2019 Three-Minute Thesis Competition
Preliminary Rounds: October 29-30
Finals: November 14 2pm-4pm
In the Three Minute Thesis (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 using one static Power Point slide.
UNCG’s 3MT competition is held each fall and is open to all currently enrolled master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation students. A panel of judges select the first place ($1,000) and second place ($500) winners. The audience selects the people’s choice winner, who is awarded $250. The first place winner will also have the opportunity to compete in a regional 3MT competition in the spring.
To view past 3MT winners, programs, and videos visit the Past 3MT page
The 3MT competition was developed by the University of Queensland, whose website provides the following history of the competition.
The idea for the 3MT competition came about at a time when the state of Queensland was suffering severe drought. To conserve water, residents were encouraged to time their showers, and many people had a three minute egg timer fixed to the wall in their bathroom. The then Dean of the UQ Graduate School, Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson, put two and two together and the idea for the 3MT competition was born.
The first 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 Higher Degree by Research students competing. In 2009 and 2010 the 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew. Due to its adoption in numerous universities, a multi-national event was developed, and the Inaugural Trans-Tasman 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2010. Since 2011, the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in over 600 universities and institutions across 65 countries worldwide.
Fame and fortune
With prizes of $1000 for the winner, $500 for second, and $250 for the People’s Choice, the question is, why not participate? Moreover, the winner advances to a regional competition and a chance to compete on a larger stage.
Skills development for research candidates
Preparing and delivering a 3MT talk 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 in a supportive and fun environment.
Building external relations for the university
3MT is an excellent networking opportunity. Previous 3MT finalists have made connections that continue beyond the competition.
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?
- 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.
- The slide must contain the participant’s name and institutional affiliation.
- It is strongly recommended that you do not use an oversized slide. These are generally wider than the normal PowerPoint slide format and will appear with a white band at the top and bottom.
For examples of winning presentations from around the world, visit https://threeminutethesis.uq.edu.au/watch-3mt.