2017 AusCTW
2017 Australian Communications Theory Workshop (AusCTW)

Australian National University — 18–20 January 2017

 5-Minute Thesis Pitch (5MTP) Competition

Download the Call for 5-Minute Thesis Pitch (5MTP) Competition here

The 5-Minute Thesis Pitch (5MTP) Competition in 2017 AusCTW is an opportunity for research students within Australia’s and New Zealand’s universities to showcase their research to a national audience and to be in the running to win a cash prize towards their research.


Increasingly researchers are required to communicate their work to a wider audience through social and mass media. This demands special communication skills to make the work accessible and interesting to a non-specialist audience without over-simplifying or trivialising the message. It is also important to communicate research to those who may be putting the findings into practical application. The 5MTP is therefore a competition to see which research students can display the best academic achievements and communication skills under time pressure.


Challenge yourself! Take yourself out of your comfort zone and make life more interesting by having a go at turning your work into a fun and rewarding competition. In the process you have the opportunity to develop your presentation skills and showcase your research to a national audience. And to make it really interesting, you can be in the running to win a cash prize to help your future research projects.

Competition Guidelines:

The research students will be required to deliver a five-minute presentation of their current or recently completed research thesis with the aid of three PowerPoint slides (including the title slide).

1. Eligibility

The 5MTP is open to active research students (MPhil and PhD) who are currently studying or recently submitted their thesis (no earlier than 1 August 2016) in an Australian/New Zealand Higher Education Institution.

2. Competition Rules

Presentations are strictly limited to five minutes. Any presenter exceeding five minutes will be disqualified.

Only three PowerPoint slides are permitted. These may include texts, photos, diagrams or other graphic material.

Non-static media (videos, sound-clips) are permitted to a maximum of 30 seconds, but must be a part of (not in addition to) a slide and must be included in the five-minute presentation time. It is preferable that any spoken narration of video imagery is presented live by the speaker and not pre-recorded as part of the embedded video. Whilst every effort will be made to ensure that special features of a presentation, such as embedded video/audio content, will function as planned, we cannot guarantee that they will and it is advisable to have an alternative plan ? just in case. Hyperlinks to external content are not permitted if they open as a separate window to the slide. Slides may be presented as a series of elements that are gradually added to create a final slide composition (presentations may include PowerPoint animations for each element and transitions between slides). However, new elements (including video clips) must not obscure more than approximately 25% of any earlier element.

As a guide it is appropriate to overlay annotations, arrows, circles etc. onto a graph or photo, or to inset a smaller diagram over a larger one, or to change the size of an existing element (e.g., to show how a bar on a chart increases after application of a treatment). The majority of every element should still be visible in the final view of the slide.

Slide backgrounds should be generic and not contain a critical element of the final slide. For example, it would be against the spirit of the rules to speak to a photo as a background that was then covered by subsequent elements of the slides.

3. Judging Process

All the audience present at the 5MTP competition are eligible to vote for their favourite top three presenters with ranking at the end of the competition. The final outcome is decided by counting all the valid votes according to the following criteria:

  • The first-ranked student receives 3 points, the second 2 points, and the third 1 point;
  • The student with the highest, second-highest, and third highest points shall be declared the winner, the first runner-up, and the second runner-up, respectively;
  • In the event of a tie for the highest points, the student who has won the most firsts will be declared the winner. If equal, the relevant students share the cash prize.

Participants will be judged on:

  • Description and importance of research problem;
  • Description of the research process;
  • The ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience;
  • Clear overall conclusion and final summary; and
  • Creativity of presentation and engagement with the audience.

4. Prize

The first, second and third winners will receive a certificate plus a cash prize of $300, $200, and $100, respectively.

5MTP Registration Guidelines

All students competing in the 5MTP competition must register their interest for the competition and also must register for Workshop. The intent to compete can be submitted via sending an email to link, with the following instructions:

  1. For the email’s subject, please title it as ``Registration of 5MTP Competition - Your Full Name’’.
  2. Please include the following contents in the main text of the email:
    • Student name
    • Institution name
    • Title
    • Expected thesis submission date or thesis submission date if submitted
  3. Please submit the above information as text in an email. No PDF or Word files.
  4. The deadline for registration of interest for 5MTP is Tuesday 20 December, 2016.

If you have any questions regarding the 5MTP of 2017 AusCTW, please contact link