Research Communication

Research Communication Study Days and 3-Minut Thesis Competitions

University of Tartu graduate school´s cooperation with communication department organizes for PhD students Estonian and English language Research Communication Study Days and Three Minute Thesis Competitions.

In Research communication study days participants can learn and train how to give an interview, how to use social media in the interests of their research career and how to introduce their research in the form of a brief and persuasive three-minute presentation, aka elevator pitch. Participants also get an overview of how the university supports researchers in communicating their research. All doctoral students who want to develop their communication skills are welcome to attend the study day.

Research Communication Study Day is a good preparation for participating University of Tartu´s Three Minute Thesis Competition, held in Estonian. The best three presenters will recive financial bonus and opportunity to present University of Tartu in Estonian Academy of Science competition “Science in Three Minutes“.

The Research Communication Study Day is a good preparation for participating in the preliminary round for the University of Tartu´s international 3-Minute Thesis Competition organized by the Coimbra Group, held in English. We invite doctoral students to participate and introduce their research in the form of a captivating three-minute presentation in English. The best three presenters will recive financial bonus and the winner will have the opportunity to represent University of Tartu at international Coimbra Group Thee Minute Thesis competition.

In Three-Minute Thesis Competitions preliminary rounds of University of Tartu doctoral students can introduce their research or a recent publication to the general public in a captivating three-minute speech. Preliminary rounds presented presentations will be recorded on the site. We offer the possibility of publishing either text or video for all topics covered in the competition, this way, exciting stories about fresh science do not just fall within the walls of the university.

UT preliminary round for the Estonian Academy of Sciences competitions' info and results

UT preliminary round Estonian Academy of Sciences competition – Teadus 3 minutiga.

All PhD students (incl. Academic leave, external) and recent doctors who have defended their thesis during the last year can participate.

To whom and how?

Prepare: To participate in the competition, prepare a three-minute exciting lecture in Estonian, which summarizes the problem that prompted the research, the ways to solve it, and how and for whom it is important.

Evaluation: From the three-minute lectures, the jury selects the best, who will receive a financial prize and the opportunity to represent the university at the final event of the three-minute lecture competition at the Academy of Sciences at the beginning of the new year.

The final event of the Academy of Sciences will in turn reveal the top five, whose lecture will result in a three-minute video clip in cooperation with the professional production team, which will be broadcast on ETV in April. From the video lectures that arrive on the TV screen, the viewers choose their favorite.

Study Day Teaduskommunikatsiooni õppepäev 23.10.2020

Avaliku esinemise praktikum, 29.10.2020
Three-Minute Thesis Competition UT preliminary round

Kolme minuti loengute konkurss Tartu Ülikooli doktorantidele 12.11.2020


Competition top three:

1. Janika Raun "Kes külastavad Eestis?"

2. Eliise Tammekivi "Kunstiväärtuste liim"

3. Mariann Proos "Tähendus kui tööriist maailmast aru saamiseks"

All presented lectures:

1. Mariann Proos „Tähendus kui tööriist maailmast aru saamiseks“

2. Eliise Tammekivi  „Kunstiväärtuste liim“

3. Vadim Svjatkovski „Narva metsaeksport 18. sajandil“

4. Janika Raun „Kes külastavad Eestit?“

5. Riinu Härmas „Kõrbenud piparkoogid ja tuleviku energeetika“

6. Peeter Paaver „Põlevkivituhk – miljoneid tonne prügi või hoopis avastamata maavara?“

7. Ove Korjus „Tahkeoksiidsed kütuseelemendid“

8. Eliisa Pass „Metsamajanduse mõju lindude sigimisele“

9. Sirel Heinloo „Eesti kirjandus Rootsi peeglis“ (video)

10. Marit Sukk „Selleks on ju äpp!? Digitehnoloogiate väljakutsed perekondadele“(video)

11. Martin Noorkõiv „Globaalsete probleemide lahendmaise võti“ (video)

12. Siim Nirgi „Metallid Eesti aluskorrakivimites“ (video)

13. Anna-Kati Pahker „Kas me oleme juba õigesse suunda teel?“ (video)

14. Henri Tilga „Laste ja noorte motivatsioon ning vaba aja kehaline aktiivsus“ (video)

Evaluation committee:

Maria Murumaa-Mengel (UT lecturer of social media)

Riin Tamm (UT Youth Academy Director, popularizer of science, R2 "Puust ja Punaseks" radio co-host)

Marko Mägi (Falculty of Science and Tehnology Communication expert, Laureate of the National Science Popularization Award 2019)

Andra Rumm (UT Lecturer in Estonian Language, member of The International Society for Conversation Analysis, PhD students competition for popular science articles Faculty of Humanities first place 2015)

Airika Harrik (editor of Novaator)

Final event

Estonian Academy of Sciences final „teadus 3 minutiga“
05.02.2021, Tallinn

Preliminary round for the international Coimbra Group 3-Minute Thesis Competitions' info and results

Preliminary round for the international Coimbra Group 3-Minute Thesis Competition

NB! Only PhD students with active status can participate.


