Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) Competition

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland.

The exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of students’ capacities to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

Master’s and doctoral students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis or dissertation topic and its significance. 3MT™ is not an exercise in trivializing or ‘dumbing-down’ research but forces students to consolidate their ideas and crystalize their research discoveries.

2015 Three Minute Thesis competition results

Congratulations to the winners of UGA’s 2015 Three Minute Thesis competition!
Grand Prize: Andrew Fialka
Runner-Up: Alex Harkess
People’s Choice Award: Amanda Sutton

Eligibility

Currently enrolled master’s and doctoral students at the University of Georgia will be eligible to participate in 3MT™. Graduates are not eligible.

Prizes

  • Winner: $1,000
  • Runner-up: $750
  • People’s Choice: $500

Rules

  • a single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description)
  • no additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted
  • no additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted
  • presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum, and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified
  • the decision of the judging panel is final

Judging Criteria

Comprehension & Content
  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?
Engagement & Communication
  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?

Interested in learning more about how to make the most of your 3 minutes? Here’s a guide that that will help you to prepare and deliver an effective 3MT presentation.

Other U.S. schools with 3MT competitions

Emory Universirty Purdue University University of Alabama
Auburn University UMass Dartmouth Florida International University
University of Kentucky Mississippi State University New York University
University of North Carolina University of North Florida Oklahoma State University
University of Oregon Texas A&M University Vanderbilt University
University of Virginia


Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.