University of St Andrews Honours students:  

Do you believe that your dissertation research can contribute to and inspire climate action? Does your dissertation topic address the challenge of energy and/or climate change? Are you prepared to put your time where your mouth is?

Three minutes of your time, to be precise?

As we count down to COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, the Centre for Energy Ethics invites all honours students at the University of St Andrews whose dissertation research explores topics related to energy, climate change and/or climate action, to its inaugural Three Minute Planet (3MPlanet) competition.

Adapted from the format of a Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) developed by the University of Queensland, we challenge you to present a compelling spoken presentation on your research topic and its significance to climate action to a non-specialist audience, in just three minutes.



  • To take part in the competition, please e-mail your research title and a pitch of maximum 75 words to the  by 7th May 2021. The pitch needs to make it clear how your research addresses the topic of energy, climate change and/or climate action. Please make sure you put ‘3MPlanet pitch’ in the message title.
  • The selection committee will review all submissions and choose 10 finalists.
  • The 10 finalists will receive expert training in designing and delivering an engaging and convincing research presentation. The training will take place online in the week beginning 24th May.
  • Following the training, the ten finalists will be required to record a three-minute presentation on the topic of their dissertation research. Presentation recordings will need to be submitted by Monday, 7th June. All submissions will need to follow the ‘presentation rules’ below.
  • The 10 finalists’ presentations will be assessed by the expert panel and published on social media for a period of public voting. The winner, the runner up and the public vote laureate will be revealed during the M3Planet final. Due to current restrictions, 3MPlanet competition final will take place online on 18th June 2021. 


  • The competition is open to the University of St Andrews honours students from all disciplines who are either currently working on their dissertations, or who have submitted their dissertation in the 2020/21 academic session
  • The presentations need to be based on the applicant’s own original dissertation research (either fieldwork, lab experiment, or literature- based)



  • The winner of the 3MPlanet event will receive: £250
  • The runner up will receive: £150
  • The public vote laureate will receive: £150


In addition to cash prizes, the three winners will be invited to present their research in more detail during a CEE Countdown to COP26 event in autumn 2021.



  • Submissions must include a three-minute ‘talking head’ video and up to three static slides containing images. Text is discouraged and only permissible where essential (e.g. for labelling of images or providing a chemical formulae)
  • No props, no additional video or audio files, no costumes (sorry!)
  • Spoken word only (no poems, no songs, no rapping)
  • Strictly three minutes. Any presentation beyond the 3-minute limit will be disqualified
  • Judging panel’s decisions are final



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 demonstrate the relevance of the research to climate change, climate action and/or energy?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the dissertation topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in a 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 speaker have sufficient virtual stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slides enhance the presentation – were they clear, legible, and concise?