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Three Minute Thesis Competition

Aarhus University's Coimbra Group 3MT was held online March 18th, 2021.

Information and sign up for the March 2022 competition will be available in December 2021.

What is the 3MT?

In 3MT, PhD students present their research project in three minutes for an audience of non-specialists with only one static slide – and no other resources. This challenging exercise develops presentation, research and academic communication skills and supports the development of the researcher’s capacity to explain their work effectively.

The internal winner at AU wins a 35,000 DKK travel grant and the video of the performance is submitted to the international competition held in the Coimbra Group of more than 35 European universities. 

A Coimbra Group panel will then select the top three candidates, who will be invited to present at the Coimbra Group annual conference in June.

The 3MT was founded at University of Queensland, Australia in 2008, and is held at over 900 universities across more than 85 countries. 

Our participants in 2021

Andreas Beyer GregersenArtsDepartment of Philosophy and History of Ideas
Anita DittrichHealthDepartment of Clinical Medicine
Bardia VarastehmoradiHealthDepartment of Clinical Medicine
Carina AdeNatural SciencesiNANO
Christopher EbbrechtAarhus BSSDepartment of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
Claudia NielsenTechnical SciencesDepartment of Agroecology
Jacob ThyrstedHealthDepartment of Biomedicine
Jamie LustermansNatural SciencesDepartment of Biology
Joanna DaviesNatural Sciences  Department of Geoscience
Karin Rosenkilde Laursen HealthDepartment of Public Health
Kirsten Frederiksen  Aarhus BSS  Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences
Mario RinconTechnical Sciences  Department of Engineering    
Mojtaba Hajihosseini  Technical Sciences Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Peter Granum  Natural Sciences  Department of Physics and Astronomy  
Rhiannon Garth Jones     Arts    School of Culture and Society  

2021 3MT overall winner – Claudia Nielsen

Claudia Nielsen

Claudia is a PhD at the Institute for Agroecology. She was chosen by the judges as the 3MT overall winner at Aarhus University from a field of 15 strong competitors.

Title and description:

The power of peatlands and paludiculture to mitigate climate change

Peatlands only cover about 3 % of the global land area but are due to drainage for agriculture emission hotspots, releasing 5-6 % of the total anthropogenic emissions. Rewetting and sustainable biomass cultivation on wet peatlands, called paludiculture, has shown to be a powerful tool to re-establish the peatlands’ natural carbon sink function, thereby mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands in magnitudes of up to 145 %.


Claudia won a travel grant in the amount of 35.000DKK which she plans to spend on a research-related stay, visiting other paludiculture projects in Germany. She believes that in a niche-research area such as paludiculture, trans-border collaboration is even more important, also considering that Germany has solid experience – not only with the implementation, but also with stakeholder communication and policy. She believes that her research trip will not only benefit scientific knowledge, but also boost networking and collaboration.

See Claudia’s 3MT presentation here

2021 3MT people’s choice award – Jakob Thyrsted

Jakob Thyrsted is a PhD at the Institute of Biomedicine. He was chosen as the people’s choice winner in a vote in which over 300 audience members participated. His research focuses on viruses.

Title and description:

Virus vs. Cell - The battle for control

Viruses are master manipulators as they, during infection, force our cells into doing the virus' bidding. This is an intense battle for control in which our cells desperately try to fight of the infection. The question is, who will come out on top and is there any way to aid ourselves in this battle?

Jakob won a 1.000 DKK gift certificate to the AU web shop.

See Jakob’s 3MT presentation here