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

Canalhouse Pub, Nottingham

13th February 2018

9th February 2018


University of Liverpool

22nd November 2017

27th October 2017

South West and Wales

University of Bristol

24th Feb 2018

14th February 2018



4/5 November 2017

22nd  October 2017


You can show your support for our competitors at the grand final on 22 May 2018 at the Royal Institution. Book your space on our events page

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 competition is run in regional heats, with the winner and runner up from each heat going through to the final. The final will be held in London in May 2018.

At the final 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.

Prizes for heats are set by the organising branch.

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 

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