Our 3MT Winners for 2015!

2015 3MT Winners 1

1st Place:

Angela Larsen, Biology, PhD program:

“Habitat Changes: Can We Grow Biofuel Feedstocks without Negatively Impacting Wildlife?”

View Presentation

2nd Place:

Vincent Sica, Chemistry and Biochemistry, PhD program:

“Accelerating Natural Product Drug Discovery: 6 Weeks to 6 Seconds”

View Presentation

People’s Choice Award:

Joseph Ross, History, PhD program:

“Judging Nuremberg: Creating the International Military Tribunal’s Human Rights Legacy in America and Beyond”

View Presentation

“Last year was an excellent introduction as to how different people approached the challenge of condensing their dissertation work to such a great extent. From participating last year, I was able to get a really good idea as to how I could improve my own presentation. Not only did I take note of how other student’s were presenting, but I also found the judges’ comments to be very helpful. This competition has greatly helped me with communicating my research to a broad audience. I have always wanted to make my research as accessible as possible to anyone who may be interested. It is easy to get bogged down in the details of a dissertation and this competition really allowed me to take a step back and remember the big picture. The competition even allowed me to become more aware of other exciting research being conducted and meet some of the excellent researchers here at UNCG.” Angela Larsen, PhD Candidate, Department of Biology

In the 3MT competition, graduate students convey the essence and importance of their master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation research in an engaging way to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes and with one Power Point slide.

3MT competitors have come from a variety of departments: Nutrition, Kinesiology, Biology, Counseling and Educational Development, English, Chemistry and Biochemistry, History and others.  They competed, they laughed, and they learned.  The year’s winner Angela Larsen will represent UNCG in the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools’ regional competition in Charlotte, NC in February.

The 3MT final competition is typically held the third week of November at UNCG in the Alumni House with a maximum of ten finals competing for the opportunity to win a variety of prizes.  This year’s winners were awarded: first place ($1,000 plus travel and accommodations to the regional CSGS competition), second place ($500), and people’s choice ($250).



The first Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) was held at The University of Queensland in 2008 with 160 students competing. Enthusiasm for the 3MT concept grew and its widespread implementation by universities has led to the development of an international competition.  The global reach of the competition can be seen by the extent of participation with universities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Vietnam also hosting local 3MT events.

Why Participate?

Skills development for research candidates
The exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills, while emphasizing students’ ability to explain their research effectively in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Building research culture throughout the campus
3MT provides a valuable opportunity for students to come together across disciplinary boundaries, get to know one another, and talk about their research. It also provides a supportive environment in which academic programs and the campus at large can provide presentation skills training and feedback.

Building external relations for the university
3MT winners may go on to represent their university at other levels of competition, which provides an excellent networking and professional development opportunity. Previous 3MT finalists have benefited from invitations to a variety of other networking events following their participation in the competition.

Judging Criteria

At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the two judging criteria listed below. Please note that each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.

  • Comprehension & Content: did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Engagement & Communication: did the oration make the audience want to know more?

UNCG 3MT Judging Rubric


  • A single static PowerPoint 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 the presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


For examples of winning presentations from around the world, visit http://threeminutethesis.org/3mt-showcase.


To register to compete in the 2015 3MT Competition at UNCG, please completely fill out the registration form and submit. You will receive a confirmation message.  Once registration has closed, we will contact you with your assigned preliminary round date and time.


UNCG’s 2015 3MT competition is open to currently enrolled master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation students only. Participation will be limited to the first 60 master’s or doctoral students to register.  Any eligible entries received beyond 60 will be put on a waiting list to be reviewed if space becomes available.

If registration has not already closed due to limited space, registration WILL CLOSE on October 15, 2015 at 5pm.

UNCG will hold a maximum of 4 qualifying rounds of 15 students each. These qualifying rounds will take place on Tuesday, November 3 and Wednesday, November 4 from 10:00-11:30am and 1:30-3:30pm in the EUC, Sharpe Room. Participants will be assigned randomly.

Ten (10) individuals will be selected from the four qualifying rounds to participate in the final round. The final round will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 17th from 2:30-4:30pm in the Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room.  First place ($1,000), second place ($500), and People’s Choice ($250) winners will be selected and announced at the end of the competition on November 17th*.

