In the time it takes to boil an egg, UNSW's best and brightest doctoral candidates will pitch their research discoveries to a panel of high-profile judges - Professors Nicholas Cowdery and Keith Mason, science communicator Bernie Hobbs and TV host Lily Serna - at this week's Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.

From bowel cancer, volatile mushroom compounds and dirty data to negative emotions in music, moral ecology and celebrity architects - 24 finalists from all faculties are aiming to deliver the most compelling presentation that will inform and engage an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

The 3MT competition requires research candidates to consolidate their ideas and crystallise their research discoveries, says Professor Laura Poole-Warren, Dean of Graduate Research.

"Our research students are the engines of the research 'machine' at UNSW and Three Minute Thesis is a fantastic opportunity for them to let the rest of the world know what great research is happening here.

"We open the event to the whole community as we think that this is a wonderful way to tell our research stories," says Professor Poole-Warren.

The winner receives a $3,000 cash prize and will represent UNSW at the 2011 Australia & NZ final at the University of Western Australia on 29 September. Audience members can vote for the People's Choice Award.

The 3MT competition is hosted by UNSW's Graduate Research School. The inaugural event in 2010 was a major success with UNSW's Alex Jordan going on to win the national People's Choice Award.

What: 3 Minute Thesis CompetitionWhen: 4:30-7:30pm, 1 September 2011 - free public eventWhere: Leighton Hall, John Niland Scientia Building, Kensington campus

For a full list of thesis topics contact Dr Shona Blair, UNSW Graduate Research School, 9385 6067 Media contact: Denise Knight, UNSW Media Office, 9385 8920 | 0405 207 685