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University of Turku Graduate School UTUGS and Doctoral Programmes

The University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS) consists of doctoral programmes which cover all disciplines and the approximately 2,000 doctoral candidates of the University. 

The aim of the Graduate School is to provide systematic and high quality doctoral training for the doctoral candidates of the University of Turku. Each doctoral candidate has a personal supervisor and the progress of the doctoral dissertation is followed regularly. The aim of doctoral training is to train highly qualified experts with the skills required for both professional career in research and other positions of expertise.


The responsible Director and the Steering Committee of the Graduate School are appointed by the Rector of the University of Turku.

UTUGS Steering Committee, term until 31 December 2019

  • UTUGS Director Pirjo Nuutila, Chair
  • Vice Rector Kalle-Antti Suominen
  • Vice Dean Risto Rinne, Faculty of Education
  • Vice Dean Baoru Yang, Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Vice Dean Markus Juonala, Faculty of Medicine
  • Vice Dean Päivi Lappalainen, Faculty of Humanities
  • Vice Dean Anne Alvesalo-Kuusi, Faculty of Law
  • Professor Mika Vaihekoski, Turku School of Economics
  • Vice Dean Heikki Hämäläinen, Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Postdoctoral Researcher Veronika Laippala, Faculty of Humanities
  • Assistant Professor Tapio Pahikkala, Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Director of Development Riitta Mustonen
  • Director of Educational Affairs Petri Sjöblom
  • Doctoral Candidate Anne-Elina Salo, Faculty of Education
  • Doctoral Candidate Aki Stubb, Faculty of Medicine

The Steering Committee's Coordinator and Secretary is Head of Research Career unit Elise Pinta.

Contact information


Visiting address: Hämeenkatu 4, 20500 Turku

Mailing address: Turun yliopiston tutkijakoulu, 20014 Turun yliopisto

Director of the University of Turku Graduate School: Professor Pirjo Nuutila

Graduate School Coordinator: PhD Elise Pinta

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the exercise cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills.
The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.


The first 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 Research Higher Degree students competing. In 2009 and 2010 the 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew.
Since 2011, the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in over 170 universities across more than 18 countries worldwide.


Active PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under submission) by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT competitions at all levels. Graduates are not eligible.


  • 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

At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below. Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.

Comprehension & Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?

  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • 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 & 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?