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The University of Southampton
Doctoral College

Three Minute Thesis Competition

The Southampton Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is one of many such competitions held world-wide and 2019 was our sixth year of Three Minute Thesis at Southampton. The competition runs annually as part of our Festival of Doctoral Research.

3MT Grand Final 2019

The 3MT Grand Final was held on Wednesday 15 May during the Festival of Doctoral Research. Six finalists, one from each Faculty (two from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences) took to the stage in front of a packed lecture theatre to compete for the University title, and the opportunity to move further in the National Competition run by Vitae.

While the judges deliberated, and the People's Choice counted, the audience were treated to a mind-blowing talk from special guest, Dr Ben Littlefield, Head of Curiosity, Winchester Science Centre.

Congratulations to all our finalists!

The Winners

The competition was very tight, so close that the audience were tied for the People's Choice.

University 3MT Champion

Gabriela Sitinova - Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Runner up

Alvaro Castilla Beltran  - Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences

People's Choice

Gabriela Sitinova - Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Jennifer Walker - Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Judging Panel

Chair: David Steynor – Impact Framework Manager (RIS)

Ann Bingham – Senior Teaching Fellow in Academic Practice

Anna O’Neill – Director of Library Services & Arts Strategy

Allison Stratford – Head of Corporate Communications

Thank you to everyone that sat on the judging panel this year.

Take a look at the photos of 3MT on our Facebook page.



Faculty Winner
Arts and Humanities

Shawnee Harkness

Modern Languages

Engineering & Physical Sciences(ECS, Physics, ORC and Chemistry)

Gabriela Sitinova


Engineering & Physical Sciences(Engineering)

Jenny Walker


Environmental and Life Sciences

Alvaro Castilla-Beltran



Robin Poole


Social Sciences

Kaveri Mayra

Social Statistics & Demography

Further information on the competition rules and judging criteria can be found here.

For guidance on how to prepare as a competitor (drafting your presentation, preparing your slide, practising your presentation) have a look here (3MT international website). 

3MT® was first developed by the University of Queensland, and is now a global initiative including many UK universities.  Participation in the competition helps our doctoral researchers to build their confidence and hone their presentation and communication skills.  Its also a great way to find out about the exciting and varied research going on across the University at doctoral level.

Previous Southampton winners have gone on to national 3MT success. In 2016 Nazira Albargothy (Medicine) went on to win the UK competition in September 2016; in 2017 Lauren Jevons (also Medicine) got through to the final twelve in the UK semi-final; and in 2018 Rachel Owen (Environmental and Life Sciences) went through to be one of the six UK finalists. 

Reflecting on the competition - with our 2018 winner

We met with Rachel Owen to talk about her 3MT experience, from the Southampton heats all the way to the UK Final, as well as a few words of wisdom for those just starting out in their academic adventure.

Read the full interview here.

Follow the links below for photos/videos and more info on previous competitions.

Connect with us

Follow us for all the latest 3MT news and join in the conversation with #3MTsoton

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