The first place winner may accompany a representative of UNCG’s Graduate School to the Council of Southern Graduate School’s annual meeting in Charlotte, NC to compete on Saturday, February 20 and Sunday, February 21, 2016 in the conference’s regional 3MT competition. Please note:  This is dependent on funding and number of registrants CSGS will accept. If an individual is sent from UNCG, The Graduate School at UNCG will provide transportation and lodging.

*For First, Second, and People’s Choice Winners:  The monetary award will be posted to your University student account.  If you have a zero balance when the award posts, the cashier’s office will issue you a refund check for the full amount.  If you have a current balance, your award will pay that balance first and any funds that remain will be issued to you as a refund check.  If you received Federal financial aid in 2015-2016, your loan debt may be reduced by the amount of this award.

Need help preparing your slide or 3 minute presentation?

The Digital Media Commons

The Digital Media Commons can help you with your technology needs! Visit our desk in the lower level of the library, open seven days a week, for assistance when you need it with questions about multimedia technology. Or, simply use/reserve our spaces to work on your presentation. You can also make an appointment with staff such as if you have questions concerning images that can be used in your slide or new to using PowerPoint. We also have a Presentation Practice Room you can reserve (see the reservation widget on the library homepage) to practice your talk, record your session, watch, and review. Contact us:libdmc@uncg.edu or visit our website.

The Digital Act Studio

Want help designing your PowerPoint slide for the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition? The Digital ACT Studio can assist you on the effectiveness of your slide presentation. We can provide feedback on whether or not you are effectively reaching your audience, and if your project is rhetorically and aesthetically compelling.

Our consultants are professionally trained to help you create stronger, rhetorically and aesthetically effective digital projects by engaging in one-on-one conversations that focus on shared knowledge and expertise. At the Digital ACT Studio, you can receive feedback on creating appropriate, pedagogically effective PowerPoint slide presentations.

The Digital ACT Studio is open Monday-Wednesday 9am-7pm, Thursday 9am-6pm, and Friday 9am-1pm.  Walk in or schedule a 30 minute or 1 hour appointment today!

For more information about our practices, please visit our website: http://digitalactstudio.uncg.edu/. Contact us at: digitalACTS@uncg.edu

The University Speaking Center

The University Speaking Center provides consultation support and instructional workshop services for UNCG students, faculty, employees, and members of the Greensboro community. Our support is designed to help speakers further develop their own oral communication confidence and competence. We provide peer-to-peer feedback, guidance, and other support in the areas of public speaking preparation and delivery, interpersonal communication, and group or team communication.

The Speaking Center is located along with the Writing Center in 3211 MHRA. We are on the third floor. MHRA is on the corner of Forest and Spring Garden – across the street from the Mossman Building.

For more information, please visit:  http://speakingcenter.uncg.edu/about/index.php

 2014 3MT Competition Results:

1st Place
Matt Marshall
Award – $1,000 + travel and accommodations to compete in the CSGS Conference 3MT Competition in New Orleans

View Video

2nd Place
Rachel Bowman
Award – $500

View Video

People’s Choice
Derek Shore
Award – $250

The 3MT Thesis Awards: 1st Place Award winner Matt Marshall (rear left), 2nd Place Award winner Rachel Bowman (front) and People's Choice Award winner Derek Shore (rear right)

The 3MT Thesis Awards: 1st Place Award winner Matt Marshall (rear left), 2nd Place Award winner Rachel Bowman (front) and People’s Choice Award winner Derek Shore (rear right)

2014’s first Place winner, Matt Marshall went on to the competition in New Orleans, LA (March 2015) and in 2013’s inaugural competition, Connie Albert represented UNCG at the CSGS competition in San Antonio, TX (February 2014).


2013 Results:


UNCG’s 2013 Top 10 Competitors

Congratulations on a job well done to all who participated in the 2013 UNCG 3MT competition!

Watch the 2013 UNCG 3MT Competition Final Round. The Graduate School would especially like to congratulate our 2013 winners:


First Place: Connie Albert, ISSCM Protecting Children Online: Examining Predatory Behavior and Victimization of Children within Social Media


Second Place: Stephanie Gardiner-Walsh, SES Mild or Unilateral Hearing Loss: Say What?!?


People’s Choice Award: Michele Pye, KIN Comparison of Neuromuscular Control Strategies Between Collegiate Female Dancers and Athletes

Video of presentations