To participate in the competition, prepare a captivating three-minute presentation summarising the problem that is driving your research, the ways to solve it, and its importance and impact.


Make your presentation in front of the UT competition jury. A video recording is made of the presentation.


From the presentations the three best are selected. The authors of these presentations will receive a cash prize. The video recording of the winning presentation will be sent, as the UT representative, to the Coimbra Group’s international Three-Minute Thesis competition. 


We do our best to communicate the topics presented at the UT competition both via the university channels and in the press – so the exciting science stories can also be heard outside the university.


  • 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 (e.g. 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 and content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • 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 and 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?

Some tips for preparing for the 3MT competition

  • In three minutes, an average narrator is able to utter about 370–380 words. This is approximately 3,000 characters and fits on one A4 page.
  • It is recommended that you prepare the presentation carefully, and practice it repeatedly in front of the mirror.
  • Avoid using foreign words or specific terms because, according to Albert Einstein, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you probably don’t understand it yourself”.

Write for your audience

  • Avoid jargon and academic language.
  • Explain concepts and people important to your research - you may know all about the field but your audience may not.
  • Highlight the outcomes of your research, and the desired outcome.
  • Imagine that you are explaining your research to a close friend or fellow student from another field.
  • Convey your excitement and enthusiasm for your subject.

Tell a story

  • You may like to present your 3MT as a narrative, with a beginning, middle and end.
  • It’s not easy to condense your research into three minutes, so you may find it easier to break your presentation down into smaller sections.
  • Try writing an opener to catch the attention of the audience, then highlight your different points, and finally have a summary to restate the importance of your work.

Have a clear outcome in mind

  • Know what you want your audience to take away from your presentation.
  • Try to leave the audience with an understanding of what you’re doing, why it is important, and what you hope to achieve.


  • Proof your 3MT presentation by reading it aloud, to yourself and to an audience of friends and family.
  • Ask for feedback.
  • Ask your audience if your presentation clearly highlights what your research is about and why it is important.



Study Day Research Communication Study Day 11.03.2022
Three-Minute Thesis Competition UT preliminary round


Competition results: 
1. Aditya Savio Paul "Something Fishy Lurkes: A Multi-Agent rendezvous with what's out there"
2. Tairi Leis "Winners or losers? NO! Winners or learners?"
3. Anna Tisler "Preventing cervical cancer: we can do better"
4. Kenneth Tuul "Ping-pong hydrogen"

Evaluation committee:
Airika Harrik (Novaator), Sandra Sommer (UT), Siim Lepik (Research in Estonia)

Final Event 31 March 2022 Deadline for video submissions for Coimbra Group Final
5 – 19 April 2022 Coimbra Group Universities vote for top 3 entries
7 – 10 June 2022 Coimbra Group Final at University of Padova


Study Day Research Communication Study Day 11.02.2021
Three-Minute Thesis Competition UT preliminary round

Coimbra Group Three-Minute Thesis Competition  


Competition top three:

  1. Imar Koutchoukali „Between Rahmānān and al-Rahmān: linguistic, religious, and social transformations in Late Antique South Arabia“
  2. Riinu Härmas „Burnt gingerbreads and sustainable energetics“
  3. Eric Roldan Roa „Teachers and technology: A love story yet to be seen“

All presented lectures:

  1. Riinu Härmas „Burnt gingerbreads and sustainable energetics“
  2. Imar Koutchoukali „Between Rahmānān and al-Rahmān: linguistic, religious, and social transformations in Late Antique South Arabia“
  3. Hassan Abdulgaleel Hassan Salim Eldeeb „Distributed Automated Machine Learning Framework“
  4. Spyridon Panagiotis Deligiannis „Predictors of mammalian embryo viability“
  5. Eric Roldan Roa „Teachers and technology: A love story yet to be seen“

Evaluation committee:

  • Erle Uibu – UT Program Manager of the nursing science
  • Maret Ahonen - UT sTARTUp Lab Manager
  • Randel Kreitsberg – UT Research Fellow of ecotoxicology
  • Jasion Mario Dydinski – Lecturer of Communicating Science
  • Kiiri Toomberg – Marketing specialist at the Research in Estonia
Final event

Coimbra Group 3-Minute Thesis Competition
June 16-18, 2021, Praha, online


More information:

Piret Ehrenpreis, UT Research Communication Adviser, 58160090,
Merili Hansen, UT GSCSA, GSLPS gradaute schools Project Manager of Events,


The event is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (University of Tartu ASTRA Project PER ASPERA).