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Would you be able to explain an 80,000 word document on cutting-edge scientific research in three minutes flat?

The Three Minute Thesis Competition (abbreviated 3MT) originates from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Universities around the world encourage PhD students to talk about their research projects in no more than three minutes. Each participant is allowed to aid their presentation with a single slide without any sounds or animations. Also no props, dance moves, songs or poems are allowed.

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Despite these strict criteria, this year saw Oxford DPhil students from each of the four divisions within the University (Humanities, Social Sciences, MPLS and Medical Sciences) entering the competition by submitting lay abstracts of their research projects. After this initial selection each division held its own competition to select representatives from each. The Medical Sciences Division round was held in the George Pickering Centre at the John Radcliffe Hospital on 2nd June. After five students gave their presentations, the jury selected two that would present at the University of Oxford final: Lien Davidson from the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Tomasz Dobrzycki from the WIMM.

The final took place at the Department of Mathematics in the afternoon of 14th June. After an introductory keynote on the benefits of engaging the public with scientific research from one of the jury members, David Pyle from the Earth Sciences, seven DPhil students from the four divisions gave their three-minute long presentations. While the jury were making their decision, the students and their guests relaxed with a glass of wine and snacks. In the end, the award for the best presentation was given to Tomasz Dobrzycki from the WIMM and the video of his presentation will now represent Oxford in the UK national semi-final.

Huge congratulations to Tomasz on this remarkable achievement, and best of luck for the semi-final!

You can watch the videos of the winner and of the other finalists here.

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