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Recent or upcoming events include:

PGR Administrators Network

This event aims to bring together PGR administrators in Schools, Faculties, CDTs, research institutes as well as colleagues from central offices to share expertise, knowledge and ideas. All colleagues involved in research student administration at the University of Manchester are welcome to attend.

The next event will be held between 09:30am and 12:00pm on November 18th 2021. Register now.  


Previous events:

NOTE: The Recruitment and Admissions Network covers PGR recruitment issues.  The PGR administrator’s network does not include any items on admissions and recruitment; any queries should be directed to the Student Recruitment and International Development team.

Postgraduate Summer Research Showcase (PSRS)

The 2021 Postgraduate Summer Research Showcase has been cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions. We expect it to return in 2022. 

Full details will be added to  

Three Minute Thesis Competition 2021

University of Manchester Three Minute Thesis (3MT) 2021

Once again the University of Manchester will be taking part in the national Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition in 2021. Postgraduate Researchers from across the University are invited to present a compelling spoken presentation on their research topic and its significance in just three minutes only using one static PowerPoint slide.

In the UK, the 3MT national competition final is hosted by Vitae. Individual UK universities run their own competitions and put forward one winner per participating institution for the national finals. The University of Manchester winner will be announced on Wednesday 16th June 2021.

Why take Part

3MT develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development to effectively explain research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

You will also have access to exclusive 3MT communication training.

Also, don't forget the prizes...

  • Winner - £250
  • Second prize - £150
  • Third prize - £100

What are the rules?

The rules are simple:

  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes (presentations exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified).
  • 1 static slide is required to accompany the presentation.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.

All presentations will then be judged according to the same 3MT judging criteria

Am I eligible? 

The competition is open to all active second and final year PhD candidates (including candidates in their submission pending period or whose thesis is under examination) by the date of the 3MT first submission deadline (14th April 2021). 

How do I register?

Registrations are open now and will be open until Friday 26th March. Full details on how to prepare and submit your presentation will be sent to you following completion of the registration form.

What is the timeline? 

  1. Complete the registration form.
  2. Sign up for 3MT online training session on 24th March (sign-up details will be sent to those who register).
  3. Create your presentation slide and film your presentation.
  4. Submit your final 3MT presentation by 14th April.
  5. Finalists announced - 12th May. 
  6. Winners announced - 16th June.
  7. National final - September 2021 (date tbc)

Is there any guidance on how I should contruct my slide and video?

Yes, we have created a PDF guide to help you with your slide and video. There are also some useful external guides / resources that you might want to refer to:

How to Talk About Your Thesis in 3 Minutes - The Thesis Whisperer

This presentation by the Dr. Inger Mewburn (aka the Thesis Whisperer), provides some useful insights and practical exercises to get thinking about you can present your own thesis to others in just 3 minutes.

We particularly like this top tip "Is there a story that you can use to talk about your research? Better still - can this story make us feel emotionally involved? Sometimes good stories are behind why we are doing the research in the first place."


3MT Student Handbook - The University of Queensland

This helpful guide (*) gives you low down on background to the competition, the rules, shared experiences from postgraduate researchers who have previously taken part in 3MT as well as top tips for writing, creating and practicing your presentation.

We particularly like this top tip for slide design: "Less is more - Text and complicated graphics can distract your audience – you don’t want them to read your slide rather than listen to your 3MT."

Download the 3MT Student Handbook (pdf)


Making the Most of your Three Minutes - Simon Clews, University of Melbourne

This practical guide will help you think about the development of your 3MT presentation in two key phases - pre-production and performance.

