).
    • Entries submitted for final adjudication to Wildcard or University Final are to be submitted from the School/ Faculty/Institute 3MT Event Coordinator. Competitors should not submit their videos directly to 3MT.

Please note that 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 the 3MT PowerPoint slide. After each competition round competitors have the option to either submit their current presentation or re-record and submit a new presentation for entry into the next round.


Application portal

Deadline for submitting your entry is the 30th of September 2021. Only one submission per participant is permitted. In order to apply, you would need the following (see downloads):

  • Duly completed application
  • Supervisor’s endorsement
  • Passport type photograph
  • Scanned PDF copy of the University Student ID
  • Scanned PDF copy of the NIC
  • Abstract of 150 words
  • 3MT video (see guidelines)
  • PDF version of the static slide




The 3MT Thesis competition organised by SLAYS Sri Lanaka is based on the international research communication competition developed by University of Queensland . The guidelines for the international virtual 3MT competition organised by University of Queensland can be found at https://threeminutethesis.uq.edu.au/virtual-competition for your reference.



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