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3MT (Three Minute Thesis) Competition

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition originally developed by The University of Queensland in 2008, and now has been widely adopted at universities around the world. The exercise challenges masters and doctoral students to present a compelling talk on their Thesis/Dissertation topic and its significance. Many theses and dissertations can be over 80,000 words and take hours to present, but students in this competition have just three minutes and one slide to convey their often highly-technical research to a lay audience.

Presentations are judged by two main criteria: comprehension/content and engagement. Did the presentation help the audience (who may have no background at all in the research area) understand the topic? Did the method of presentation make the audience want to know more?

3MT® and UT

UT graduate students are preparing to participate in the 2024 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. To begin with, they will compete across three heats. Four competitors will be chosen from each heat and the twelve winners will move forward to the final competition. The final competition will then take place on April 3 from 1:30-3 during Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week (GPSAW).

All heats will take place in Student Union 169.

Heat 1: February 26, 9:00-11:00

  • Annalyse Leach—Animal Science
  • Alexandra Carlson—Comparative and Experimental Medicine
  • Saurabh Pethe—Energy Science and Engineering
  • Aritra Moulick—Social Work
  • Harshvardhan—Management Science
  • Megan Kleeschulte—Anthropology
  • Zoha Laraib—Physics
  • Mahipal Singh Rao—Biochemistry & Molecular and Cellular Biology

Heat 2: February 27, 9:00-11:00

  • Katherine Trubee—Political Science
  • Amy Kurr—Energy Science and Engineering
  • Byron Keys—Communication and Information
  • Loren Foley—Animal Science
  • Namrata Mukherjee—Social Work
  • Lauren Miller—Energy Science and Engineering
  • Zoilo Roy Perez—Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences
  • Emmanuel Allwell—Microbiology
  • Meena Gowrishankar—Energy Science and Engineering

Heat 3: March 1, 1:00-3:00

  • Elizabeth Sowell—Nursing
  • Caleb Napper—Civil Engineering
  • Kriti Jain—Psychology
  • Kristin Schrader—Communication and Information
  • Kayla Stuart—Forestry
  • Kelechi Akwataghibe—Mathematics
  • Scott Greeves—Communication and Information
  • Emily Hutchins—Nuclear Engineering
  • Anika Sarkar—Civil Engineering
  • Shokoufeh Soleimani—Biomedical Engineering

Final Competition 2023

The competition for the Three Minute Thesis in 2023 returned to in-person, where competitors made their presentations in front of a live audience and judges. Find out more about the competition and view the presentations.

The Rules

The rules of the competition, based on those from the 3MT® organization are as follows:

  • A single static image or slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration).
  • 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.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Why Compete?

One practical reason is that winners will receive a monetary award. However, participants will also develop valuable skills that will serve them in the future. Researchers are often called upon to explain their research to a lay audience, perhaps in order to gain funding, and being able to clearly and engagingly make their case can set them apart from their competitors. Another reason is to engage with the public to help develop support for the work that is done on university campuses. Besides, wouldn’t you like to be able to explain to your family and friends what exactly it is that you do?