3 Minute Wonder

3 Minute Wonder is the IOP's national science communication competition. It challenges researchers in physics or a physics-related field to explain their work to the public in just three minutes.

Hannah Wakeford
Hannah Wakeford, 3MW winner 2014


3 Minute Wonder heats





Applications close

London and South East

Institute of Physics, London

29th November 2017

15th November 2017

East Anglia

Cavendish Lab, Cambridge

24th March 2018

23rd March 2018

East Midlands





University of Liverpool

22nd November 2017

27th October 2017

South West and Wales

University of Bristol

24th Feb 2018

8th February 2018



4/5 November 2017

22nd  October 2017


The 2017 competition is open for entries. Apply online

About the competition
Each participant has three minutes to pitch their original research to a panel of four judges and a non-specialist public audience.

Pitches are scored by the judges, each giving individual marks out of 10, which are then added up to give the participant's total score. Points are awarded for the ability of the researcher to communicate their work to the non-specialist audience.

The highest scorer is awarded a cash-prize of £250, with second place receiving £100. If the scores are tied at the end of the competition, the audience votes to decide the winner.

In place of a 3 minute wonder heat Ireland has the Rosse medal. This is a long standing competition which has been organised by IOP Ireland. It is open to post graduate students studying at any college in Ireland or Northern Ireland.

In the first round, entrants submit posters of their work. 5 finalists then go through to the second round and present a short pitch of their work to a panel of judges. The winner will be presented with the Rosse Medal and the opportunity to go through to the final of the 3 minute wonder competition.

Watch the heats and final
You can show your support for our competitors at your local 3 Minute Wonder heat and at the live final in May 2018. Events will be added to our calendar as they are confirmed.

The rules

Guidance notes for 3 Minute Wonder participants

The rules 

The story so far

The history of the IOP’s national science communication competition, 3 Minute Wonder

The story so far