3MT® challenges PhD students to explain the complexity and relevance of their research to a non-specialist audience in a concise and engaging way. Presenters have a maximum of three minutes to pitch their research and can only use one slide.

3MT® challenges PhD students to explain the complexity and relevance of their research to a non-specialist audience in a concise and engaging way. Presenters have a maximum of three minutes to pitch their research and can only use one slide.

Meet the judges and last year's winners or watch this year's students' 3MT® presentations below.

SDS established its PhD programme in partnership with the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS) to deepen links with the academic community and bring fresh thinking to skills policy and delivery in Scotland. 

Following the success of last year’s three-minute thesis competition, I’m delighted to be on the judging panel again this year.  I’ll be joined on the panel by Professor Mhairi Mackenzie from our principal partner, the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science.  And by Dr Scott Hurrell from the University of Glasgow.  Scott and Mhairi both bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the panel.  I look forward to working with them.

Dr Patrick Watt, Head of Evaluation & Research, Head Judge

Anya Kaufman
University of Strathclyde

Creating sustainable communities through skills

How do specific communities influence the skill development of young people and how do those skills impact the community?

My research aims to understand the strengths and limitations of using skills as a tool to increase youth employment in de-industrialised communities by focusing on how people gain and use meta-skills. By using an approach that highlights the potential importance of skills for young people in both their working and social lives this project will hopefully create a better understanding of how skills can be used to create more sustainable communities. 

Watch Anya's 3MT®

Fanni Tamasi 
University of Stirling

Technology adoption and skills development in Scottish manufacturing SMEs

Fanni’s research explores technology adoption and skills development in Scottish manufacturing small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The research will involve case studies in SMEs that recently adopted new technology - to identify technology adoption enablers in the organisations; and to understand the changes in work organisation and skills requirements that new technologies brought to the organisations. In this way, the research can identify sectoral best practices and inform current sectoral skills development initiatives on the unique needs of small and medium enterprises that can encourage a more widespread technology uptake in Scottish manufacturing SMEs. 

Watch Fanni's 3MT®

John Marshall
Edinburgh Napier University

An investigation into the links between work based learning and economic outcomes in Scotland

“Does the Scottish workforce have the skills needed to prosper both today and in the future”  (McGregor, 2018).  This is a question that policy makers in Scotland have been struggling with. The link between skills, education and improved productivity and earnings is well established, but many of the questions surrounding causation remain unanswered. In Scotland there is an unexplained disconnect between its high level of education and the expected productivity compared to comparable countries.  

This project intends to tackle the questions around the links between WBL and economic outcomes, with the hope of improving outcomes for both workers and firms. 

Watch John's 3MT®

Marianne Wilson
Edinburgh Napier University

Natural language interfaces to support career decision-making of young people 

My research aims to develop a text-based dialog system that can be used as part of existing careers information and guidance service provided to young people in Scottish secondary schools.  This will require determining the most suitable tasks that the system should be designed to support, identifying the most suitable sources of information to fulfil the task, and representing this so it can be used effectively. The system will also have to understand users inputs in conversational English, and reply appropriately.  

Watch Marianne's 3MT®

Paul Quigley
University of Glasgow

How do large employers engage with apprenticeships in Scotland?

My PhD seeks to broaden understanding of how large employers in Scotland engage with apprenticeships. The aim of the project is specifically to broaden understanding of what motivates employers when they are considering engaging with apprenticeships and when they are weighing up their level of engagement.  
The project will use a typology created by Thomas Bredgaard (2017) to categorise employers based on their level of engagement and enthusiasm, in the hope that a blueprint can be devised to increase apprenticeship engagement by successfully moving employers from one category to another, offering practical help to policy makers and practitioners across Scotland.  

Watch Paul's 3MT®

3MT® Judges

Meet our judges

SDS Virtual 3MT Judges

3MT® Winners 2021

Meet this year's winners

SDS Virtual 3MT Winners