Distinguishing between different elements of the Pitching Research Template… Here are 5 considerations:

  • Communication budget e.g. #words?
  • Asking the question vs. finding an answer?
  • Big picture vs. project specifics?
  • What vs. Why? vs. How?
  • Narrow vs. broad perspective?


Data vs. Tools?

  • The base / raw secondary data should be independent of tools
  • Sometimes tools help create (primary) data, or manipulate data, as well as analyse and “test” the data
  • Often the specific nature of data require certain gold standard tools
Whats New? vs. So What?
  • Just because its new, doesn’t make it important
  • Just because its important, doesn’t make it new

Structured research is good research. Formulating a sound research question, identifying key papers, and mapping out the bones of your project are fundamental requirements for publishable material. A template enables you to quickly assess the worth of your proposed project, and enables you to pitch it to your supervisor before they lose interest. If you’re already working on your project, the template is a good way to `check in’ with your original research goals and stay on track.

The simple answer is, you don’t. If you’re happy with how you’ve organised your project, keep at it. We’re not here to boss you around. This aim of this template is to provide a means for new researchers to concisely whittle down their potential project into something concrete. It’s also for supervisors looking to skilfully and efficiently guide their students into worthwhile areas of research.

Good question. We don’t see the two ideas as mutually exclusive, but rather complementary. 3MT is aimed at PhD researchers who are well advanced in their project, and want to communicate their goals to a generalist audience. It’s a great vehicle for researchers who are up to their elbows in exciting results. We love it. The pitch template is completely different. It’s primarily focused on researchers right at the beginning of their research journey. When you’re choosing a research avenue to pursue, the 3MT competition probably isn’t on your radar. But the pitching template should be. In one of our `pitch day’ competitions, we’ll give you 8 +2 minutes to get your ideas across. It’s not about physical research results like 3MT, although results are awesome. It’s about starting a conversation about your research idea with your potential supervisor, peers and interested parties. It’s about starting a feedback process that will see you through your entire research project. It’s a process that ensures your work will have academic impact when you’ve advanced to the point in your research that the 3MT becomes a possibility.

Yes, of course. Indeed, this can be a good diagnostic/ critiquing exercise when you reach the stage of writing up your research. The Introduction is all about “hooking” the reader, and most/all elements of the PR framework are essential base ingredients to create an informative and engaging foundation to “catch this fish”. See next few slides for an example…

Motivation (D) vs. What’s New? (H) vs. Research Question (B) vs. Idea (E)

  • Motivation (D): “demand” side – what knowledge is missing?
  • What’s New? (H): “supply” side – what new knowledge can we create to broadly meet the “demand”
  • Basic Research Question (B): (“neutral”) notion that defines the scope of analysis/“terms of reference”
  • Idea (E): How do we go about getting an answer to the question?

Motivation (D) vs. So What?


So What?

Research Question (B) vs. Idea (E)

Research Question


What’s New (H) vs. Contribution (J)

What’s New


Still Got Questions?

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