We particularly like this top tip "Every good performance – even the most spontaneous looking ones – is the result of a great deal of careful preparation and an enormous amount of rehearsal. You’ve only got three minutes .... so make every second count." Download the Making the Most of your Three Minutes Guide (pdf)


MDC Postgraduate Research Excellence Awards 2021/22

As a University we are proud of the achievements our postgraduate research students and research supervisors. To recognise and celebrate their success the MDC annually hosts the Postgraduate Research Excellence Awards

The awards celebrate student and supervisor achievements in the following categories:

  • PGR Student of the Year (President’s Distinguished Achievement Award)
  • Best Outstanding Output
  • Best Contribution to PGR Environment
  • Best Contribution to Society
  • Best Contribution to Internationalisation
  • Supervisor of the Year

Further details of the awards, including the criteria against which Faculty nominations are judged and the Faculty nomination process can be found in the MDC Excellence Awards Guidance 2021-22.‌

Faculty Nomination Forms:

Nomination and Award Timeline:

  • September 2021 - Call for Distinguished Achievement Awards and MDC Excellence Awards to be released.
  • 11th January 2022 - Faculties submit nominations to the Research Degrees and Researcher Development team for PGR Student of the Year Award (DAA).
  • January 2022 - Faculty nominations for the PGR Student of the Year Award (DAA) to be presented to the MDC Strategy Group for consideration and then submitted to the President's office.
  • April 2022 - Winner of PGR Student of the Year Award announced.
  • 16th May 2022 - Deadline for Faculties to submit their nominations for Best Outstanding Output Award, Best Contribution to PGR Environment, Best Contribution to Society, Best Contribution to Internationalisation Award, and Supervisor of the Year Award. Nominations should be submitted to MDC via the Research Degrees and Researcher development team. 
  • 25th May 2022 - Faculty nominations for Best Outstanding Output Award, Best Contribution to PGR Environment, Best Contribution to Society, Best Contribution to Internationalisation Award, and Supervisor of the Year Award to be presented to the MDC Strategy Group for consideration.
  • June 2022 - The President and Vice Chancellor will present the PGR Student of the Year Award (DAA) winner with their award at ceremony.
  • June/July 2022 - MDC Excellence Awards ceremony 

For more information about the award process, please contact


Research Staff Strategy Group Excellence Awards

2020/21 Research Staff Excellence Awards - Winners and Highly Commended

Many congratulations to the winners and highly commended researchers who were nominated for their outstanding achievements, impact and successes in their research. The winners and highly commended were selected by a panel comprised of academics leads for research staff and researcher development and chaired by the Associate Vice President for Research. You can read about the achievements of our winners and highly commended in Biology, Medicine and Health, Humanities and Science and Engineering.

2020/21 Research Staff Excellence Awards

The Research Staff Strategy Group (RSSG) has introduced an award scheme to recognise and celebrate the achievements of research staff. 

Definition: For all categories, a researcher is defined as someone who is either a research assistant, research associate, postdoc or research fellow (including Presidential Fellows) employed at the University on the date of the nomination being submitted.

Awards for 2020/21 were given in four categories:

Research Staff of the Year (one award per Faculty)

The nominee should be an outstanding researcher who has excelled in some significant manner, for example, a journal publication or contribution to securing a major research grant.

Best Outstanding Output by Research Staff (one award per Faculty)

The nominee should be a researcher with a first, last or sole authored high quality research output.

Best Outstanding Contribution to Research Impact by Research Staff (one award per Faculty)

The nominee can be an individual researcher or a team (a researcher must play a leading role in the team) who undertake high-quality engagement and impact activities which can be shown to have an impact on society either in the UK or internationally.  

Best Outstanding Contribution to the Research Staff Environment (one overall winner)

This nominee can be an individual researcher or a team (a researcher must play a leading role in the team) who have made a positive impact on the research environment, for example, through the organisation of events which bring together the research staff community; identifying an area of development within the research staff community and providing a solution to this.



  1. At the time of being nominated the researcher must be a member of staff at the University employed on a research contract and be categorised as a research assistant, research associate, research fellow (including Presidential Fellow) or postdoc.
  2. All nominations must be made through the completion of the nomination form and all forms must be accompanied by two statements of support from either the nominee’s peers or relevant members of academic staff.
  3. Self-nomination is permitted; two statements of support are still required.
  4. Researchers can be nominated for more than one award but a separate nomination form must be completed for each award.