UNCG Annual Three-Minute Thesis Competition
Registration for the 2021 3MT opens on September 17, 2021
In the Virtual Three Minute Thesis (Virtual 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?
Rules for Virtual Competition
- Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
- Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech (timing does not include the 3MT title slide and commences from when the competitor starts speaking, not the start of the video).
- Videos must meet the following criteria:
- Filmed on the horizontal;
- Filmed on a plain background;
- Filmed from a static position;
- Filmed from one camera angle;
- Contain a 3MT title slide;
- Contain a 3MT PowerPoint slide (top right corner/right side/cut to)
- A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description). This can be visible continuously, or ‘cut to’ (as many times as you like) for a maximum of 1 minute or submitted via email if not included in the presentation.
- The 3 minute audio must be continuous – no sound edits or breaks.
- No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording.
- Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
- No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.
- The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
- Submissions via video format (only video link provided to Event Coordinators). Files sent in other formats will not be accepted.
Please note: competitors *will not* be judged on video/ recording quality or editing capabilities (optional inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide.
Please note: After each competition round competitors have the option to either submit their current presentation or rerecord and submit a new presentation for entry into the next round.
For examples of winning presentations from around the world, visit https://threeminutethesis.uq.edu.au/watch-3mt.